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…During Thanksgiving Dinner: Part 1

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Hope you kids enjoyed your holiday! There’s nothing more American than giving thanks for what you have, then 8 hours later punching someone in the face over a TV. We sure do know how to be grateful! *tiptoes away from soapbox*

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The food and the shopping are now so close in competition that I’m not sure which one excites people more, but I do know that everyone eats. A lot. Thanksgiving is one of a few days when 250 million people eat the same meal: turkey, ham, stuffing (dressing if you’re from the South), deviled eggs, candied yams, mac-n-cheese, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes & gravy, pecan/pumpkin/sweet potato pie, etcetera, etcetera… And it’s usually the women of the family—even though men who cook are sexy—slinging the pots & pans. Now, friends… the most abominable thing any holiday cook can ever do is invite”guests” into the kitchen. HOLIDAYS ARE NOT THE TIME FOR BEGINNERS! It never fails that somebody brings a dish that’s under-cooked, too salty, or missing some ingredients. I blame the host/hostess for allowing such infractions, but you should observe certain decorum when figuring out what to eat & what to avoid.

#1: If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it. Don’t even put it on your plate. You’re obligated to at least try it once you dig in the dish, and it gets a little weird when you try to eat unidentifiable substances. Not to mention, your family will see what’s left on your plate. You’ll most certainly get yourself caught in a lie trying to explain why you didn’t like Cousin Jane’s Corn Casserole Surprise.

#2: If you don’t know who made it, discreetly ask. Don’t disdainfully blurt it out, because Cousin Jane’s probably gonna give you the stank face for the remainder of the evening and future family gatherings, leading to other problems (to be discussed in part 2).

#3: If you don’t see anyone else eating it, follow suit. There’s no way everybody in the family got it wrong, so take notes & skip the stuff grandma didn’t want. That way, if someone gets pissed, you fall under the umbrella of offenders, and you can’t be singled out.

If these things don’t seem to work, stop for a burger, get to dinner late, scope the table out, and ask your uncle if you can make a to-go plate. Not only can you specifically pick what you want to eat, you can also taste while no one’s looking. Getting to dinner late means everyone’s already watching football & making afternoon nap preparations: no one’s still in the kitchen or at the table.

Since we’ve already passed the big day, reserve today’s tips for Christmas dinner. I’m sorry if you needed this a few days ago, and I hope you made it through the day with minimal issues. Stay tuned for part 2, because we still have a lot to talk about.

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…When You Get Caught In A Lie

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Friend: “Hey! I’m having a few friends over this weekend for some drinks & food. You should come!”

You: “You know, I might come by… What time?”

Friend: “Eight-ish? It won’t be formal, so people will probably start showing up around that time.”

You: “Ok, cool! I’ll see you then.”

The weekend’s come and gone, but your lying ass didn’t make the get-together. And you had no intentions of going when you said it. Usually, this happens with “friends” you’ve made in class, at your job, through your real friends, or former acquaintances you randomly run into. I wonder why we do that? “Hey, can you help me move?” You’re thinking, “Of course not,” but you say, “Yeah, just let me know.” Is it rude to tell the truth? I’ve asked myself if I’d be mad at someone for telling me no, because while it seems logical that the truth would be greatly appreciated, the sting of rejection (that is, the perceived sting the other person will feel) causes us to blurt out a lie. We’ve collectively decided, I guess, that people we aren’t that cool with don’t deserve our honesty.

A few weeks later….

(You see that same friend at a distance, but you’re unable to avoid him/her. Before the interaction, you’re mumbling obscenities & planning your story.)

Friend: “Hey, there! How are you? What’s been up?

You: “Hey, I’m good. I’ve just been chillin’. Work, school, life….”

Friend: “I was looking for you to come by a few weekends ago; what happened?”

You: “Oh, I wasn’t feeling too well, and my brother needed a ride from work. Plus, I had a lot of homework and just wanted to chill at home. But next time, I’m definitely in there!”

Friend (half-heartedly): “Ok, sounds good. I’ll make sure I let you know.”

You (embarrassed): “…Yeah. Text me or something.”

After that sorry explanation, you have not only proven you’re a liar, you’ve also excluded yourself from future gatherings. AND, you’ve ruined your friendship-in-the-making. What a loser! You should always keep a handful of loose acquaintances, because they’re great place-keepers for times when your real friends can’t be there for you. Plus, if you maintain the understood rules of this type of relationship, you can earn the right to flake, and it’s all good.

For future reference, know that you’re obligated to keep the first invitation you agree to, especially if it’s the first engagement excluding the mutual friend. You don’t necessarily have to be totally committed, but you do have to put forth enough effort to remain cordial. If that’s too much for you, accept your existence in solitude.

…When You Make a Fool of Yourself in Public

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Recently, I helped my bestie celebrate her *coughs* 25th birthday, and we definitely celebrated! You know you’ve had a good time when you wake up the next morning (or afternoon… or evening) wearing crusty eyeliner with a trash can in front of you. I didn’t need all of that, though, because seared in my memory was my greatest moment of glory. I got so excited that I fell on my ass in the middle of a crowd of strangers. If that isn’t loyalty and dedication, I can’t tell you what is! I really wanted my friendto know that I was down for her, so much so that I gave her a literal interpretation of the colloquialism. Captain BFF to the rescue!

That’s only half true, so here’s the story.

