I’m generally a pretty awkward person. Most of the time, I can pass myself off as somewhat normal, but there are times when even I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. These are examples of those times.
1. My dog has a puppy doppelgänger. He’s about nine or ten months old now, and nearly full-grown. From a distance, neither the puppy’s owner nor I can tell them apart. Not only do they look alike, but even their personalities are similar, i.e. they’re both huge dorks. They absolutely love each other. Whenever we’re there at the same time, those two are playing. This is a picture of the two of them lolling under the picnic table when the puppy was considerably younger and we could still tell them apart.
I try not to be biased against certain dog breeds, but there are some breeds that I just don’t like, e.g. miniature schnauzers, tiny terrier mixes, beagles, chihuahuas, all toy dog breeds and pretty much any adult dog under twenty pounds. Now, that’s not to say that I automatically dislike the individual dogs that make up those breeds, but I am biased against them. Dogs of certain breeds have to work harder for me to like them as opposed to, say, a German shepherd, because German shepherds are naturally awesome.
At the dog park yesterday, I was watching puppy doppelgänger play with another dog besides mine. This dog was a beagle. I am not fond of beagles because they’re loud. They’re designed to be loud so that when they find the quarry, they can alert their owner to where it is from a long way away. There’s a purpose in their loudness, but I don’t really care. I still don’t like them.
As I was watching puppy Doppelganger play with beagle, I said, “Your dog is adorable.” speaking about puppy doppelgänger to his owner, because puppy doppelgänger is entirely adorable. However, beagle owner said, “Thanks! I know!” and then started in on an hour-long, one-sided conversation about her dog and its beagleness, who according to beagle tradition, wouldn’t shut the hell up and howled at great volume the whole time. And I had to sit there and listen because I’m awkward.
Then the little bastard jumped on the picnic table right in front of me and I had to pet him because I inadvertently said he was adorable. Even if he was physically adorable, which he wasn’t, his shrill baying loudness would have made him entirely not adorable. I could have simply said, “I meant the puppy,” and been done with it, but I waited just a hair too long. It could have been avoided altogether had I used the puppy’s name. Lesson learned.
2. I mentioned the other day that I don’t know half of my coworkers names. This isn’t generally an issue until someone tells me to go see Susan or Oscar to find out about whatnot. Panic. I can’t very well say, “Who is Susan?” since I’ve worked here two and a half whole years already, and that knowledge should be something I have. Instead, I’ll ask, “OK, where do they sit?” hoping to glean more information. Usually the coworker who told me to go see Susan looks at me askance since I pass Susan every single day. Awkward.
3. Awkward conversations I have at least once a day:
“Good morning. How are you?”
“Not much. You?”
“Good morning. What’s up?”
“Fine. And you?”
Really, why can’t we have just one standard greeting? That’s damn awkward.
4. Because I have memory problems, I can’t remember who I told what. Sometimes, I am positive that I told someone something really important, when I didn’t. Most of the time though, I end up repeating myself a lot. I’ll get into storytelling mode and start to tell a friend the hilarious thing that happened to me the other day with hand gestures, voice imitations and props, and then they’ll say, “Yeah, you told me already,” and my entire balloon deflates.
5. I do a lot of weird stuff, especially when I’m tired, which is practically all the time since I’m an insomniac. I dance around. I sing badly even though I have the worst singing voice in all of history. I make weird noises and say nonsensical words. Most of the time, the only people who see this side of me are family and close friends. But every once in a while, I’ll catch myself in the aisle of the supermarket with a shopping basket on my head, balancing a can of tuna on my elbow, while hopping around on one leg and singing The Sound Of Music. Or worse, I’ll only notice that I’m doing that because of the weird look the lady at the end of the aisle is giving me. I clear my throat, put the tuna back on the shelf and stiffly walk away like an English butler as if she was the one with the problem.