Awkward! Awkward!

I’m 48 so it’s safe to say I might be half way though my time on this planet and I’ve been wondering something since I was about eight or ten.
When am I going to become sophisticated?

Still waiting to see her smiling back at me when I look in the mirror each morning

Grace, maturity, elegance, refinement have all eluded me my entire life. I’ve had the good fortune to possess athleticism, good humor and some brains but that air of culture and urbane sophistication has completely eclipsed my personal development. It’s not like I’m a buffoon, tripping from one mishap to another ala Mr. Magoo. It’s more of subtle lack of charm punctuated by a few epic moments of utter cringeworthy uncouthness.

My first year of ballet lessons (I was about six) ended with a pageant. Each class danced. My class did a re-enactment of dancing poodles. We had an odd number in our group so I danced alone in the center amid dancing poodles pairs. At some point during our 2 minute routine, I decided as the solo dancing poodle, I must be the Star Poodle. When it came time to take our bow, I decided the Star Poodle should be in front of the rest of the poodles and I stepped over the floor light at the front of the stage–and found myself trying to balance on a 2-inch ledge. My Prima Ballerina attitude disappeared when my teacher hauled me off my perch for a good scolding while the other poodles made graceful little plies and bows.

I started high school in eighth grade (we had a very small high school). The layout of the building was unofficially designated by areas of cool and uncool. The front hall was where all the seniors sat after lunch. As an eighth grader, there was no way I should have even been in the front hallway–we were relegated to the back hall but there I was, trying to be suave and casual, leaning on the brick wall watching the cool seniors. I’m sure I was thinking I could get away with it because my oldest sister was a senior and she wouldn’t send me away. I decided to emphasize my suave and casual look by crossing my ankles as I leaned, hoping I would be seen as so sophisticated that all would forget I was a nerdy 8th grader. Alas, it was not to be. I started to slip down the wall after I crossed my ankles. Instead of uncrossing, I tried to maintain the pose by scootching back on my heels and somehow ended up doing a really bad combo of the Can-Can/Russian cossack dance that ended quite badly only after I got each senior’s attention. My sister still laughs at that one.

This is how I looked about halfway through my routine

And then there was the time I tried to pull off a certain ease of refinement that failed so obviously that I can barely relate it but here goes: I was a papergirl in high school–people got their papers but I was dismal about turning in my collection–so bad that my route money had to be picked-up by the boss. It didn’t make him happy to to drive up my driveway to collect the paper money, especially in the winter when the driveway was coated in ice so I ran out to meet him. Just as I handed him the envelope, I slipped on the ice and ended up lying on my back on the side of the driveway. I thought the best way to handle that was to casually continue my conversation as though I always slid to a lying position while being yelled at for not turning in paper route money. He just stared at me in shocked disgust as I breezily chatted away. Then he backed down the driveway. It still makes me cringe.

Sadly,I haven’t grown out of my inelegance. I have discovered more times than I care to admit that my fly is undone or I’ve been riding with my bike helmet on backwards (can you believe it?) I do see that much of it is little things that most people do and laugh at themselves. Still, occasionally I really ding the bell of the Uncharmed-For-Life.

My latest? Well it’s uncomfortable, that’s for sure. It was a Friday night, I was all dressed up and driving to my youngest son’s school fundraiser. My husband was driving from work–not a problem, I didn’t mind arriving solo but I did miss my dearest for a very important reason. I couldn’t zip up my dress all the way. It was one of those fitted dresses that gapped in the middle of the back when I tried to zip it. Unfortunately I don’t have a maid or super flexible arm sockets so I decided to wear a little cardigan over my half-zipped dress and have my husband discreetly zip me up when I got there.
Of course none of that happened. This is what happened: the dress started unzipping as I walked across the parking lot. My husband hadn’t yet arrived so my temporary solution was to stretch my short little cardigan beyond it’s breaking point until I could get into the ladies room. Of course I was stopped at the reception table. By the headmaster’s wife who is pleasant and friendly but we’ve just never had any exchange deeper than, “Hi! How are you?”
I was in a panic about how much I was gaping in back so I had no idea what she was saying to me but it definitely appeared she was leaning in for a hug. What could I do? I couldn’t snub her! I had to get it over as quickly as possible so I pushed my chin onto her shoulder and gave her this incredibly awkward, lower-arm-with-elbows-tucked, handicapped embrace with my hands still clutching the sweater. Thankfully she went with it but gave me such a look after the painfully long moment and said, “I just wanted to know if you wanted the steak or fish?” I really don’t remember what I answered. How’s that for elegance?


About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
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271 Responses to Awkward! Awkward!

  1. Oh my that is funny! I’m not a hugger and always find it awkward when people lean in, but your story takes the cake!

    • sweetman says:

      Thanks! I’m definitely not much of a hugger either, especially to people I don’t know that well. You should have seen her face when I released her from my clutches….I can’t stand to think of it!

      • What a fun post. I can be elegant but akward also. I have had the unzipping pants, falling down in the middle of a busy Chicago sidewalk in my no too high heels (darned manhole cover!) and moments I mis-read the hug queue! Great choice for FP!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think that would be a great sit-com episode.

      • sweetman says:

        I am learning I have many kindred spirits! High heels and manhole covers–a bad mix. Arrrgh, even the catharsis of writing and knowing others have gone through the miscued hug still doesn’t diminish the UNBELIEVABLY uncomfortable moment after I released her from my desperate clutches….yes, I might need therapy and I’m positive she did too… Thanks!

