Tire Deflategate

11 Feb

strongwoman

Years ago I had noticed my tire had deflated a bit. This had never happened to me before, but no biggie. Being the strong-willed, independent – albeit awkward – woman that I am, I’ll go to the gas station and inflate the tire myself. How hard could it be?

You just…uh… you… aim the hose at the tire, say a quick prayer to the Patron Saint of tire pressure and voila! Right? Whatever! “I’ll figure it out”, I told myself, shooing away help.

35 gut-wrenching seconds later my tire was completely flat.

I had somehow DE-flated the tire instead of inflated. I had to call a nearby friend to come rescue me. This incident has haunted me for years. It was my very own Deflategate.

So, you can imagine the panic I felt when I got in the car today and the dashboard lit up letting me know that one (or all?) of my tires were low.

I got out to inspect the tires. I walked around the vehicle and kicked each of the tires. Hmmm {rubbing chin, adjusting glasses} I see.

Who am I kidding? I had no idea!! All the tires looked about the same. Maybe the one on the front left was lower than the rest…?

I text the Boyfriend who threw a lot of buzzwords, like “PSI” and “Footprint” and “Valve” at me – oh, forget it! I’ll just do this myself – again!

I grabbed Panicky Dog for moral support and we were off to the gas station. I refused to fail for a second time. Besides, the best way to get rid of a fear is to face it head-on – or something like that. I don’t know. I was petrified!

The scene that unfolded at the gas station can only be described as an exercise is spazzery.

First of all, the directions on the machine did NOT match the equipment attached to said machine. Directions mentioned a silver gauge with multiple buttons. What I held in my hand was a black hose with a gold knob on the end. Where’s the silver thingymajig?!

{I feel like you’re setting me up for failure, manufacturer! [squint]}

I then inserted the requisite 75 cents (wasn’t air supposed to be free?). A strong gush of air blew out of the hose, kicking up dead leaves and filth into my face.

{[cough] Perfect}

As I pulled the hose across the car to the offending tire, it knotted up and would not reach.

{What is THIS fuckery?}

Air

As I wrestled with the triple knot and had air and leaves blow in my face, a group of onlookers gathered offering no support or assistance – only laughter and judgment.

{Panicky dog looks away, pretending not to know me. I don’t blame her}

I managed to shove the gold knob toward a valve on the tire and pressed with the full weight of my body until all the bought air ran out.

{Falls against tire, relieved the battle is done}

The tire did not deflate this time

{Yay!}

But did not appear to inflate either

{Damn!!!!!!}

I drove back home and told Boyfriend he had to fix it. I quit! I’ve met my match: the Deflated Tire.

Love In A Time Of Awkwardness

21 Jan

While still in the early stages of a new relationship, I had an episode of diarrhea that can only be described as catastrophic.

During the first month of our relationship Boyfriend and I had decided to go away on our first trip together. However, I did not want to have a repeat of the cruise incident in which I had given myself laxative-induced diarrhea with my then boyfriend sitting a foot from the door.

So, I decided that I would not poop during the trip. Good plan! beach vacation

After 5 blissful days spent lounging around Key West, I was sure of two things:

(1) I was in love

(2) I really, really needed to poop

In a fit of romanticism, Boyfriend decided to extend our love-filled vacation by taking me out to breakfast before dropping me off at home. I had been packing away greasy meals and fruity cocktails for nearly a week – what was 1 more meal?

After breakfast my stomach began to ache. “I must’ve eaten too fast”, I thought to myself.

As we walked to the car, my stomach growled loud enough for Boyfriend to ask if I was ok. “Ya”, I answered, “My tummy is just a little upset. {Geisha giggle}

When we got in the car, I had broken out into a cold sweat. I began mentally calculating the amount of time it would take to get to my apartment versus the intensity of the cramps in my gut.

I can do this… I can do this… I CAN’T DO THIS!

