[awkward turtle]

Several months ago, someone new showed up at our church. He caught my attention for one simple reason: he was close to my age and didn't come with a wedding ring or at least two children.

The truth is, 8:30 mass is mostly empty nesters and young families. There's not much in between. So as a single twenty-something, I'm naturally going to notice anyone that may be near my stage in life.

For months, he sat in the pew behind us, slightly to my left. We shake hands at the peace almost every week.

And truth be told, I began to think he wasn't that bad looking. He was always well dressed. He seemed very serious about his faith. He had nice blue eyes.

For months, I've passed someone on the sidewalk on my runs. Not every run, but on average once a week. I never really liked him. He would walk in jeans and a t-shirt, smoking a cigar. I would cluck my tongue (in my head, never out loud) and wonder what the point was of doing those two activities at the same time. I immediately dismissed him as unattractive.

Today, I realized those two people, church boy & cigar boy, were one and the same. It went a little something like this:

I had just rounded the corner out of my neighborhood and was starting to actually run after finishing my warm up. Ten feet ahead of me on the sidewalk headed my way was cigar boy, pausing briefly to light up. I looked up. He looked up. We locked eyes.

I realized that he was the boy from church. He recognized me too. We both froze. The awkward tension was palpable.

Do we say something?
Do we acknowledge our mutual church connection?
Do we acknowledge how many times we've crossed paths on this sidewalk?
Do we act like we've never seen each other before?

The truth is, I'm not good in these situations. I'm not one of those girls that knows how to react around men. Or people in general, really. But especially men. So in this particular moment I was way outside of my element.

Ultimately we settled on the awkward head nod/smile combination that you do when you recognize someone but haven't the foggiest idea who they are.

I ran on, shaking my head and reflecting on how weird that was.

I got about 3/4 of the way through my run and was headed towards home. I rounded a corner...

...and saw him coming my way. Again.

Now things were going to get really uncomfortable. Twice in a row? Actually make that three times because we saw each other at church this morning too.

I prayed fervently that he would turn into a neighborhood before we crossed paths again. I had no choice: if I wanted to go home I had to keep going the way I was. I suppose I could have ducked into a random neighborhood and then turned around. But that just seemed...wrong. This is my area too and darn it, I can run down whatever sidewalk I want.

Eventually we actually neared each other.

And it was even more awkward than the first time. This time he was visibly trying not to blow smoke in my face even though he badly needed to exhale. My brain instantly went, OH GOD THE PRESSURE. Now I feel like I should acknowledge him. What do I do??

We settled on the same awkward nod/smile again.

The really awkward part hasn't even happened yet.

What do we do next Sunday? Do we finally speak to each other beyond "good morning" and "peace be with you"? Or do we keep awkwardly dancing around our sidewalk encounters? Because this is not the first time we've run into each other on the street.

It's just the first time I actually looked at him.

The whole thing makes me wonder: has he made the connection before?? Am I really that clueless?

And the most important question is:

Why am I so awkward?


  1. I love it when people share their awkward moments! Makes me feel less alone :) The fact that you couldn't figure out what to do??? ME TOO. I always feel like people just are all intuitive to know what to do in every situation and I missed the memo. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I get these ALL THE TIME. That moment when you look up and accidently catch someone's eye and you both just look away awkwardly probably happens to be 3 times a day :/

    I've nominated you for the versatile award you can check it out here http://cleverspices.blogspot.ca/2013/11/versatile-award.html