  2. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    LMAO! That is hilarious….. I can totally picture you doing that! And here I thought stuff like that only happened to me….. A papergirl huh? That explains it. I was a paperboy. I blame all those years of getting up at 5:30am before school for warping my brain. How bout those Rangers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • sweetman says:

      Picture a human assuming the pose of a preying mantis and then trying to give you a hug. I can’t blame my brain warp on the paper route, I delivered the evening edition, you’ll have to ferret out another reason Maaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhk.
      Yeah, Rangers…boooo!

  3. Oh how I feel for you! But I must admit reading this does make it humorous! I am with you though…I have always felt awkward and definitely “not sophisticated”! You do handle it well however it seems! LOL… I found your post via “freshly pressed” on wordpress and am so glad I did as I really enjoyed this post! When you have a minute or two head over to my blog and let me know what you think! Would love to have you check it out!

  4. lol! A great way to end your post. Thankfully we all have those awkward moments. I know I do.

  5. Well, you certainly write charmingly enough. Webster’s defines sophistication as : the process or result of becoming cultured, knowledgeable, or disillusioned or the process or result of becoming more complex, developed. You seem to be capable of those things. Most so-called “sophisticated” people are snobs. I’ll take an honest to goodness proud person who’s comfortable with who they are over a rich self-righteous dignitary any day. I believe that sophistication is something you own on the inside, not bestow on the outside. A quiet strength if you will.

    • sweetman says:

      Wow, I am going to remember that when my embarrassed klutzy self makes another fabulous move. Thank you so much for your insightful words–they are very meaningful, and I will set my sights on dignity vs. sophistication. Thank you so much.

    • Zephethyr says:

      I second that sentiment. I used to wish I could be part of the “popular girls” group in high school. Then I grew up and realized they were shallow and materialistic. Hurray for individuality; regardless of how out of the norm it may seem.

      • sweetman says:

        Oh my, I have a lot of mishaps with trying to get in with the popular set too….this forum is a giant psychiatrist couch, so glad to know we’re not alone, right? Thanks for reading!

  6. The beauty of it is that you will never feel old. If you are like me, you will always feel like that awkward 14 year old girl on the inside. It will keep us young. And humble.

    • sweetman says:

      Most definitely, it’s something I’ve come to accept–I am an awkward 14 year-old girl on the inside forever. It makes life a lot of fun. Thanks so much!

      • pd1248 says:

        I’ve got you both beat. My wife says I act like a 13 year old boy (though I think the way she means it, I should not be bragging right now). Still, it makes her laugh and we feel younger and more connected when we can share those moments. I think what helps our relationship is that she is often no older than 14 herself. Sometimes 15!.

  7. So funny I just laughed out loud in a public area. Which is always awkward as several people cut me mean glances while others tried to see what was so funny. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Hooray!

  8. pd1248 says:

    If I may be so bold…, why not dye your hair red? Lucy made us all laugh with the type of inelegance you describe. I loved this post. Don’t even know you and yet you make me smile! Let me tell you, I’m 63 and rather than get better with age I’m still doing stupid things at times. Hoping no one notices! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • sweetman says:

      I’ve sported red hair (intentionally and unintentionally-gah!) So glad I made you smile and thank you–you were the one who let me know I made Freshly Pressed! Wow, thank you so much!!

  9. crimsonlocks says:

    LOL Thanks for the laugh! I have had plenty of these awkward moments myself, but I’m sure I’m the only one that remembers them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. People who are cultured and sophisticated don’t have nearly as many funny stories to share as those of us who don’t have the gracefulness gene.

    • sweetman says:

      It’s true, misfortune always makes for the best stories; yet I’d sometimes prefer I was laughing at someone else’s lack of grace than living my public awkwardness–although I usually end up laughing! Thanks so much!

  11. As someone who is also quite clumsy, I can honestly say I understand how you feel. It seems as though the harder that I try to be elegant, the more inelegant I am…haha. I related so well to your story about your boss from the paper and how you slipped at the end of your driveway…I too have succumbed to the dreaded clumsiness, so much so that my family’s nickname for me is “Slip”.

    I had a crush on an older guy my freshman year of high school, and one day, as I was walking past him, trying to act more mature than I was, I slipped on a fresh fry…just one…at it was at the top of the stairs. Fell all the way down. Classic me, I suppose.

    So inelegant. Haha.

    Hilarious post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. singlegirlmodernworld says:

    Absolutely hilarious! I find myself in similar situations all the time and have resigned myself to the fact that sophistication is nothing more then good timing with a smile on your face.

  13. Eva McCane says:

    hilarious! i can relate in a major way. in college, i decided that sophistication was over-rating. knowing the time and place to exhibit a little sophistication is good (especially in a professional setting), but i think too much sophistication can take away from personality. it comes off as stuffy or pretentious. a little goofy, a little awkward, a little silly…all good things ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Kelly says:

    Dang. I’m only 24, life has been PLENTY filled with awkward moments. I finally graduated college for computer programming a year ago and have been trying for that “mature”, “sophisticated” appearance, now a lead programmer in an office, a position I’ve had only 2 months. Just yesterday, I spilled my water on the desk, couldn’t think of anything to wipe it up with, so I used the sleave to my sweater. The lady beside me, went “you know there are napkins in the kitchen…” lol um yea, i felt a little stupid.

  15. Kindred graceless spirit here: And I’m DYING imagining the dress/hug/fish or steak exchange!


  16. Sometimes its hearing about someone else’s awkwardness that makes our noggin tricked into thinking we are the bees knees… of course until we do some dumbass thing ourself to prove our own noggin incorrect.

    Great post and congrats on being Freshly UnZipped..oops, I mean Freshly Pressed.


