Awkward Girl: The Sandwich Fail

Hi. As many of you know, last weekend I booked an AirBnB for ONE. Just me. And me, myself, and I had the most quiet, peaceful, and refreshing weekend I’ve had in six years. I took the opportunity to sleep, to read, to knit, to think, and above all, rest.

But back to the thinking part. After this trip, I’ve realized I need to get out more. A lot more. Out, not as in to an AirBnB by myself, but out, ya know, where the other people are.

Strongest supporting evidence for this conclusion is that time (four days ago) when I went out by myself to order a sandwich for lunch. And I failed, friends. You could even say I failed spectacularly. Maybe some of you are thinking, But how can you fail at all, much less spectacularly, at ordering a sandwich? And if that’s what you’re thinking, read on and let me introduce you to Awkward Girl.

I’m an introvert (I know, I’m awfully outgoing if you’ve met me in person, but I assure you, I am an introvert), and as such, I made a point to pull up the menu online before I set out for the restaurant so I could plan my order in advance and not get anxious at go time. The way it looked, you could either build your own sandwich from a huge list of ingredients or you could choose something like a BLT where it was decided for you. I chose an Italian cold-cut from what I thought was the “done for you section” and then thoroughly enjoyed a beautiful, ten minute walk to the sandwich place.

When I got there, I went up, full of confidence, and said, “I’d like a six inch Italian cold cut.” The guy behind the counter said, “Okay.” then continued staring at his notepad with his pen out. So I continued, “I’d also like to make it a combo and get a Pepsi and chips.” He nodded, then waited again . . . kept waiting until it was painful. . . then finally looked at me expectantly and said with just a hint of impatience, “Whadya want on it?” I stared blankly. So he more kindly and slowly continued, “You picked the meat. Now what bread and toppings do you want?”

I looked down at the jumble of fifty-ish ingredients listed on the menu, my brain went into instant hyper-drive before the engine exploded and everything went dark for several of the longest seconds of my life. Then, I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “That’s too hard. Ummmmmmmmm, I’ll have a BLT.”

Yes. I said those words. I, an adult, who is currently raising three, small people, an adult who, at one time, ran an eleven million dollar budget and had twenty plus staff and was a director, said to another adult in public that it was just too hard to pick sandwich parts. So hard, in fact, it could not be done.

Soooooooo, yeah. I’m going to need to get back out there (as in, the world) ASAP before I lose my ability to process speech altogether. Although, to be fair, looking at my history, there’s only so much improvement I’m likely to make as it relates to being awkward.

Anyway, it was a great BLT, so I guess all’s well that ends well, right? Image below is not the actual sandwich, I was too busy enjoying it in a lovely gazebo to think about getting a photo. But it was as delicious as this one looks and I at least had the presence of mind to swap out mayo for mustard!

Awkward Girl: Thanks Tobyn!

Hi. For those of you who know me, none of this will be new, but since I’ve been writing more and sharing more, there are quite a few of you who, even if you know me in passing, don’t know certain, key things about me as a person.

I say and do a lot of things that would be really embarrassing if they weren’t so funny. I also struggle with small talk, especially with people I don’t already know, because I don’t watch t.v. or movies, I don’t keep up with current music, and most pop culture references and jokes are completely lost on me. When I have time to read, I’m always reading poetry or novels from the 1700’s-early 1900’s, I don’t follow any sports, and I’m lucky to be married to someone very tech savvy because I am very the opposite of tech savvy. Basically, I was born 150-ish years later than maybe I was supposed to be.

So, you can see why it would be important for me to have great friends in my life who love me, have my back, know my limitations, and aren’t afraid to be honest with me. Friends like my girl, Tobyn, who sent me a message on Instagram last night, complete with screenshots and circles (which I’m grateful for because I needed), demonstrating how to include actual links in my Facebook and Instagram stories:

I HAD NO IDEA!!!!! If you didn’t either, BOOM, there ya go!