After overindulging in our favorite libations, many of which we didn’t pay for, we decided to dance (a.k.a. stand in a circle and awkwardly move our bodies to a beat that only we heard). Now, I feel the need to explain some things. First, I’m not the token drunk friend: ever. As a matter of fact, I’m the friend who gives the other friends the “don’t get drunk & embarrass me” speech before the debauchery begins. Also, if I do get too drunk when I’m in public, I quietly excuse myself before my self-respect and margaritas hit the floor. So, my friends, when I found myself unintentionally sitting in the middle of the dance floor, I knew something was wrong.

I didn’t get too drunk and just fall; I had on shoes which failed to properly grip the floor. If your B.S. meter just went off, I can’t blame you. If I was hearing this story, I’d think the same thing. However, it’s the truth! I was completely caught off guard, because there was no moment of revelation; you know, that split second when you fortuitously see what’s gonna happen without being able to stop it. Hell. No. In one moment, I was “dancing” with my friends, then one faulty step later, I was looking up at everyone! No slow motion fall, either. I smacked the floor much like a babylearning to walk. Definitely not as cute & apologetic as a little kid, though.

It gets worse.

I’m on the brink of tears, and all I need is a helping hand to reassure me that everything’s ok. And where do you think my friends were? On the other side of the room! Talk about awkward… I look up, and the assistance extended to me comes from the guy who wanted to get my friend’s number before I ruined his game plan. Once I located those Benedicts, they offered consolation through sincere attempts to stifle the laughter erupting inside them. My sweet friends! LOL

All that said, I don’t really know what to offer as a solution to this situation. I spent the rest of the night sitting on the sideline, crying and begging for the keys. So when this happens to you, let me know what you come up with.

…When Your Stomach Bubbles During the First Date

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The Scene.

You and your special someone uncomfortably exchange ridiculous small talk and juvenile glances of adoration, while trying to ignore the obnoxious drunk in your peripheral and the demonic toddler peeking over your cramped, but cozy corner booth. While struggling to enjoy dinner, you make sincere attempts at keeping the conversation alive with vain laughter and equal exchanges of pointless information. You know nothing about the person in front of you, and although you’ve made valiant efforts to prove otherwise, there’s something more important plaguing your thoughts. The more you fight it, the worse it gets. Was it the cheese dip you shared with your bestie at lunch? Maybe it was the super-sized milkshake from your favorite fast food joint? Whatever you choose to blame, you cannot deny what’s happening. You have to go #2, and you have to go really badly! I’m not talking about one of those “in-and-out” sessions, where you can quickly take care of business and get back to your date. No, friends. I mean that moment when you’re still at the table, leaning to the side, trying to ease one out; but you know there’s something ominous behind it. If you even breathe wrong, you’re risking disaster. Not to mention, there’s no way to save face. What are you gonna do?

Different personalities will feel compelled to handle this comedic, but serious situation from several perspectives. Some of you are brazen enough to keep it real and tell your date you need to use the bathroom. You all have my respect. Others will cunningly put together an escape plan, including some terrible “my dog ate my homework” excuse and an easy evacuation route. Then there’s the group who will selflessly and bravely sit through the pain. You guys are absolutely crazy! Not only will your face and body language communicate your discomfort, but your digestive system will ruin your life after the next few meals. I would encourage the last idea ONLY if you drove separate cars, because you’ll need lots of alone time after dinner.

Personally, some weird combination of groups one and two best serves my purpose. Not only am I prudent enough to reserve discussions about my bowel movements for close friends, but I’m also frank enough to honestly express my feelings. Depending on the overall success of the date, how you handle this moment can either turn your date on (creepy) or earn you a spot on the reject list. As an aside, I’m anticipating a first date this weekend, and I bet he’s reading this post! (I’m probably not as prudent as I’d like to believe). At any rate, the real issue at hand concerns what you believe is most important. If impressing a stranger who probably has 3 or 4 dates lined up over the weekend suits you well, pray for mercy and wait until you get home. However, if self-expression and healthy bodily functions are your priority, grab your cellphone, excuse yourself for a few minutes, find the last stall, and give it all you’ve got!

*Disclaimer: this is in no way a fool-proof guide to navigating this situation, but if it works, you can thank me later!

…When You’re Getting Started

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How often do you find yourself in situations you want to escape? Think about it… whether haphazardly or intentional (though I hope no one would purposefully create awkward situations for him/herself), we’ve ALL encountered a moment in which hanging upside from our toenails would bring more pleasure than the embarrassing discomfort of “that awkward moment”. I used to think that as I got older, I’d conquer all things embarrassing. I’m sad to say, my friends, that it’s become worse than I ever imagined. Adding insult to injury, these moments know no limits; they respect no boundaries, and they cross all color, gender, religious, and socio-economic lines. No one is exempt.

So far, I hope you’ve found comfort in knowing that you’re not the only person who’s encountered someone or something that’s left you feeling like the biggest idiot in the history of idiots, because you are not alone. I’m inviting you to explore life’s ability to strip us of all dignity & self-respect through the unfortunately normal occurrences of “that awkward moment”. I intend to share my experiences as honestly & vulnerably as possible, in hopes of helping you cope with the bounty of shame hidden in the recesses of your Facebook and Twitter posts. We’ll explore a variety of topics: love, education, family, friends, and anything else that provides the perfect awkward moment for us to share. Please read “That Awkward Moment” in front of the title of a post, because that will help you know exactly what we’re going to discuss. If at any point your grief becomes too great, don’t tell me. There’s nothing I can do to help (I’m kidding). Please, feel free to respectfully leave your innermost feelings in the comment section, and let’s unite in order to figure out what to do with all these awkward moments.

Happy Reading! 😀