  17. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    Wonderful job Liz! This really makes my day! It is so cool to see so many people discovering your great talents. A huge THUMBS UP! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. speaker7 says:

    Great post! Congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed. I have a similar graceful incident from my sophomore year of high school. I was walking in one direction and my head was turned in another, mainly seeking out the boy I had a crush on when I collided with a bike rack nearly flipping over it.

  19. rumpydog says:

    Oh I can SO see that happening to Jen!

  20. CRH says:

    It’s good to know I’ll never grow out of it. Maybe, if I start now at 22, I can somehow combat my awkwardness by developing a witty saying or a tool to help women zip dresses by themselves… I’ll let you know.

    • sweetman says:

      That’s a good plan, I’m working on my witty saying, something airy and nonchalant, like, “Oh tra-la-la!” but you wouldn’t believe the looks I get with that. Let me know if you come up with something better. Thanks!

  21. etomczyk says:

    Girlfriend, I am 63 and my entire life has been spent being a chocolate version of Bridget Jones! But you know what I’ve discovered? Sophistication is boring and overrated. Being a klutz has given me tons of fodder as a humorous storyteller and a lot of grace through my stories to help others accept themselves and laugh at their foibles. If you really want to pee your pants, when you get a chance please check out my story entitled: “The Devil’s Name is Murphy.” Every ounce of it is true — God help me! Keep writing — you’re good at what you do and it makes your readers feel less alone.

  22. Bushlings says:

    Oh my goodness! There are others like me! LOL!

  23. Great post, I seem to be the target for these kinds of situations too, you’re not alone! haha

  24. ayzaishaque says:

    haha, hilarious! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Made me laugh more than once ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. aparisi13 says:

    I loved your story. I too, struggle with awkward-iditee…I have a story similar to your tale about slipping on the ice and you made me chuckle so I thought I would share it with you. Maybe it will make you chuckle. I had a job interview at a wealthily, sort of well-to-do woman’s house, to be an assistant for her graphic design business. I was fresh out of community college and nearly peeing my pants with excitement and nerves. After taking off my shoes at her front door I slowly walked across the high polished hardwood floor. I noted how slippery it was as soon as I stepped on it. She led me to a white leather couch in the center of that deathtrap of a room, where I gripped the couch for dear life. We talked qualifications and responsibilities for about 20 minutes, the she stood up and asked, “would you like to see my office?” I stood up really quickly, because I’m a total spazz, and my feet slid right out from under me. I just laid there, flat on my back, starring up at her as she looked down on me with disgust and asked, “are you ok?”. What she meant was, “I really hope you didn’t damage the hardwood, it will take ages to get a crew in here to fix it”. After I recovered from that humiliation, she decided to make me row her around her lake. Yeah. That happened. Around the lake. Double humiliation with a side of embarrassment. Being awkward rules.

    • sweetman says:

      You know, I do understand how she felt, I mean imagine if you DAMAGED that floor? Do you realize the crew would have to repair THE WHOLE FLOOR??? You should have rowed her around 5 times at least…Oh my gosh, that was so funny! Thanks so much for writing that, I’ll be laughing about it all night. p.s. I hope you didn’t leave a scuff mark on that beautiful white couch.

  26. Kenzie says:

    Lol, that’s so cute. i’m totally a victim of these sorts of situations too!

  27. Be PROUD you got to your ballet pageant! My mother put me in ballet class, to give the klutz some grace. She removed me from class, to save herself from humiliation. I have not improved. Alas, still a klutz. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Too funny!! Great post! I could just picture everything!

  29. I was at a concert a couple of weeks ago, thinking I looked pretty good. A number of people were staring at me. A kind man later intervened to tell me my fly was down…

    • sweetman says:

      Yes! I was standing in the middle of the “cool mothers” at my son’s school, hands in pocket, getting admiring looks until I glanced down at my gaping wide-open fly…Thanks for writing!

  30. Seems like there’s a club of some sort going here. I think most of us have these moments, even those who believe they’re elegant and sophisticated. I seem to be able to sprain/twist my ankle anywhere, rock, no rock, ridge, no ridge, ice, no ice, up the steps, down the steps, you name it, I’ll fall, sprain, twist or trip at the not-so-perfect moment. Keep up the good work, as you can see, I love all things funny.

  31. starrlee46 says:

    Oh my gosh, you must be my soul sister! I laughed out loud at this…thank you sooo much!

  32. maggiedtobar says:

    This was a really funny blog, loved the pics, loved the story =)

  33. notquiteold says:

    I always wanted to be graceful too, but that never happened. When I was fourteen, I came close to knocking myself when bowling while wearing a pendant. It was quite amazing the way it swung up and clobbered me between the eyes just as I released the bowling ball!

  34. krissnp says:

    Sophisticated writing.

  35. Great post. I like it and congratulations on FP ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. sarahnsh says:

    Love the dress falling down and awkward hug moment. I’ve had many awkward hugs in my life, and have tried to back out of them, or, even worse maybe, just leaving my arms limply at my sides while I wait for them to get it over with. Elegance isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, I’m sure!

  37. pacatatu says:

    Like you, I am also 48 and when I see picture of my mom when she was my age (or even younger) I can tell that she was already very much into her midlife style (what we call a Senhora in Portuguese) – refined gestures, the china, the right clothes – and I feel (and think I look) so much younger, so not refined and elegant… not one bit sophisticated. I still play with my kids and am, a lot of times, very immature… oh, well – baby boomers were born to be “babies” – the promise of the 60’s, I guess. Thanks for the posting – great!

  38. elizabethweaver says:

    Thank you for sharing such a funny awkward moment.

  39. smilau says:

    Who couldn’t relate to your post? Only those very few who DO possess sophistication, but those poor souls have no fun stories to tell. Loved this!

