Wednesday, July 29, 2009

That's Awkward

Merriam-Webster dictionary in part defines the word Awkward as:

a: lacking social grace and assurance b: causing embarrassment : not easy to handle or deal with : requiring great skill, ingenuity, or care

I'm able to define the word awkward in the following story:

Last evening I took one of the Sandal House teens and her toddler son out to the farm where I grew up. The two men that live there now allow me to come out there whenever I like, and the children at Sandal House love the animals. I usually plan my visits for the evening milking, so that the teens and children are able to see the cows in one place and being milked. They also are able to visit with the two men that live there.

These two guys are in their mid-twenties and are Old-Order Mennonite (I've most likely referred to them in earlier posts). Being that they are about my age I enjoy relating with them, and they make great neighbors and friends. Over time our friendship has grown and we often share jokes and laughter. It's a good thing we're comfortable with each other now, it makes the events of last evening just a tad less awkward.

It all started in the milking parlor where Gerald was finishing milking the last cows for the evening. I had introduced him to the teen with me and her son, and we were leaving the parlor to go visit the baby calves next. As the outer door shut on the milking parlor with the teen, her son, and me on the outside, and Gerald on the inside, the teen speaks to me over the noise of the milking.

"Wow, he's CUTE! You all would make a great couple."

She said this loud enough to be heard over the noise of the milking, what she didn't observe was that even though the milking parlor has doors, it's also a building with large open spaces on the side walls that are kept opened in the summer time heat. As soon as the words were out of her mouth I knew that if I turned around I would find Gerald behind me smiling, having heard everyone of her comments.

For a long two seconds I stood there wondering what approach I should take. I could walk on, pretending that I didn't think he had heard her comments. I could turn around myself and acknowledge him and the comments. And lastly, I could turn around myself and the teen, and all of us could acknowledge what was said, and who heard it.

Feeling bold for the moment I took the teen by the arm and turned her around with me to wave at Gerald standing there with a silly smile on his face. My teen turned instantly embarrassed, and Gerald and I saved the move and the joke by smiling at one another, which she caught onto. If she hadn't noticed that we found it funny too by the smiles we were wearing, she was definitely reassured by Gerald's, "Thank You."

That's just another awkward moment that was diverted by "great skill, ingenuity, and care" (as Merriam-Webster would say).

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