Do you ever feel like no one understands you?
Welcome to my life!
I am, in no way, shape, or form, COOL. I’m a nerd. I’m not even a COOL NERD. When I wear Hello Kitty clothes, it’s not ironic in a Hipster kind of way. I trip and fall every day. I often ask my cat what he wants to watch on TV. I sang along to The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” in Sprouts a few weeks ago, complete with grandiose hand gestures. (The produce guys really loved that one.) It’s like I just can’t help myself!
I have a tendency to spaz out, my dorkiness landing on everyone around me. I’ve always been a nerd of the highest order. In seventh grade, I started my own newspaper. Oh the horror… Typed articles taped to pieces of paper then photocopied in the school office. I also wrote plays that starred my classmates, and made them act them out in class.
And the very best of my nerdy qualities… I talk way too much and always say the wrong thing, and when I get uncomfortable, I completely lose my crap.
Several years ago I ran into a guy I hadn’t seen in years, and it did NOT go well. Every year we celebrate the Memorial of Jesus Christ’s death, which is a very important night in my faith. One year, after the Memorial, a group of my friends went to eat at Fuzio. I wanted to swing by and say goodbye to a couple of people. One of the people there was Brian, a guy I liked when I was a teenager. The last time I saw him, I was sixteen and he was twenty. Back then, he wore his hair like Chris Isaac, sported a leather jacket that said “Nobody Loves No One” on the back, and drove a motorcycle just like Luke Perry’s on 90210. I was, of course, among the many girls who thought Brian was cute when I was a teen. He even called me and asked me out once. We never went, because I’m sure that as soon as he hung up with me, he dialed the next girl on his list, and so on, until he found one that wasn’t jail bait.
All these years later, I didn’t recognize Brian when I first saw him. He had his dark wavy hair grown out to his shoulders and combed back, a handlebar mustache and a goatee.
At Fuzio I stood at the table chatting with various people. In the midst of making small talk with Brian, I said, “Where’s your woman?”
“I’m getting divorced,” he said dryly.
“Oh,” I said, taken aback. I thought to myself, “Shut UP Dawn,” but then the nervous laughter started. “Haha… uh, huh. Hah!” And I couldn’t … stop … laughing. I paused in an attempt to contain my idiocy, but I still wasn’t able to say, “I’m sorry to hear that,” without laughing. (Oh the horror.)
My friend grabbed my arm and said, “I did the same thing when I saw him earlier,” in an attempt to save me.
So of course, instead of keeping my trap shut, I said to Brian, “We almost went out once, remember.”
“Yep,” he said, bobbing his head, stone-faced, everyone else at the table staring at me.
“OK…” It was like time stopped. Like in a scene from a movie, I was stuck in this horrible moment, hearing my own breath. “Well I gotta go!” I said, and fled the scene, running out the door, Mark following behind me.
When we got outside and the restaurant’s door shut behind us, Mark turned to me and said, “Why didn’t you ask him if there are any other wounds you could rub the salt into?”
“Well, I didn’t know! Maybe his wife left him because he looks like one of the Three Musketeers.”
This horrible moment will forever be a story told at cocktail parties by my friends. I’ll never recover…