  40. wisperin9shad0s says:

    i relate. it’s like that time i farted in 7th grade but kept on talking as if nothing happened while everyone stared, so the guy next to me says, aren’t you embarrassed? i shrugged. i’m sure people stayed away from me for the rest of that week haha

    • sweetman says:

      I agree, the downplay helps things settle quickly after a personal embarrassing moment. That said, I have to tell you that I completely lose it when anyone farts–I just can’t compose myself–and I am a nurse!

  41. meerachandra says:

    Thanks a lot for this post.. It was so funny… and congrats for FP!!

  42. Hilarious !!! And I thought such things only happened to me!Felt kind of nice to know that there are others in the same boat ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. Fiona.q says:

    how beautiful YOU ARE! no matter past and now ๐Ÿ˜€

  44. kvennarad says:

    Quand j’avais dix ans
    j’essayais d’รชtre Franรงoise Hardy –
    j’essaye toujours…

    (When I was ten
    I tried to be Franรงoise Hardy –
    I’m still trying…)

    I understand and empathise entirely. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Marie Marshall

  45. madhaus7 says:

    For some odd reason I thought the author of this was a man until like halfway through. Don’t ask me why the picture of an elegant woman captioned with “mirror” image stuff didn’t make me think otherwise. Talk about being an awkward reader of an awkward blog.

    Anyway, great blog! I love the honest story telling and will be the first to say there’s a charm in the most awkward of souls. We’re all awkward by nature. Elegance is a daily struggle.

  46. Just the other day, my 5 yr old son looked back at me while we were on our bikes and told me I had my helmet on backwards!!! I thought I was the only one! One time, I was on my way to a business meeting carrying my toddler son at the time to take him to the daycare at my work. When I arrived and was giving some serious info, my employee looked closely at me and said “Is that bananas in your hair”? Thanks for making me laugh and realize that we all have those moments.

    • sweetman says:

      Nothing like bananas in your hair to help you realize your super important message, delivered with such professionalism had been totally ignored! Thanks for writing!

  47. o my – this was a great post!


  48. Okay, you make me want to take my little blog and run to hide. I feel so humbled. Loved the story. Loved the way you made me feel. Thank you for the laughter tonight. I really needed it.

  49. Your post had be laughing the entire time, but I admit it didn’t leave me with much hope for myself. I have been known to be quite ungraceful myself. On more than one occasion, with a purse on my shoulder and both hands full, I have dropped an item. Upon bending down to pick it up, I drop whatever was in the other hand. When I bend down to pick *that* up, I drop some contents from my purse. Etc etc. The cycle in vicious, until someone stops laughing long enough to come and rescue me. sigh.

  50. spider42 says:

    Some of that sounds so painful! You have my sympathies as someone who wants to be possessing of some abilities/qualities he’s not really.
    Honestly though, I should tell you that elegance and grace are all good, but in the end not all that important and dignity is one of those things that unfortunately you have to give yourself. One can be knighted/made a lady, taken under the wing of a great classy person but if you have no faith in yourself and your self respect is even a little off, you will screw up soon enough.
    But if you are at peace with who and what you are and care not for the judgements of others (who have no bloody right for that anyway) and allow that to carry you through, then it will grant you the aura of confident grace that you seem to be concerned about here – and elegance, well that can be created through clothes and all that, but its the grace that is needed to carry it off. You could be king of england with all the trappings, but no matter how much you get polished on the outside, no grace and ease within will glare out eventually.

    Sorry for the long reply, just wanted to share my thoughts on your interesting post. Stumbled onto your blog by chance and quite enjoyed it. Thank you.

    • sweetman says:

      I am quite convinced that harsh lessons are those best learned and that humor elevates us all. We can definitely relate to the embarrassing moments in others because either we’ve lived them personally or discovered someone else has just lived through our greatest personal dread. Inner grace puts it all in perspective, which is something to which I believe we can all relate. Thanks for your insight and for writing.

  51. Samantha says:

    This is quite hilarious! I know what you mean by feeling inelegant, and wondering how those women like the one in the picture pulled it off so well ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  52. zemmapoder says:

    Oh no… Here I am at 32, and I am still not elegant nor sophisticated yet, but I was sure that it was gonna come in my forties, since here in Denmark the forties for women are all the rave. But alas I guess…

    My best non-sophisticated stunt… When I was in my early twenties, I was part of the Roskilde Cathedral Choir, and we were to do a charity concert in the cathedral, performing the Mozart mass, in c minor.

    Since one of our princes had just gotten engaged, the new fiancรฉ and princess to be would attend the concert. Obviously that called for new shoes! Black, beautiful high heeled stiletto shoes. I loved them! And a new black dress of course to. I looked so sophisticated and graceful.

    We had practised walking up the podium in pairs, doing a little curtsey, and then taking our places at least ten times, and I was PERFECT! So I was looking forward to the concert, sure that I would catch the new princess’s eye, since I was Asian just like her ( we are not that many Asians in Denmark), and I did!

    But I mostly think, it had something to do with me tripping in my new shoes, and falling down the podium after my curtsey, instead of the new outfit or my ethnicity.

    After the concert, when we were all introduced to the princess, she couldn’t help laughing, when she came to me. She very kindly remarked that I, “had made the evening most entertaining.”…

  53. Luxien2010 says:

    Hey, we’ve all had those moments! One of mine was walking to the bus one winter morning (as an adult) when I slipped on a patch of ice on the sidewalk. I went down so hard a woman driving by stopped to ask if I was okay. I felt like a cartoon character on a banana peel, but got up like a cat and acted like, “I meant to do that.”

