Godbey: Awkward moments happen to all of us

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

By Jack Godbey

Columnist

No matter how hard we try, we all find ourselves experiencing those awkward moments from time to time that leave us embarrassed and wishing we could disappear. I wish I could say that these moments are far and few between for me, but I have had my share of these moments. For example, I was at Walmart the other day and a young lady looked in my direction and waved as if I was her best friend. I thought for a moment, “Am I crazy or do I have no clue who this person is?” Not wanting to appear rude, I returned the smile and waved back at her, only to realize she was actually waving at the girl behind me. I quickly transformed the wave into a stretch, pretending I wasn’t waving at all.

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A co-worker wished me a happy birthday, and without thought, I responded, “You too.” I could feel the awkwardness flush into my body as we both just pretended that I didn’t say it.

I took a day off, and my wife texted me and asked what I was doing. I texted back “I’m doing Lauren.” It didn’t take me long to realize that auto-correct had screwed me over and I screamed, “Laundry, I’m doing Laundry” as I tried to correct the text as quickly as I could. What’s the deal auto-correct? Are you trying to get me killed?

I remember back in 1986, I was fresh out of high school and went on a job interview at a local business. I felt like I had aced the interview and was confident I had the job. Once the interview was over, I stood up and shook everyone’s hands but mistook the janitor’s closet for the exit and walked right in and closed the door behind me. I debated just staying in there until the place closed, but finally, I came out and pretended that I meant to check out their janitor’s closet, but the awkwardness in the room was thicker than a bowl of oatmeal. Needless to say, I did not get the job.

With winter just around the corner, I decided to go coat shopping. Not finding anything I liked, I was excited when I saw the perfect coat lying on the floor. I picked it up and tried it on and as I admired myself in the mirror, I saw someone mean mugging me. Come to find out, it was the coat of a customer trying on it themselves. I couldn’t say a word. I just handed the coat back and walked away. I decided to cut my losses, gave up coat shopping, and went to the drive-thru to order some lunch. I quickly found what I wanted and made my order. Strangely, no one answered me, so I ordered it again. By now, I’m getting aggravated and ordered a third time. This time with a much sterner voice. Suddenly, I heard a distant voice say, “Pull up to the speaker; you’re talking to the menu board.”

However, nothing can come close to the time I was out with my friend and his wife, who had just given birth to a new baby. They kept talking about the baby, and I, wanting to pretend I cared about it, bent over to kiss the baby’s cheek as its mother held it in her arms. I lifted the blanket and went in for a wet one, only to realize the mother was actually breastfeeding. There is just no coming back from that. Can someone say awkward?