Embracing The Awkward

Whenever I tell people that I am a Figure Competitor I usually get one of two reactions, pure admiration or pure horror.

Pure admiration goes something like this:

“Wow. Really? That’s amazing! I am so impressed. It takes guts and courage to compete. Wow.”

Pure horror goes something like this:

“….(panic flitting behind their eyes) Um…oh. That’s…well, um. Why exactly?”

I prefer the pure admiration response because I like it when people think I’m amazing, but the pure horror response is a ton of fun as well. I will admit it the whole event is a tad awkward. I mean there’s the tanning, gluing, waxing, and we can’t forget the itsy bitsy suit or the 5 inch clear heels! But I love every moment of it and all the awkward moments leading up to it.

But then again, I’ve kind of been awkward my whole life and am known for doing ridiculous things so somehow it just all fits together.

I’m pretty sure that when God made me he put an awkward gene in my DNA just to keep things interesting.

A few years ago when Jon was still a student and I was just starting on the journey towards wearing smaller pants, I met some girlfriends downtown for coffee.  While I contemplated the great mysteries of womanity* with my girlfriends, Jon went to study at the Chapter a few blocks away. Afterwards I felt inspired and uplifted as I walked through the snow towards Chapters to find my husband and head home. I felt as though the world was at my fingertips and any problem was not too great for me to conquer! The urban setting, gentling falling snow and people out shopping were extremely picturesque. I just felt happy all over.

I arrived at Chapters and saw Jon in his red winter coat and trendy haircut through the large picture windows. He was leafing through the magazine section, and love for him filled my heart and overflowed onto the sidewalk. I was puddling everywhere. I decided that it would be romantic for me to sneak up and surprise him with a cute little ‘boo!’. So I stealthily snuck into the store, slipping behind magazine racks and other customers. I was so happy that small giggles were escaping from me and people were starting to look my way to see what was so funny. I resolved to control my giddiness and purposely snuck up close to Jon, turned to scare him, only to realize that it wasn’t Jon! Thank goodness I realized that before I scared some strange man to death! My giddiness quickly died and embarrassment known only to me, filled my cheeks and painted them a bright red. I quickly tried to appear as though there was some magazine right in front of Jon’s twin that I desperately needed to read. I think it was a Harley Davidson magazine…at that point it was the most interesting thing I had ever seen in my whole life. I was officially a biker chick as of that moment!

After desperately trying to appear normal, I calmly replaced the magazine and walked to find Jon. The amount of relief that filled me after not making a fool out of myself was indescribable. I found him upstairs in the finance section reading some horrifically boring book about RRSPs or something equally as mind numbing to me. I decided to not mention the near deathly embarrassing event to him, there was no need for him to know how awkward I am. Some days, I enjoy keeping up the appearance of being normal and fitting into society.

I finally peeled him away from the very dry finance section after mumbling a few “uh huh…”, “sounds intriguing” and “mmm…” types of things to his ecstatic musings on the current financial book in hand. We walked hand in hand to the escalator and smiled. This may seem romantic, but in reality I was only holding his hand so that there wouldn’t be a quick retreat back to the finance section.

Upon our arrival downstairs, we were immediately distracted by the discount books and got separated. After a few moments of browsing, I looked up only to find that Jon had disappeared. I sighed, realizing that the pull of the finance section must have gotten to him. I ran upstairs to peel him away once again, but he was nowhere in sight. I glanced over the railing and saw him in the magazine section.

Seeing him reading the magazines, the earlier giddiness I felt in my heart overwhelmed me and I decided to do something completely silly. Jon is a ball hockey player and while attending his games I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. Whenever a man scores a goal or does something good they give each other a slap on the bum. All the men seem to really enjoy this. It must be some sort of male bonding ritual. Anyway, I personally had never given a slap on the bum to someone else and decided that there was no time like the present. After all, he seemed to really like it in hockey, so why not at Chapters? I felt somewhat nervous to put my plan into action, but my giddiness overwhelmed me, so I went ahead full steam. I slid up beside Jon, looking straight ahead so not to burst into hysterical giggles, reached out, grabbed his bum and asked, “Want to go home?” I looked at him to see his response, only to find that I had inadvertently grabbed the strange, looks-like-Jon-but-not-Jon, man’s bum. He was shocked and backed away quickly and answered fearfully, “Uh…not with you!” The poor man’s wife audibly gasped and looked at me with a shocked and somewhat angry expression. I turned away in complete humiliation only to see my Jon bent over laughing hysterically on the other side of me. Not only did I grab some other man’s bum and proposition him…I did it in front of my husband!

Terror and shame overtook me. I was so embarrassed that I was unable to talk in a normal voice. I started to scream my rationalization for physically assaulting and propositioning some strange man in Chapters. “OH MY GRACIOUS!! I AM SO SORRY!!! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE MY HUSBAND! SEE??? HE’S RIGHT THERE, YOU HAVE THE SAME COAT AND HAIR!!! LOOK!! OH MY, OH MY!!” I frantically looked around for escape, only to notice that the whole store had become strangely silent and everyone was staring at me. Before I knew what was happening, I was sprinting out of the store and running as quick as was womanly possible into the harsh -20 degree winter, only to realize I had no idea where the car was! But I couldn’t stop running, the fear and shame of the situation was chasing me down the street…as was Jon! We were both gasping for breath – him due to the uncontrollable laughter and me due to being out of shape.

At this point, I think that God was laughing even harder than Jon. He must have known that a great part was coming up in my life, popped some popcorn and invited some friends over for the comedy viewing that Thursday evening. Life is meant to be enjoyed and to be lived with full gusto.

How often do we fail to laugh at ourselves and embrace the awkward chaos that happens to us?

I vote for embracing the awkward. It always makes for great adventures and fabulous stories. Who doesn’t want a life full of great adventures and fabulous stories?

*Womanity – The complexities of the woman condition, which increases 10 fold by families, bad jobs and trying to communicate with men.

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  1. You just made my day Ms DL .. Ive got the hugest smile plastered my face, I look like a Cheshire Cat (minus the fur, and whiskers .. so really nothing like a cat, but you know what I mean) 🙂

  2. I think they are horrified because they process it in the wrong way due to the mental image created by the outliers.

    Of course the first thing the envision is something like this http://ow.ly/3YFgq and to them that’s a transvestite.

    They don’t want to have to process what they assume to be the manifestation of mental imbalance. The concept of someone trying to become something the opposite of what they are at their very center in a way that’s impossible. It results in either horror or humor.

    Another example is a very short man wearing huge platform shoes. Or a very fat man trying on small clothes.

    Of course this is created by the outliers. In a way it’s a bit like if you told someone you were trying to gain a few pounds to round out your figure and they envisioned this http://ow.ly/3YFvJ or lose a few and they pictured this http://ow.ly/3YFwY

    I suppose their mind probably goes there simply because they don’t see that direction as often as they see weight loss or weight gain.

    It’s really just a misunderstanding I think.

  3. oh,i just stumbled across this blog!
    LOVE your little story here!!!!!
    made me smile from ear to ear!

  4. I LOVE this story, how sweet! You are too darn funny, totally something I would do too!

  5. This story is fantastic! Stuff like this happens to me all the time! I must say life would be so dull without all these awkward moments now wouldn’t they? At least we amuse our husbands! 😀

  6. You are right on! People are either super excited and intrigued or look at me like I am from outer space. I never know how people will respond and sometimes its just hilarious.

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