Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You make me feel awkward. Let's get a drink.

Blarg, I think I have a serious problem.

So, like I told you, I'm a volunteering machine. And another thing I've been doing is TA-ing for a songwriting workshop for kids. Being a "TA" really just means I spent my Fridays corralling three 9 year-olds, forcing them to write lyrics to a song called "Pillow Fight." (And yes, it WAS adorable, athankyou.)

So the leader of this seminar was this guy who was...awkward. I don't even know how to describe HOW he was awkward. He just WAS. He was the kind of guy who you know is either married or very single, because I just couldn't see being that uncomfortable on a dating-basis. Like...he has short, curly hair. Are you with me now? Okay, just pretend you are and empathize with me while I tell you that I felt awkward around him as soon as there weren't a bunch of fourth graders nearby, jumping up and down and making confetti out of paper towels. He'd start talking to me and I'd be like, "Oh really?! That is soooo interesting..." while I'd run around, frantically trying to look busy by riffling through papers and matching pen caps to pens. ("These two don't match! This is red, and THIS is black! Oh, Emily..." etc etc)

So Friday was our last day, and this guy came up to me and was like, "So I was thinking about just grabbing a beer afterward with the other TAs and stuff, if you're not busy."

And in my head, I'm going, "You're busy! You're SERIOUSLY busy! Oh, man. The busy things you have to do. My my. Busy, busy, busy."

So I said, "Yeah, sounds good."

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! EMILY!!!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! But I honestly could not think of a single excuse. Because, in all honesty, no. I wasn't busy. But HOW HARD would it have been to lie?

"Sorry, I've got to get home." <---VALID. He wouldn't ask questions. I could have sprinted to the door and never looked back. Did I say those words? NO. And even when I realized that I actually DID need to get home to email my timesheet for my freelancing gig, I couldn't bring myself to tell him. I just went on acting like it was all cool and getting a drink is The Priority #1 Thing.

And that's when I looked around and realized--wait a minute. "The other TAs" he mentioned meant...ONE other TA. There should have been two, but one was out that day. Which means, if that ONE other TA had something better to do, I'd be "grabbing a drink" with Awkward Curly Hair--ALONE!! BAH!! Get out of it. Get out of it. Just put on your coat and walk out the door. No one will notice. Say you can't. Say you have that timesheet thing. SAY ANYTHING JUST GET OUT!!

"Okay, ready to go?"


In the end, THANK GOD this other TA actually DID come along. And things were...1/3 less awkward. We talked about volunteering, and what we do for a living. And then went home. Ick, but not nearly the horribleness I was envisioning.

Although when I got home, I realized I was still wearing my name tag. And I know no one said anything because they didn't want to admit to looking at my boobs, but come on. I'm in a dive bar full of sneering old men, wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt and a name tag that says EMILY in thick, permanent marker. You gotta help a sister out.

I don't know why I am like that. Why I can't just say NO. I mean--Hey now. I've said no. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. D.A.R.E. did teach me things. I'm not talking dangerous (or whorish) things. Just regular things. Like awkward songwriters inviting you out for a beer. But when there is technically no valid reason why I should lie, why I should just back up and walk away, I am putty in your hands. An innocent drink as a thank you? Why yes. I will go to that, no matter how mysteriously weird you make me feel. I can't stop it! Is it that I'm incapable of being a bitch? Is it that attempting to lie makes me EVEN MORE awkward than I already am? Little of both?

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