    Just remember no one is Donna Reed or Lana Turner, and act more like Katharine Hepburn. Also, keep a piece of string in your closet or jewelry box for those pesky zippers! Just slip it thru the little hole on the tab and use it to pull the zipper up, then remove it when the zipper is done up.

    How’s that for a piece of advice from a man? LOL!

    • sweetman says:

      Well where were you when my dress started unzipping in the parking lot? That is a great idea…just remember to take off the string, right? Thanks for writing!

  54. Fitovers says:

    Not only you but all people who shared there comments were really great, after reading this post I am feeling very happy, You all made my day!! Thanks to all of you ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. leadinglight says:

    I’m pretty clumsy in heels myself which is unfortunate given I’m a slip of a thing at 5 ft tall but I try to avoid buying clothes with tricky zippers. That’s why you try them on before you buy, haha. I’ve done ballet lessons too until I was 10 but I was a clown with two others and I was in the middle. I was always scared that i would somehow roll into the other two during my tumbles!

  56. KL says:

    Love this! So funny! I’ve also had moments like that. The problem is that we just haven’t been to ‘finishing school’. I’m sure that would cure everything!

  57. vocalvortex says:

    This is fantasitc, it has struck a nerve like no other, as sophistication seems to elude me, and as I hope things will improve, and eventually I will become a graceful, sophisticated lady, it has dawned on me after reading this. That normal people like us will just have to make do with what we have… Well Done, this has made my day..

    • sweetman says:

      I think the glaring moments of inelegance burn such a greater mark on the brain than any other moments, and we move with beauty and grace every day–oh crap! I just dropped my coffee! Thanks for reading!

  58. agomonee says:

    I feel akin towards all people, who are naturally a little clumsy (if I may call you so). Because I am just one of them. But I guess there sure is a beauty in clumsiness too. If you dont believe me, watch Jessica Alba in Good Luck Chuck!!

  59. I always thought I was the only one, but it seems I can join a club.
    There is a picture of me, on a family-occasion, all dressed up, hair done (by hairdresser for the occasion), perfect make-up, on the picture it is clearly visible that I’m still wearing my flipflops, the nice shoes were still at home, near the door, where I forgot to put them on ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Thanks for your post, I’ll be smiling all day!

  60. raunakhajela says:

    Yehh…..I really like this.
    This was awesome.

  61. TheSue says:

    Oh and I always thought I was the only one!!

    Whilst growing up I have always been inelegant (and that’s putting it delicately) however hard I tried to be all poised and sophisticated. My mother even mentioned more than once that I have got to be the most gauche ballerina ever, and I’ve got stage stories which rivals yours sadly.

    But this is fantastic. Reading your post and the comments makes me happy, not in all our ‘clumsiness’ put together, but because we all learn that everyone’s got their little bouts of less than graceful moments. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. ginacatface says:

    Oh my god! How did you get over it? :O

  63. ceciliag says:

    I love the way you write, with all your other readers this did make me laugh, I will share a tiny story of my mother with you.. very tiny, she had many occurrences like this. At a very posh dinner party she was speaking to a woman she knew a little, there was a mark on the woman’s face and being my mum she quickly leaned over to lift it off, so the woman would not walk around like that(how embarrassing) and as she pulled – to her horror she discovered that it was a long dark hair attached to the woman’s FACE!. Of course the woman went eek, and backed away and my mother was left with her fingers pinching the air – just appalled!.. lovely to read your work.. c

  64. Sharp says:

    well don’t worry.. yer not alone.. these things happen to me all the time… painful -_-‘

  65. Great post…I can top your dress tale…the night I attended a dance in 9th grade with a boy I had had a crush on for EVER, wearing a blue crochet vintage dress…whose zipper broke halfway through the evening. Thank heaven he was such a gentleman and hid it with his jacket. Oy.
    You’d think I’d learn that vintage = look out! but no, so just as I was about to walk down the aisle for my (first) wedding in a 1905 skirt, my maid of honor was frantically trying to safety-pin it so it wouldn’t swoop to the floor. There’s elegant and there’s practical.

    • sweetman says:

      Well it sounds like you have a great fashion sense but need a little help with what keeps them attached to you! What a nice young man, thanks for the great story!

  66. Geetanjali says:

    This is one of the funniest posts that I’ve read in a long time!

  67. I can totally relate. What I would give to have an ounce of Grace Kelly’s elegance. My nickname was “Grace” as a child only because I was constantly tripping over my Fred Flinstone feet.

  68. karyl33 says:

    I am cracking up! And I can relate to wanting to be (but not quite being) as elegant as I’d like. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s ok – it takes all kinds to make a world. At least we are funny!

  69. pedrovonblitz says:

    My male boss greeted a colleague one time; he went for the handshake, she went for the hug. He ended up grabbing her boob. I don’t know if he actually shook it, but I imagine it that way for the laugh.

  70. I can remember as a young woman, mid twenties, going into Victoria Secret and buying some of the most beautiful undergarments. On the same day, on my way home, I had to cross a busy downtown intersection in the rain, doning a pair of white keds. As the rain came down and the oil rose to the surface of the asphalt, I hopped off of the curb and began to run across the intersection. My front foot left the rest of my body and airborne I became, landing sprawled out in the middle of rush hour traffic. My best friend jumped in front of me and stopped the cars by turning her body into a big X and screaming “S – t -o – p! She did that, not only to save me, but because I had become more interested in keeping my new purchase from the abuse of tire tracks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    While we have all endured embarassing moments, clumsiness or awkardness does not make a person unsophisticated or lacking in elegance. It is how that person handles what happens to them. I find your writing quite elegant in its tone and visual in your choice of words; making it an enjoyable read. I believe you are quite elegant indeed! Best wishes.

