March 18th is National Awkward Moments Day, and I’m pretty certain this should have been my birthday. The things I say, the situations I get into, and my inability to hide my true feelings on my face make awkward moments a daily staple.
Just a few of them:
- Fell off a stage while performing a skit.
- Gotten into the wrong car with a stranger in the passenger seat.
- Dropped a very large reception cake on a client’s driveway
- tracked red mud through someone’s white-carpeted house
And THEN this little nugget:
Setting: A Ross Dress for Less
Me (with a 6 year old assistant): **innocently trying on a fabulous dress that may or may not have needed a smoothing undergarment to complete its fabulousness**
6YO: Mama… What’s that alarm sound?
Me: Sometimes it goes off when people leave the store. They will fix it up front.
6YO: No, Mama…. It’s coming from that Spanx you just put on…
Me: (@$&#. …make it stop!!) **audibly…but barely*** Well these alarms are to keep people from stealing things.
6YO: ***overly audible*** WHY DO YOU WANT TO STEAL SPANX???
Me: ***running out still wearing the alarm-sounding layers of clothing*** Um…I don’t know how to get this to stop.
Dressing Room Attendant: It’s okay, Ma’am. Security is coming. You can meet him in the middle of the store.
2 minutes later… Middle of store….Spanx in hand.
18 Year-Old Security Man-Child: I’ll take that dress, Ma’am!
Me: (Ugh. Why all the Ma’ams) It isn’t a dress.
Security Man-Child: **Turns red. Carries wailing underwear to front of store. Removes device.*** Uh… Are you gonna get these??
Me: (Because I am nearing 40 and can handle this like a boss) YEP.
SMC: You can just take them with you. ***turns away, and probably would have let me walk out without paying for them at this point.***
As glamorous as this story makes me seem, these situations make me a better mom and role model for my kids. Here’s why.
- They can see me laugh at myself.
I can’t tell you how many times I told this story after it happened. Every time I did, I laughed harder and harder. Some awkward moments are JUST PLAIN FUNNY. We roll on the floor when we watch these situations in the movies. Why not enjoy them in real life? Basically, I’m a walking Will Ferrell getting stuck with an animal tranquilizer, and the people around me get to enjoy the show. You are all welcome.
We don’t have to replay situations over and over while lowering our self-esteem. My kids get to see me take a bow and move on. There are too many serious things for us to work on in our world to focus on our silly flubs.
2. It Shows I’m still learning.
As I’m preparing for entering a new situation, I talk through what I’m feeling with my kids. What will I do if I’m confused or don’t understand what to do in a yoga class? What if I misunderstand at a teacher training and answer the wrong question? At what times can I smile and ask for help because I don’t know what I’m doing? Newness usually equals awkwardness and feelings of inadequacy. Instead of making those flaws, I can show that they are all part of the learning process that we go through as humans every single day.
3. I can teach them how to sincerely apologize.
Ever accidentally sent an email or text to the wrong person? Not just the wrong person… but the WORST person you could have possibly sent that particular message to? That situation is one of those stomach-dropping moments that can cause heaps of awkwardness and require an in-person apology.
As my foot tends to make its way to my mouth (or I drop a cake on a driveway) more often than I would like, I have experience in this field. My children have and will continue to find themselves in a place where they need to apologize because they have hurt someone’s feelings, purposely or unintentionally. I am able to walk them through my own stories without judgment and showing them there is light at the end of the tunnel.
For now, I’ll keeping living, laughing, and dress shopping alone.
Stay awkward, my friends.