So, thanks, Tobyn; I am not the least bit annoyed! I’d 100% still be typing out my Black Ink Birds web address every. single. time. and editing my bio (which also took me two days to figure out) making it harder for people to read my stuff if it weren’t for you! You’re a total keeper and I love you to bits. : )

Awkward Girl: My Favorite Untold Story

Hello friends.  I’ve been feeling anxious, exhausted, and generally overwhelmed by life lately and I know I’m not the only one.  So I’m setting down my worries for a moment to tell you all an Awkward Girl story I have never told before.

It was 2014, Awkward Girl had a pretty great job working for a hospital as a lead over the departments specializing in financial care for patients who couldn’t afford their bills.  It was work she was passionate about, but she had a few frustrations with the way things were going.

One night, she was looking up contact information for a particular county’s Director of Indigent Services only to find that the person who had been in that role a decade or so had recently retired and the position was OPEN.

Awkward Girl wrestled with this information for the rest of the evening.  She was only a lead and had never even held the title of supervisor so it seemed unlikely that anyone would consider her qualified to be a director of anything, much less the largest indigent services department in the state.  That said, she read the list of qualifications over and over again and there were only a couple things she wasn’t already familiar with, nothing she felt she couldn’t learn.

The next morning she mentioned it casually to her mom who immediately said, “You have to apply.  If you don’t get it, who cares, but if you DO get it . . . just think about that.”  Her cousin, already a director in the company she was working for, said much the same, “DO IT.” Her uncle, her husband, her dad, everyone was in agreement.  So Awkward Girl straightened her shoulders and got to work on her application.

She was stunned when she got the call to schedule an interview.  Stunned and suddenly terrified.  Whatever bold thoughts had lead her to click submit deserted her entirely and she felt very much like a small dog who thought she wanted to run with the big dogs but should have probably stayed on the porch.  She had no idea how to act or what to say in a director level interview and, most importantly to this tale, she had no idea what to wear.

With less than a week to prepare, she and her mother went out the next day to shop for something that said, “No, really, I know what my application says, but I can do this!”  The previous director had always worn suits so that’s where they started.

Two jackets, twenty button downs, and one pencil skirt later, they found “The One.”  It was light, it was summery, it was almost comfortable and they found an amazing, twist-front, white shirt with a crisp collar that made Awkward Girl feel like her awkward melted away as she tucked it in.

A few days later it was show time.  Awkward Girl had been practicing, rereading statutes, and generally driving herself crazy, but when she woke up that morning she was calm.  Her husband took her shirt and pants to iron them (yes, Awkward Girl’s husband does the ironing . . . she’s not just awkward, she’s also slightly lacking in most domestic skills!) and when he came back, there had been a terrible mistake.

The suit slacks were cotton, the shirt was not and where her once beautiful, crisp, white shirtsleeves had been, were two, brown, perfectly flat, melted together disasters.  There was no salvaging “The One,” so she put on the “The Other One” a blue button down she’d also grabbed hoping she’d need it one day soon . . .

But looking in the mirror, her confidence was shot.  The blue just didn’t have the same affect.  So . . . she went back to the white shirt . . . stared at it a moment . . . really, it was just the sleeves that were ruined . . . would they even show with her jacket on?

She carefully, gently, and with great precision, ripped the sleeves off, put the shirt back on, pulled her jacket on over it, and with a deep breath went to the mirror.  Perfection!  Well . . . at least it looked that way.

Instead of practicing interview questions on the way to her interview that day, she practiced what she would say if anyone offered to take her jacket, or if it was hot and someone recommended she remove it, which thankfully no one did.

She was all business on the outside (I mean, look at those eyes, they practically scream, “HIRE ME!  ALSO, I DID NOT RIP THE SLEEVES OFF OF MY FANCY SHIRT!”:
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But underneath, she looked more “Hey ya’ll, pick me! I’m real good at directing things!”
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Two interviews later, Awkward Girl was offered and accepted that position!  Which turned into the best job she’d ever had.  The moral of the story?  You don’t need every single qualification in a job posting (Heck, you don’t necessarily even need a whole shirt!)! If you’re willing to work hard and learn, you should always throw your hat in the ring.

Until next time, embrace your awkward, my friends!  : )

 

Awkward Girl: Flies

Good morning everyone!

