Shut Your Face

June 15, 2010 at 11:50 am (Uncategorized)

Awkward Silence. We all know that’s a killer on any date or anything involving a stranger. You just sit around looking at different people and cursing yourself for not having anything interesting to say. I usually call those days Monday through Sunday. I mean, really, how many times can I bring up that in a post apocalyptic world the forces of nature will probably bring us back to caveman times where we need to kill our own to sacrifice them for the greater good of being brought up on the right side of Karma?

Boy George, looking in your direction.

I don’t mind a bit of silence. You do have to regather your thoughts sometimes and think “Did she really say the Backstreet Boys had better musical chops than N ‘Sync?”, but when the silence stretches into 30 seconds and longer, there comes a point where the silence speaks volumes. (This is a stupid saying and I can’t believe I pulled the hacky blogging cliché book out. Silence speaks volumes?!?! What? Silence can’t speak volumes. It’s called Silence. If Silence was speaking it would be noise, which in effect would not be silence, rendering the whole cliché moot and proving once again that the biggest rip off in the universe is…people who made clichés.) When I encounter some silence in a conversation I always try to get the conversation back with a re-joiner. Lately, I found myself doing this when I asked my friend…

“Do you want to hear a funny story?”

Oy.

Who would say no to that? “As a matter of fact, I would rather you re-tell that story about how this woman drowned 3 of her kids, lit her house on fire and then to top it off ate the Double Down at KFC. Because that is the most disgusting part.” Imagine how curmudgeonly the person would have to be to NOT want to hear a funny story, yet I usually do ask that question. The most curmudgeonly people I can think of are those muppets that sit on the balcony. When you look up curmudgeon in the dictionary, you know what you see? That’s right. A definition of the word curmudgeon. The problem is arises when you tell the story and you hit the punchline and you’re all like “Yeah! Nailed it!” and you get this in return…

*crickets

Not only have you sold the bill of goods that story will be humorous in some such way, you have now not made anybody laugh. So let’s recap. Awkward silence. Promises of a funny story. Non delivery of said guffawing. Jerk party, table of one. I’m trying to think of something that equals the awkwardness of bombing on a story you thought was funny. The best example is probably when you’re driving in the car with your friend and a song comes on the radio and your friend goes, “This is my jams, girlfriend! Snap”, which is weird because you’re a man and then you bash the stereo in with the force of a thousand suns.

Hell hath no fury like someone force to listen to Bieber.

The lesson here is that anytime you feel the awkward silence happening, just let it go. Don’t try to fight it. Don’t try to bust in with something to get the conversation flowing. It’s over. Just get up and leave. It would be better than saying something that is blatantly untrue. But before you leave look around the restaurant. Everyone is in the same spot. The couple laughing in the corner? First laugh they’ve shared in 10 years. The mother and daughter next to you? Trying to patch up the memories of the mom getting drunk at the daughter’s wedding and grinding on the best man. The 4 businessman eating and high fiving each other? They just lost $42,000 today in the stock market and are trying to forget about it by objectifying women and arguing about Derek Jeter’s place in baseball history. Silence trumps all.

Unless Bieber’s on. Then commence Rage.

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5 Comments

  1. Citygal said,

    Whenever I’m on a date and there’s that awkward silence, I use that as time to pound my beer. I also tend to get drunker on these dates, which doesn’t help much, since the person is obviously boring in the first place.

  2. LiLu said,

    Wait. Did she eat the Double Down WHILE she watched the house burn down?

    Because that’s kind of badass.

    Except for the kids thing. I’m not a monster.

  3. nicopolitan said,

    You know, I don’t seem to mind awkward silences, I think they’re great.

    Right.

  4. laurenne said,

    I heard that there’s an awkward silence in most conversations once every 7 minutes.
    Which is good, I think. Because most of my stories last at least 10 minutes. I completely obliterate the silence.
    Also, nobody likes to listen to my stories. Even if they’re funny.
    All my friends are curmudgeons.

    I’d like to talk more about this hacky blogging cliché book. I feel like you’re on to something here, y’all. Get it? Cuz every blogger addresses his/her audience as if he/she is from Texas. Y’all=blogger cliche #1

  5. Cheri said,

    Recently I was out with someone I work with that is a hunk-alicious and we are talking about work and stupid people at work. The conversation stops and all the sudden hunk-alicious starts laughing and says “awkward silence… gay baby was born.” How am I supposed to respond to that?

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