Awkwardness in a Can

I hate it when I find myself trapped by an awkward conversation. Inevitably I find myself backed into the proverbial corner and unable to articulate anything more intelligent than “Er…”

If I can see the trap coming, I will find ways to cleverly sidestep it. Like a quick, heart-attack prone bunny rabbit I dodge the upcoming verbal onslaught like so:

Sometimes this just isn’t possible. Either I’ve already mentioned that my cell phone battery is dead after being masticated by a teething toddler or (more likely) my brain just freezes. It’s like the complete, sudden awkwardness shuts down all normal function and leaves me with nothing but blushing and stammering.

Even worse is when the awkwardness completely blindsides you, coming out of nowhere to make your life a misery.  A particular conversation is emblazoned in my memory forever, so painful was my embarrassment and so suddenly was the trap sprung.

One moment, I was innocently submitting to a grilling by another woman about whether DB is good at “kissing butt,” (as she put it) when he made mistakes.  A stupid topic, but harmless enough. Still, I started trying to break away as the conversation appeared to be rapidly morphing into one of those “and men are” slam sessions. I failed. And then the conversation took a sudden, wildly inappropriate turn.

The trap slammed shut.

My brain shut down.

The worst part is that she, like so many of this sort, took my inability to respond as a sign of my complete lack of sophistication and cheerfully laughed in my face while I struggled.

I wish I could say I had a Kathleen Kelly breakthrough and zinged the other girl into oblivion.


Some people just wield their social ineptness like a club, leaving blunt-force trauma to the psyche. Polite people (and I generally like to think I fall in that category) have no such weapons.

Until now.

Introducing: Awkwardness in a Can

Got problems with being backed into a verbal corner and left to writhe?  Not anymore!

Spray the social neanderthal in the face and all the awkwardness they should be feeling will be amplified ten-fold and brought down on their pointy little heads. Feeling such awkwardness for the first time will turn your opponent into a quivering mass of patheticness, leaving you free to walk away and engage in more pleasant conversation.

This could change the structure of our entire society. Instead of those who ignore social rules dominating conversations and locking up the brains of polite people everywhere, polite people would rule! It would be like mace for the Everyman.

Heck, it might even be better than mace. Use it against all sorts of evil villains.

The bad guy will feel so awkward about assaulting you that he will apologize and leave.

Who knows, it could even lead to total reform.  I know that much awkwardness would keep me hiding under the covers for a year or two.

So buy it. Use it. Free the world.


About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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