Me: “Um, Boyfriend? I need you to pull into a bathroom”, {surprising myself with the calmness in my voice given the urgency of the situation.}

Boyfriend: “Um, where do you want me to stop? Let me think, hm… There’s a Target up the road, but I think the movie theater might have nicer bathrooms. Or would you prefer to go back to my pla –“

Me: “Pull over, NOW!”

Boyfriend: {Makes a sharp right turn going the wrong way down a one-way street and pulls into a Denny’s parking lot}

Run Have you ever run full gallop into a Denny’s restaurant pushing the hostess out of the way while muttering prayers that you not shit your pants in public?

I have.

After 35 shameful minutes I awkwardly walked back out into the parking lot, searching for Boyfriend. When at first I didn’t see the car, I had assumed he left me for a woman who didn’t need to have emergency poops in a Denny’s restaurant filled with brunching retirees. I eventually spotted him parked under a tree. I slowly climbed into his SUV. He rolled all the windows down. {I begin to pray a me-sized sinkhole will open up and swallow me} The rest of the ride home was spent in silence.

Months later, Boyfriend still laughs about the incident.

Boyfriend: “What if you had actually crapped your pants in my car?”

Me: “I would’ve immediately dumped you, unable to live with the shame.”

Boyfriend: “Seriously? How does my girlfriend crap her pants in MY car and then I’M the one who gets dumped?”

Me: “Luckily, that didn’t happen, so we can keep dating. Looooove youuuuu”

Beauty is Embarrassing

14 Jan

My friend, Donna, and I had a conversation the other day about the level of abuse and embarrassment women subject themselves to all in the name of beauty.

For those who read my post about Helga the Russian Waxer from Hell, you understand. For those who haven’t, here is an example of each waxing visit Donna and I have ever gone to:

Waxer: “What do you need done? Lip?”

Me: “I – Oh. Um… no. Just my eyebrows today”

Waxer: “And then lip?”

Me: “I think my lip is ok, just eyebrows today.”

Waxer: “Chin?”

Me: “What the – No. Just eyebrows. Thanks.”

Waxer: {shrugs and waxes the eyebrows} ”Wow! Your skin is super red”

Me: {My hairs were plucked out by the root in a single, violent pulling motion.} “That’s normal though, right?” {Recall seeing the 3 women before me also walk out with red eyebrows}

Waxer: “I think it’s just your skin.” {Purells her hands in dramatic fashion}

Once my self-esteem has been thoroughly crushed, I am now shamed into tipping this woman 75% because I feel bad for HER. I can’t imagine the horrors she encountered while having to touch my disgusting (and excessively fuzzy, apparently?) face.

As a result of this conversation, I decided to try threading my eyebrows today instead of waxing. Because, you know, maybe threaders were nicer?threading

The esthetician was a bit rough, but I was otherwise content because she hadn’t insulted me or pointed out rooms for improvement that actually consisted of things I cannot improve upon without undergoing plastic surgery.

That is, until she got to the end…

Instead of brushing the loose hairs off my face with a cotton swab or facial tissue, the esthetician blew on my face. As she did so, I felt her spit on me.

What the– is this real life? Did a grown woman just spit on my face?

I had basically paid someone $20 (plus a 90% shame-tip) to spit on me. I am aware that in some circles, this is something of a fetish, but it’s not really my thing.

I immediately text Donna about this next level abuse, to which she responded, “I have no words, only laughter”. Once she stopped laughing, Donna pointed out that this is the type of thing that doesn’t happen to “normal” people but is just an average day in the life for me.

I may be awkward and covered in spit, but at least my eyebrows look amazing.

So…there.

New Year’s Resolution

7 Jan

resolutions

I usually don’t make New Years resolutions, because they tend to set me up for failure. I resolve to do something, then when I don’t I become terribly depressed. When I’m depressed I eat all the cookie dough while standing in the fridge.

When I realize what I look like, I feel ashamed, become even more depressed and go back to standing in the fridge to rummage around for the cookie dough that I hid from myself in the crisper.

It’s a vicious cycle.

However, several readers who noticed I hadn’t posted on Awkward Charm since October 2014 brought it to my attention. To you all I say, “Thank you for missing me and giving me the kick in the butt I needed!”