    • sweetman says:

      That is a really good friend. Why are we so insane over clothes that…NOT EVERYONE is supposed to see anyway? Great story and thank you for your kindness. Best wishes to you too!

  71. Ah! Awkward hugging situations – I hate them! To make it worse, there are a couple of people in my life who sometimes throw in cheek kissing to mix it up. If you don’t know which one is coming, it’s just horrible.

  72. Amanda says:

    Oh man I can totally relate! I always wished for that little bit of elegance I seemed to miss in the gene poll.
    I can pull it together but I wish I was sophisticated at times.

  73. ravensmarch says:

    My response to a similar distance between desired and practiced sophistication is to contemplate the part of “Bringing Up Baby” in which the back of both Cary Grant’s and Katherine Hepburn’s outfits are destroyed at a formal function. “If it can happen to him, it’s OK for it to happen to me,” is the mantra, all the while blotting out the fact that for him it was merely a role.

  74. Hey, welcome to the Awkward Club! I think there are a lot more of us than in the Elegant Club anyway. Very humorous post! And I’m speaking as the only person in my 8th grade class to fall UP the stairs (in a skirt) on the first day of school in front of throngs of kids. That was over 40 years ago, and I still haven’t forgotten it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • sweetman says:

      Falling up the stairs. Now that you’ve said it, I am sure I’m going to do it. Just glad I’m not in 8th grade. That is so funny! Thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  75. acorn74 says:

    I love it! I too wonder when I will become sophisticated, poised, etc. This entry gives me hope that I can still hope… but if it never happens, I am still a unique and nice person who at least might be able to provide some comic relief from time to time.

    • sweetman says:

      Now I want you to know this right now: Never lose hope! It allows you to keep striving for poise and sophistication and (more important) that hope keeps you striving when you stumble, trip, slip, rip…. And there’s nothing like being the life of the party, I mean who gets more love: the completely poised person or the one who does what every other person dreads?

  76. That last anecdote almost had me falling off my chair laughing ๐Ÿ™‚ Who cares for being sophisticated when one can be so entertaining! You’ll just never get bored! Congratulations for being featured on Freshly Pressed and thanks for the smiles I derived from your narrative ๐Ÿ™‚

    • sweetman says:

      Don’t fall off your chair Nikhil–although if you do, rest assured it’s been done. Glad to make you laugh, thanks so much for writing!

      • Well, falling off the chair too can be termed as hilariously awkward, can’t it? Yahoo, I scored one for the team! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Seriously though, being clumsy or non-sophisticated is fine if one can have a dignified existence. Charlie Chaplin was funny and clumsy in almost all his films but he never lost dignity in his performances, even the one taunting Hitler in ‘The Great Dictator’, and see what he achieved!

      • sweetman says:

        Yes it is! This team’s scores of awkwardness has been hysterical: falling up the stairs, slipping on a rush hour street but worrying about newly purchased frilly undergarments instead of life and limb, clothing malfunctions and misread social cues–I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.

        And seriously, what an excellent correlation–from that perspective, we are on the best team. Thank you so much for writing.

  77. The Rebecca Elliston says:

    God I love you! Don’t worry no person is really sophisticated it’s all pretend in public. Who wants to be sophisticated anyway? They are always the people with the worst party stories!

    • sweetman says:

      You’re right, you definitely want to plant yourself next to the silliest person at a party, it’s social death to end up next to a sophisticate–I know, I’ve practically fallen asleep on my feet while trying to feed off the aura of the elegant swans. Thanks for writing!

  78. Aisiri says:

    I have the lamest hand-eye coordination. One moment I see a ball flying at my face during a cricket practice session and before i can shield my face, BAM!
    Being awkward is tough.. :/

  79. Dorothy says:

    Great writing that made me just break out laughing. My “moments” are usually over mispronouncing words…. better reader than a talker I guess. Loved this posting because you are so able to laugh at yourself.

  80. lastboomerstanding says:

    Elegantly written, sophisticated and funny! To see the humor in your graceful “gracelessness” is the highest form of beauty and charm. Well done!

    • sweetman says:

      Thank you so much–yes, there’s another great retort to a mortifying situation: “Physically I’m a klutz but I’ll have you know I’m an elegant writer!”

  81. momsomniac says:

    “I thought the best way to handle that was to casually continue my conversation as though I always slid to a lying position while being yelled at for not turning in paper route money.”

    I loved this! I am famous at my house for putting my bike helmet on backwards! : )

    • sweetman says:

      Then you know the backwards bike helmet feels a little uncomfortable but not bad enough to make you take it off, right? Argh, cringing again at the memory of trying to engage an angry man looking at me as if I was insane for lying on ice while attempting to carry on a pleasant conversation….

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  83. Basia says:

    I’m the kind of person who falls on a cactus inside my own home, so I can relate! Also, thanks for bringing up the “fly being undone” thing. I totally just checked and let’s just say you saved me a really awkward moment at the office.

  84. lol..its funny to know that there are others who are as clumsy as me, cause like everyone else who has posted out here, i was pretty sure that- this can’t happen to anyone else.. Lol… I was laughing and smiling all the time reading your blog and the comments…omg… I loved your writing and reading everyone else s experiences…simply hilarious …
    Well.. I m equally clumsy and have been facing my share of embarassments literally, you know, i cant manage to spend a day without tripping or falling!! Its simply not possible!! I mean all my friends now have stopped botering to pick up, cause its that normal for them.. Lol.. And sometimes my embarassments are so hilarious that i end up laughing at them myself… Once a friend asked – you fell from a chair while you were sitting on it?? Now how in the world could you manage that?? And you were laughing?? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and all i could say was ofcourse i was laughing, it ws super hilarious and if i sstarted crying or sulking over every embarrising incident, i would really be luving a sad life!! :p ๐Ÿ™‚
    i think we al frm the clumsy club should simply brave the situation with a beautiful has always helped me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • sweetman says:

      I am enjoying these stories so much–I’ve been laughing pretty much all day. I especially love how much humor people have when they make a mistake–it’s incredible! Now wait a minute, you FELL OFF A CHAIR YOU WERE SITTING ON? That is hilarious! Thanks for writing ๐Ÿ™‚

  85. Jessica says:

    Your my new hero. That is all.

