Sunday, December 11, 2011

Well, This is Awkward


Not sure if this superior Victorian snap qualifies for a site like Awkward Family Photos, but the tale I'm about to relate most certainly does.

After a difficult day in the salt mines, I've been known to seek the solace of a well-known local coffee emporium. On days like this, I look forward to purchasing a Decaf Grande Nonfat Latte. You know, the almost-$4 beverage, which may or may not be steaming hot, and comes in a regular-sized cup that masquerades as one of the large variety.

Last Thursday, dear friends, was one of those days. As the holidays approach, it's not just the parents of small children who stress out. We teachers have been known to blow a gasket or two, what with deadlines, grading, spazzy cherubs and administrators breathing hot flames of recrimination our way.

I departed Room 215 at a relatively early 3:30, and headed on over to my neighborhood Coffee Bux. I pulled into the parking lot, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a mid-sized SUV, covered in a variety of magnets and stickers. A vehicle so familiar to me that I've grown accustomed to automatic reactions of fear and loathing at the mere sight of this four-wheeled conveyance.

Principal Man's car.

Thoughts of retreat flashed through my noggin. Should I go or should I stay? What if he wasn't in getting coffee, but shopping at the local market instead? Or dining at one of the several food emporiums dotting the landscape?

I shut off the engine and pulled the emergency brake tight. All systems were "go" at this point. "I'll be damned," I muttered to myself, "if I'll let that small-minded man get in the way of one of my puny pleasures."

As I walked up the lot, I noticed a colleague stepping off the curb.

"Is he in there?" I queried.

"Yup." She smirked. "I just said 'hello' and split."

I pressed on, across the sidewalk and through the glass door. His back was to me, so I easily maneuvered past, ordered my beverage and waited.

It soon became clear to me that I would have to say "hi" on my way out. My Nana didn't raise a rude child. Plus, he would be facing me straight-on as I engineered my getaway.

Grabbing my hot coffee more as a shield than a comfort, I headed out, stopping at his table near the door.

"Hey there, stranger," I greeted him with false enthusiasm. "How's it going?"

And then I did the strangest thing.

I stuck out my hand. He looked at my extended appendage, unsure at first, I think, about who I was and why I wanted to shake. Absence, in this case, hadn't made the heart grow fonder; more like it had made the mind forget.

He eventually closed the gap, granting me a lukewarm handshake (instead of a kiss?) and a salutation, of sorts. He made the tiniest of small-talk, mentioning his new duties and how he was learning so much.

I wished him a happy holiday, then slithered on out, wiping the imagined grease from my clammy palm.

On the Awkwardly Silly Scale (yes, I like the acronymn, too) of "1-10," I'd say this encounter was right up there.

At about a "25-plus."

Please don't forget to vote for Mrs. Scribe as Best Individual Blog in the 2011 Edublog Awards Contest. You may vote once a day, so please vote early ~ and often!
Thank you for your support.


Tracy P. said...

Hope you enjoyed your latte, though. At least you could respect yourself for being more than civil given the situation. When I think about what heaven will be like, NO AWKWARDNESS is near the top of my list of things that can't come soon enough.

Tara R. said...

It gave me the heebie-jeebies thinking about you shaking hands with That Man. *shudder*

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

Well, Hello Stranger! ;)

Hopefully we're not awkward though; it's just been a long time!

I think you took the high road there, and extended the clammy hand of civility. The alternative was to slap him upside the head in passing, yes? Plus you now have him off guard and uncertain, and that's always a good thing.

Merry Christmas to you (a smidge early)! I voted, too.

Toriz said...

Well, at least you know you would have made your Nana proud!


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