Awkward Activities

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

Well, today wasn’t too interesting at all. It was only at the end of the school day that something strange happened. I was waiting at the bus stop, and I saw J.B. walking across the street. As he got closer, I gave him my little head-nod to say hello, and took out one of my earbuds to hear what he had to say. He had apparently missed the bus that he usually catches on the other side of the street, and now he had to find another way home. He got on the bus that I catch, and since he got on before me, he got a seat and saved it for me. It was a little awkward talking to him, just because I don’t really know him that well, but since we go to the same church and everything, I suppose I might as well get to know him.

Anyways, I wasn’t exactly sure why he was on the bus I was on. I figured that he was planning to go all the way down to the terminal and then transfer there or something, since I had told him that there was usually another bus that came there in about ten or fifteen minutes, and he had shrugged his shoulders. So that was fine; I thought it a bit strange that he wouldn’t want to wait for fifteen minutes, but that was his choice. The ride was spent mostly in silence, since there really wasn’t much to talk about. Then, when I was about halfway home, he asked if he could just come to my place so he could call his grandpa from there to pick him up. It was quite awkward for a second, but I figured that since he was on the bus already and that was likely his only option or something, I didn’t really have much of a choice. Besides, I’ve been trying to get to know him and be friendly to him since a lot of his friends have gone and moved on since his time out west, so how could I refuse? I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Sure.”

My stop came and we got off, and went inside my house. I can’t say that I’m much of a host when people come over, but I showed him where my phone was, and he used it to try to call his grandpa. The first time he called, the line was busy, so I had to make small talk for a few minutes until he called again. He called again and got through, but he said that it might be a while, just because of some things going on at his house that his grandpa needed to take care of first. That was fine, but that also meant that I had to figure out some way to entertain him until that time. And so, I turned to the all-time favourite national pastime for entertainment: television. I turned it on, and then the conversation actually increased. He asked me what kind of shows I liked, and I told him comedies. I found out that he liked sci-fi type of shows, so I changed the channel to the Space channel. After all, I can tolerate that sort of stuff. We talked a bit about movies, and apparently he’s got tons of movies. He was talking about movies that I’ve never heard of, and although they sounded strange, I guess I can’t judge a book by its cover – or in this case, judge a movie by its description. Anyways, after about ten or fifteen minutes, his grandpa came and picked him up, and that was that. Awkward situation over.

Now, with that said, it sounds like I hated the whole thing. That’s not true. I don’t hate awkward situations; I just find them…awkward. It’s kind of that feeling that you get, and while it kind of keeps you from relaxing, it’s not altogether unavoidable. I mean, it happens so often when meeting new people and trying to find common ground to talk about. And of course, I think I find myself in more awkward situations than the average person, just because I myself am an awkward person. I probably make the situation more uncomfortable than it normally would be if it were with any other person. Why? I’m really not sure. It’s just how I am, and I’ve never been able to figure out how to get rid of it. It’s just the things I say and the way I say them that they turn out all wrong. I’m certainly not a conversationalist. I’m better at listening to someone talk than I am at talking. Usually I try to find a topic that the other person is really interested in, and then I ask questions about that until they start talking about it – that way, I just have to listen. That’s not to say that I’m really not interested in what they’re saying, and am just looking for some way to get out of talking. No way. I can make myself interested in almost any topic out there; if I’m not interested in the topic itself, I can always become interested in learning about the person as a result of what they’re interested in. People just interest me, and I could sit in front of a person forever just listening to whatever they have to say. Why? Because I’m a freak, I suppose.

Anyways, while today was certainly a bit awkward and uncomfortable, I learned quite a bit about J.B. and his interests. Now that I have that information, it’s possible for me to avoid future awkward situations by relating any conversation to the things he finds important and interesting. That way, if I ever find myself talking to him again where the conversation is dying, I can fall back on what I already know he will want to talk about, and ignite it again. See? I’m a genius. Please hold the applause and send money instead. I accept cash or cheques. But anyways, with that said, that’s pretty much the only thing that was of any significance today. Tonight, there’s the Under Cover video series at the church that I’m going to, and then I have to go to Jon’s house so we can work on our drinking straw tower for Physics class. I really can’t stand all these building projects. They’re getting really annoying. Mr. Humpartzoomian just told us about our next one – we have to make a rubber ball launcher. It should be interesting, if not frustratingly hard. Oh well. At least we don’t have to do this one with partners, so I don’t have to worry about finding time to get together with anyone. No, I just have to find time to do it myself. Greeeeat.

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