  86. Jessica says:

    And by your I mean you’re. We’re like kindred spirits.

  87. psysupport says:

    Hi, I lreally liked this note. Thanks a lot !!

  88. gojulesgo says:

    Hilarious! And congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! (I just had my first Freshly Pressed experience this week and it was a BLAST! Hope it’s the same for you – I think you’ll be up all weekend! Woo hoo!)

    A few folks have heard about the many years I spent awkwardly kissing my mother-in-law on the lips in greeting, only to find out, after finally telling my husband how uncomfortable this made me, that she thought *I* had always been the one going for the mouth!

    • sweetman says:

      Kissing your mother-in-law on the lips! Wow! That is unbelievably cringeworthy to find out she wasn’t a willing participant–how on earth did that evolve and why couldn’t you two just stop??? It’s been so much fun to read others experiences, really amazing. Thanks so much for writing!

  89. t says:

    You know, Mr. Magoo had a certain kind of elegance all his own – and it sounds as if you are equally as blessed of a sort ๐Ÿ™‚

    And i’m just thinking here, but next time, you might want to ask your son to zip you up?

  90. ladyeeyore7 says:

    Oh my, this reminded of the time I ran out of gas. I was on my way home from work and I was wearing heels and a pencil skirt. An officer stopped to help me get the car off to a side street. He said “I’ll push and you steer”. Feeling badly I stepped out to help push from the drivers door. As the car picked up speed I realized I couldn’t keep up so made a lunge for the driver’s seat. Needless to say that was the last time I was able to wear that skirt, it was beyond repair. Of course this was before cell phones, the incident occurred directly in front of the police station where I would need to make a “come rescue me” phone call. The only saving grace for me was it was winter and I had chosen to wear my long coat that day. It got very warm in the police station waiting for my ride but there was no way I was removing that coat!

  91. Maria Z says:

    AWESOME AWESOME.. though all my sympathies with you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  92. starrypawz says:

    Great Post.
    I’m also someone who for the life of me can not maintain any form of grace. I think I may have some leeway though as I am dyspraxic which bascially means no matter how hard I try I have all the grace, coordination and balance of a drunk duck with greased feet on a slip and slide. I do some days fall over my own feet, and I am forever crashing into things.

    One of the best things I did with my lack of poise, involves me, my first year of college and a staircase. My group were leaving a class and we were making our way downstairs for whatever reason, I was near the front of the group and was walking along quite happily until I reached the bottom step. Somehow I missed said step and went sliding across the floor (quite gracefully, I maybe should have thrown some jazz hands in) in front of most of my group and whatever bystanders were nearby.

    There was also the ‘hot chocolate’ incident in the same year. In my first year of college the coffee shop part of the canteen didn’t give out proper insulated cups but rather these paper ones with a bit of cardboard around them. So I buy myself a hot chocolate, walk out of the coffee shop with three of my classmates to head to the block where my next class is. Said cup is pretty hot so I find myself loosing my grip. And it get’s dropped, RIGHT in front of the canteen window where one of my classmates and all of his friends are sitting at a table. The cup landed upright and made quite an impressive ‘chocolate fountain’ effect. I very gingerly looked around at everyone and after several moments standing there I very slowly backed away from the puddle and tried to pretend I had nothing to do with it.

    • sweetman says:

      So funny, the jazz hands finish would have been amazing! Slowly backing away from a hot chocolate fountain spill is kind of like strolling out of the bank after you robbed it with your face mask still on. Thanks for writing.

  93. Your story is hilarious! My closest girl friend since college days had some of those moments, often and in the least “appropriate” moment. Such as: She went out with a new date (2nd or 3rd with him) and wore fancy. sexy and OMG! stilettos and a short pretty sexy dress. She gets out of his car, steps on an aluminum can right in the middle of it. Perforates the can with her pointy heel and they couldn’t remove it w/o doing serious damage to her new and pricey shoes. So she walked with the can still attached to it but can you imagine the sound of her steps? The can became loose by itself before entering the night club. But everyone noticed the odd event. I was laughing my heart out!
    I go through the awkward “hug moment” with unknown people too. For some strange reason, with strangers, I forget to be aware about: when “hugging”, does my head suppose to lean to their right or to their left? Needless to say, those become hugs that never happen.

  94. gaycarboys says:

    Thats almost as funny as the toilet paper hanging from the back of a dress story!:) Thanks for sharing

  95. Marge says:

    I simply love your blog and all the hilarious responses/replies relating to embarassing moments in life. I am almost 65 years old and can still remember the embarassment of wanting to look pretty for a first dance and failing miserably. My mother made all my clothes and I was always proud of the pretty dresses she made for me. I wore a blue frilly dress for the dance and was so anxious to show that I was graceful and attractive that I fell on my knees outdoors on concrete prior to entering the dance. My knees began to bleed and were quite painful, but I pretended that I wasn’t bleeding and in terrible pain…………… was a long evening. What I find funny is that I still expected a boy to ask me to dance with blood on my legs!

  96. tehehe… ooh how I fully understand where you’re coming from!

