I have a tendency to tell people that I’m awkward, just as a general disclaimer, but they usually don’t believe me. That is until they get to know me and then they’re all “oh yes you’re peculiar, and yes indeed your face IS shaped like a pentagon, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” and I’m all “precisely.”
And usually it’s totally fine, because my awkwardness causes me to be slightly skittish and wary, meaning that I’m generally polite as a default. I get along really well with lots of really odd people because unless you say something hateful, I tend to just nod along and listen passively to whatever you say. People obsessed with cycling, people obsessed with recycling, people obsessed with telling me about their grandkids, all these people love me, because I sit there and listen to them ramble on about little Timmy. Genuinely I don’t care if Timmy has graduated to pull-ups. That’s good news I suppose, but I’m too unsure of how to exit the conversation gracefully that I end up listening to all of Timmy’s bowel movement habits. I hate myself occasionally, but generally this awkwardness makes me a pleasant, polite person. We all benefit.
…That is until you get to know me, I become less skittish, drop my filter, and say things like “oh yes I love these sparkly flats, I bought them because I thought they looked like something a drag queen might wear when she wants sensible flats.” Once you know me be prepared for all kinds of comments on how so-and-so is good looking because he has very long luscious eyelashes, and how I have a very crooked collar bone. If you haven’t noticed I have a rather self-deprecating sense of humour, because I’m actually fairly confident, not that fussed about the collar bone tbh, and I’d rather poke fun of me than have others poke fun of me. You can’t laugh at me if I’m already laughing at me. (That’s not true but you see the point.)
Really, I think this awkwardness stems from me not knowing what to do with pauses in conversation and so I fill them with self-deprecating humour (if you know me) or gentle prodding for you to tell me more about recycling (if you don’t know me.) And while my mum will probably read this post and then immediately call me to admonish me for calling myself awkward and not believing in myself or something*, I think we could all stand to be slightly more awkward, so that we all default to quiet politeness. Yes sometimes it’s very stressful being me as I dither about for the correct response when asked out by complete strangers on the bus, but sometimes it’s nice being me, so that a complete stranger doesn’t leave the bus feeling dejected or horribly insulted. Remember folks: inventing a fake boyfriend, but saying thank you anyways you seem really sweet, is always an option.
*p.s. I love you mum, you can still call me if you want.