I’m writing today to let you know that I had a run in with Awkward Girl yesterday and, as per usual, hilarity ensued.  It all started a couple weeks ago when I was offered a very part time gig at a farm near our house that sells BBQ on the weekends.  They needed a hand taking orders, and Lord knows I’ve needed to get out of this house, baby-free, for some grown up time.  It was a win all around!

That said, I was also nervous.  I get nervous about things like this.  My last position was about as far from taking orders for BBQ as you can get and while I’ve had lots of customer service roles, nothing quite like this before.  Also, Carl and I are still working on building a life here and I wanted to do a great job and hopefully make a few more local friends.

I showed up about a half hour before the BBQ pit opened so I could get a little tour of employee areas, grab a farm shirt, and get some training on the (thankfully very easy) point of sale system.  It was just as that training was beginning, that Awkward Girl opted to make herself known.

Picture this, the BBQ pit is a very small area with a roof, a fire in the center, cooking and prep areas at the back, and three registers across a counter at the front.  At any given moment, there were roughly 8-10 employees working in this small area and, just then, there were about five people gathered up front, waiting for the work to begin.  We decided to do introductions since I hadn’t met anyone but the person training me.  Everyone gave their name, then the supervisor started to tell me about something and one of the ladies I had just met, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Jesse, come here.”

That in and of itself was a bit awkward, but I crossed through the center of the group and leaned in, at which point she informed me that my fly was completely down.  When I glanced, not only was it down, but my hands were in my pockets, which meant the zipper was WIDE OPEN revealing a good portion of my most large and comfortable blue and pink flowered granny panties–a leave over from my biggest pregnant days.

Feeling completely mortified, I looked up, flashed the group a grin, and did what any self-respecting mother would do–I blamed my daughter/mom brain.  But you, dear readers, know the truth, that’s really  just how this Awkward Girl rolls.  It’s okay, it won’t take long for everyone in Massachusetts to catch on.

The upshot is that all of my nervousness completely melted away and I had a blast!  Seriously, how nervous can you be after an intro like that?

Happy Sunday, everyone and don’t forget to embrace the awkward.  : )

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Awkward Girl: Makes an Entrance

We had an amazing time at the Science March last week.  It was a last minute decision with no planning involved whatsoever.  We just loaded up a diaper bag and took off!  Which made it doubly amazing because Carl and I have always loved last minute adventures and weren’t exactly sure that part of us would translate well into parenthood.  But, nothing to fear!  The little one did wonderfully well on her first subway ride and seemed to love the crowd and festivities.  : )

While we were there on the Boston Common, we ran into one of Carl’s coworkers who invited us to beers with her and her crew after the event.  Miss Baby was holding up so well, we decided to go for it and followed Jeet’s instructions the designated restaurant/bar.  As we approached, we saw that the entrance was a revolving door . . . and this is when Awkward Girl decided to make an appearance.

The revolving door was a small one, but there was plenty of room for Carl, baby, and I to go through all at once . . . at least there would have been . . . had I not been wearing my backpack diaper bag . . .

Go ahead, read this, then close your eyes so you can really picture it.  There she was, just trucking along right on Carl’s tail through the revolving door until he ran into it in the front (that’s right, this time Awkward Girl drug everyone down with her!) because the backpack got caught between the frame and the revolving door jamming it at the back.  We were all jolted to a sudden halt.  Even better, Awkward Girl didn’t realize she was the cause of the incident for several seconds, and stood there trying to figure out why the door was stuck.  Once we realized what happened, we had to shuffle backwards an inch at a time, all together so Awkward Girl could unstick her backpack and extricate herself from the door completely, thereby allowing Carl and the baby to proceed unhindered.

Of course, once inside, we saw that the packed bar was literally right next to the doors and our little escapade had about 20-30 witnesses.  Oh yeah, Awkward Girl is back in full effect.  Sadly, I have no photo of this particular moment, so this random one I find funny will have to do.  I like to imagine that this is a photo of the moment my sweet Sunshine realized her mother is also Awkward Girl.  Happy Sunday!
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