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  98. Paul Cahill says:

    Great post. I fully understand. My lack of sophistication in moments that so urgently demand it is appalling.

  99. Matt says:

    Hilarious! Elegance, much like confidence, always seemed like a state of mind to me. Great post! Congrats on getting ‘pressed’!

  100. That’s too funny! I find myself in predicaments such as these way too often…not sure why, because inside I feel I have the sophistication as Grace Kelly! Congrats of FP!

  101. John says:

    Brilliant! It’s our foibles that make us the interesting creatures we are.

  102. portlandsfunnygirl says:

    It’s funny that the ones we often assume as “graceful” and “elegant” are anything but and chuckle at us for trying to point it out. The best thing you can do is laugh it off and try to make that awkwardness into your charm. The less of a deal you make of it, the less people are likely to remember. And if they do it’s always a good lesson in humility and to remember to laugh at yourself. ^_^ Great article and congrats on being pressed!!!

    • sweetman says:

      Oh I agree, laughter is contagious and really puts things in perspective. Humility is helpful too unless you can do the Pee Wee Herman “I meant to do that” convincingly–which I haven’t pulled off very well yet. Thank you very much.

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  104. affirmthis says:

    Just left a link to your blog on my own as a Versatile Blogger Award Nomination. Thanks for writing!

  105. beautyinvoid says:

    really loved this entree! its true though that we all have our moments!
    wish i could get rid of some of those never forgetful awkward moments.

    i would love it if you could check me out! beautyinvoid

  106. I laughed the whole time I read this. Even if you’re not sophisticated, as you claim, you have something better: a sense of humor about it all! Can’t ask for more than that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  107. MyAccidental says:

    Honestly, I just wanted to let you know that you’re NOT alone. 17 years old, and I’m already past the though process of “something must be wrong with me.” The weirdest stuff just happens to me and I react in the most unthinkeable ways.
    You should read my about me page. It’s a kicker.

  108. Rai says:

    I gave up on sophistication a long time ago. And I’m only 19. I admire your perseverance!
    Being weird and interesting and just a tad bit crazy is just more fun!
    And some days, just because, I’ll be drinking tea, and I’ll stick out my pinkie and smile a little.

  109. Divya Srikanth says:

    I loved it! Well written and funny:)

  110. You had me laughing out loud with your last story. I’m an awkward hugger no matter what the situation. Don’t worry, being awkward makes us interesting! Great post, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  111. youhadmeathelloxp says:

    haha i loved this post! it explains just how i am!! im incredibly clumsy, and tend to make a fool out of myself every chance that i get, (not on purpose of course). With age, you would think grace would come naturally, but nope! not with me! i think as i have gotten older, i have had more bruises on my legs then i did in kindergarten, and more embarrassing moments. I think its those horribly embarrassing, awkward, moments that make us who we are:) You are and incredible writer, so keep writing!:)

    • sweetman says:

      You are so right! I really believed at some magical point I would go from the duckling to the swan–I was sure EVERYONE did it! So relieved to read these responses and find out we are not alone…and the stories and comments have been hilarious! Thank you so much!

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  113. rakhikankane says:

    enjoyed reading ๐Ÿ™‚ nice blog!

  114. Haha ! Hilarious !
    This post just made my day !! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Hope you like my poems. ๐Ÿ™‚

  115. empressalice says:

    Beauty is found in the darkest of places.

  116. charlene says:

    Oh my, i laughed and laughed and laughed reading this post. You and I could be siblings, separated at birth. At 30, I’ve given up on elegance, grace and all those other things that girls are supposed to grow into. I’d settle for being unklutzy. Half the time. Is that too much to ask?

    • sweetman says:

      Half the time would be a dream! So never give up–I haven’t, although the harder I try, the more memorable the moment of attempted elegance and grace!
      Just came back from your site–AMAZING photos! Beautiful! And tug boats!!! You made my day!

  117. realanonymousgirl2011 says:

    Ah at least you can laugh at it!

  118. I’m really glad to have found this post–I feel like I have found a kindred spirit. I had a boss that threatened to make me sign a waiver any time I wore high heels in the building-because I was bound to fall at some point. Then she realized it didn’t necessarily take the heels to do that…

    • sweetman says:

      Wow, I’ve never gotten a petition to sign a waiver! But I tend to avoid high heels–I know they’ll just ruin any attempts at poise and elegance. I admire your kindred spirit! Thanks for writing ๐Ÿ™‚

  119. josjaonwp says:

    Aw, thanks for the laugh, I could use that right now. Very funny and very well written!

  120. Oh boy, I can certainly relate! Every time I think I’ve got it down I do something ridiculous (like going into public with popcorn stuck to my face on accident) and I realize that I’ll probably never get that grace down.

  121. Olivemore says:

    Just reading your first paragraph made me laugh.

  122. Winnie Chan says:

    Loved this. Very funny and a nice read. I think we can all relate to these and they make life that much more interesting. Thanks for sharing!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  123. This was hilarious – thank you! Reminds me of a work situation 15 years ago when I was a company spokesperson. It was raining outside and I had to meet a TV news crew inside a school gymnasium. Of course, I was wearing leather-soled shoes and I was in a hurry, so as my heels clickety-clacked on the wood floor, suddenly I slipped and fell, landing face down. Somehow in one fluid motion I managed to stand up, continue my purposeful stride, and introduce myself as if nothing had happened, shaking hands with the stunned reporter and her cameraman.

    • sweetman says:

      Wow! You mastered the lightening fast recovery that leaves those around you wondering if they really saw what they thought they saw. You are a hero in the gracefully challenged realm and I congratulate you! Awesome! Thanks for writing that ๐Ÿ™‚

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