Usually I like to avoid awkward situations. Most of the time I can't and I cringe at my idiotic behavior later in the day. Like, for example, when I think of how I almost fell over on El while trying to read Bee Season. I had my book in one hand and I was clutching the pole with the other, and when the brown line train started to make the turn around North and Clybourn before the Sedgewick stop, I started to lean over. I clutched the pole tighter and tried to keep my balance, and I was sure that the guy who was standing five inches opposite of me thought I looked like a crazy person.
So yeah, stuff like that happens every day.
Luckily I don't have too many encounters with people I don't know very well. At school or at home I would frequently avoid eye contact or duck into grocery store aisles just so I could get out of talking to someone I didn't know that well. So what the hell was I thinking about ten minutes ago when I was standing in line at Chipotle and noticed that about six people back was another JMU graduate that I met once when I moved here. I don't know him at all, really, but we have a mutual friend and, since we have met before, I thought I would say hi.
What I thought would be a social swan dive, however, quickly turned into a belly flop. I stood in front of the drink machine and waited for him. I said his name when he came closer to me, but since we were in Chipotle and a strange variety of music is always playing loudly on the stereo (seriously, who decided to put in Steve Earle at the Chicago Chipotle?), he didn't hear me. So I stood there for a couple of seconds and finally he realized that I was there and recognized me. And we had an awkward thirty second conversation where we "caught up" or whatever (basically, I told him I have a job across the street, to which he replied, "Oh. I work down the street.")
The moral of the story is that I will not make friends in yuppie Mexican fast-food restaurants, but I will get some damn good tacos.