I also would like to say, fear not for I resolve to post more frequently in 2015!

{pause for round of applause}

Of those who wrote in, many asked,

“Why have you abandoned us?”

“Has a genie granted your wish to no longer be awkward?”

“Did you win the lottery and flee to a secluded island to spare us your awkwardness?”

Um…no.

What could be more important than my little Awkwards? Nothing!!

In truth, I didn’t stop being awkward and I most definitely did not win the lottery {sad sigh}, I just got a job that was working me 7 days a week. What little energy and brainpower I had was put toward my work and the purchase of more cookie dough. Don’t judge me…

But now I am back and equipped with more awkward stories for your reading pleasure!

Stay tuned!

– AC

My Awkward First Date

8 Oct

firstdate2My very first, official, first date would not come until I was 17 years old. Since I had a reputation of being…how can I put this… socially awkward, I didn’t get asked out on dates often. Or ever, really.

One day I met a boy from another school at a party who was not aware of my social status and for whatever reason interpreted my awkwardness as wit and asked me out. We were going to meet up at a restaurant that was equidistant to both our houses because I am nothing if not practical.

This was it! My very first, official, first date!

I was so excited, I showed up 30 minutes early. He was 15 minutes late. Which means I stood there next to the hostess stand for 45 minutes looking pathetic, flopped in nervous sweats, and too scared to get a table in case he never showed up and I’d have to explain to the waitress that I was stood up on my very first, official, first date.

To my younger readers, keep in mind that I began dating during a time before everyone owned a cell phone. I technically had one but it was huge and clunky and intended only for emergencies. It had honestly never even occurred to me to use it in this situation.

When First Date finally showed up, I was so relieved that I threw my arms around him and dragged him to the hostess stand with a smug look that said, “See, I told you I was waiting for someone!”

He, on the other hand, did not look quite so smug.

As luck would have it, one of my classmates was our waitress. On the one hand I was relieved because she was this super sweet girl who helped to settle my very first, official, first date jitters. On the other hand, she was gorgeous and I wanted her to go far, far away.

During the date the conversation flowed naturally, although I did notice that his end of the conversation flowed a lot more naturally every time my classmate would come over to check on our meal. Since I had introduced her as a friend of mine, I had convinced myself that he was just being nice to her for my sake.

However, this was just the first of many excuses I would invent to make up for the bad behavior of the men I dated, because it is a well known fact that awkward people do not know how to “read” situations very well – hence our tendency toward being awkward.

First Date continued to be very charming toward my classmate, polite to me, and eventually paid for dinner. What a gentleman, or so I thought.

As First Date walked me back to my car I was getting a little nervous. What should I do? Do I kiss him? Hug him? Throw him in the backseat? He broke the silence by asking if I could give him my classmate’s number.

Wait, what?

When I said “NO!” he had the audacity to ask why not. I wish I could say that I gave an articulate, well-thought out, and rousing retort. Instead I shrugged and mumbled “Um, ‘cause…”.

For whatever reason, he took my awkward, flustered state as an invitation to try and kiss me. I pushed him away and stumbled back so quickly that I slammed into my car.

He looked wounded and sniveled something about really liking me. Yeah… really liking my choice in hot friends, maybe! Thank you, First Date, for setting me up for a life-time of horrifically awkward dates.

Becoming A Woman

10 Sep

As my niece nears the age of puberty, I can’t help but remember my own journey to “becoming a woman”.  As with everything else in my life, it was an experience fraught with awkwardness.

I was 12 years old and vacationing with my parents and grandparents at Disney world – the so-called “happiest place on earth” (not on that day!).  To make matters worse, as if by some great symbolic gesture of my purity, I was dressed in all white.

I don’t know how long I walked around with that giant red spot on my white shorts, but I remember the exact moment I discovered it.  I think my childish-turned-womanly screech was burned into the memory of every other woman in the public restroom that day, as well.

After discreetly informing my dad and grandfather what was happening by shouting “SHE GOT HER FIRST PERIOD!” in the middle of the restaurant, my mom and grandmother escorted me back to the hotel.

toxic_tampons_pads_504x334Once in the hotel bathroom, mom walked in with a tampon in one hand and a pad in the other.  I wasn’t sure what to do with either, but the thick, cushiony pad looked a lot less menacing then the hard plastic thingy which I was informed was meant to be inserted INTO my little lady bits – no thank you!

Still…I was intrigued.  I knew my mom and older sisters used tampons. And now that I was a woman (or so I was told repeatedly by every female relative), I needed to get to the bottom of how this all worked.  So when I got my period again, I asked my eldest sister (who was 26 at the time) to teach me.

Me: {holding tampon} “How does this thing work?”

Sister: {squirms uncomfortably; resigns herself to conversation after I repeatedly shove tampon in her face} “Um… well, let’s look at the diagram on the instructions and I’ll talk you through it. As you see here, you place the tampon into the hole then –“

Me: “Which hole?”

Sister: {blink, blink} “What do you mean?”

Me: “I’ve got a couple down there.”

Sister: “It… not your butt hole! The other one.”

{Sister continues walking me through the process, even mimicking the movements shown on the instructional diagram}

Me: “I’m still confused. Can you show me, like, on yourself?”

Sister: “No. I…no.”

Me: “Then can you watch me do it?”

Sister: “This is one of those things you have to do on your own. I’m sorry.” {runs out of bathroom}

{After several awkward attempts, I think I mastered the tampon. Despite the discomfort, I am proud and want to show off to my big sister.}

Me: “I did it!  See?” {drop pants}

Sister: “I SAID NOT YOUR BUTT HOLE!”

Becoming a woman is hard work!

GOOOOOAAAAL!

26 Jun

As a child, my parents would ship me off to Argentina every summer break.  They said it was so that I could connect with my family, heritage, etc., but all I heard was, “Go be awkward around some other people and soak up some Spanish while you’re at it”.

I didn’t mind.  I loved being in Argentina – especially during the World Cup!

Although soccer (or futbol) in the United States has started to rise in popularity, nothing can rival the fanaticism of a Latin American country.  During a game women cry, men rip off their shirts, dogs howl… it’s NUTS.  Every time Argentina scored a goal, you could hear the entire neighborhood scream in unison along with the commentator:

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

 GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

AR-GEN-TINA!!!!!!!

 

Messi_Goal

One summer, my dad’s parents (selfishly) decided that they would come to visit us instead of me going to them. I was devastated.

I wanted to see my cousins and friends!  More importantly, I wanted to see all of my neighborhood crushes.  They had no idea I existed, but I still wanted to see them.  Well… except for the Fish Vendor’s nephew who was painfully aware of my awkwardness following an incident in which I leaned in for a kiss, slipped, and face-planted in a patch of fish guts.  Him, I didn’t want to see.

My grandparent’s trip also happened to fall during a World Cup.  Unbeknownst to my parents, I took it upon myself to give the family the full Argentina World Cup experience.  For me, it was all about the celebration.

I diligently practiced my post-goal runs and obligatory jersey waving/kisses.  Now all that was left was perfecting the commentator’s goal announcement.  For this, I would need a private area.  Unfortunately, with 7 people crammed into a small house there weren’t too many places for me to hide.  But I was small and resourceful.

I found a spot between the fridge and dining hutch in which I could squeeze myself into.  “Yes”, I thought.  “This’ll do nicely”.  I then dropped my voice an octave and began:

“GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

GOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOO-AAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL

 GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO –

Oh, hey guys!”

Hearing what sounds like a dying animal, my entire family frantically ran to the kitchen.  Instead, they found me.

In my hidey-hole.

With my pet rabbit on my lap.

Screaming “GOAL”

In a Spanish, man-like voice.

My grandfather frowned, my parents feared for my mental stability and my sisters burst out laughing.   I tried to explain, but they just couldn’t understand what in the world would motivate me to do such a thing.  And why was the rabbit there?

The answer was simple: Awkwardness made me do it!

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