My family stumble regularly into awkward situations. it is not intended. we do not seek embarrassment. red facedness. long pauses. extended explanations. it seems that we are just awkward-prone.
For example. awkward situations often find my eldest daughter. she has autism. this makes her more susceptible to awkwardisms. one such moment occurred last week. sitting at the dinner table. we were retelling stories about our day. enjoying each others company. laughing. and then…..
CJ begins to tell us how she had seen our neighbours eating dinner on their balcony from her room. (we are new to the street, so a little inquisitiveness about our neighbours is normal…..right?) at first this seems quite innocent. she can, in fact, see their balcony from her room. she continues. she tells us that she was watching the neighbours son eating his sausages. hmmm. that is an awful lot of information. (at this point, i’m trying to work out if my daughter is particularly gifted with long-sightedness). she continues. cj tells us that as she was watching the neighbours, the son had looked right at her and into her eyes. hmmm. something is telling me there is more to this story than meets the casual observers eye. and then. i have a moment of insight…..
CJ……did you happen to be watching the neighbours with your binoculars? she nods. yes.
and. at this very moment. i can visualise my daughter. the peeping tom. standing at her bedroom window. blind up. light on. in full view. looking intently through her binoculars at the neighbours eating their dinner. and possibly for the entire length of time it took them to eat. did they see her i wonder. yes. they did. oh dear.
hmmm. how awkward.
but. maybe it is not the autism at fault for awkwardisms. i don’t have autism as far as i’m aware, (although i do rock backwards and forwards to soothe myself after a day alone with 4 kids). it would appear that i have my own version of awkwardisms.
i had a moment with my daughter’s GP recently. I asked him to refer cj to a specialist to take over her ongoing management. it didn’t quite go as smoothly as i would have liked. and. it ended with a very dejected doctor mumbling something about being relegated to a pen-pusher – only good for giving referrals. there was a long pause. it was a terribly awkward moment. i remember saying something like…..it’s ok, its not that bad…..which is, quite frankly, a gawky thing to say to a grown man (i fortunately stopped myself before saying…there, there). so. i walked away quite embarrassed. red-faced. and. it was so awkward i was glad not to have to see him again. or so i thought……
and this is where today begins.
my neighbour asks me if she can store a surprise gift for her husband in my garage. i couldn’t say no (after all it was the neighbours my daughter had been peeping at). so. guilt prompted my yes. i am told their friend will be dropping around the gift any moment. and. could i wait to open the garage for him. it all sounds rather simple. ok. i wait. a car shows up. then. my neighbour and said friend begin to unload. hang on. this friend looks vaguely familiar. i just can’t pick it. i rack my brain. i say hi. he smiles. then. i remember. it’s cjs doctor. i can see he is starting to recognize me.
so. there i am. standing in my garage with my daughter’s ex-doctor. he is uncomfortable. i am embarrassed. long pause. stupid giggle from me. then i turn and wander inside until i see his car disappear from my drive way.
hmmm how very awkward.
lesson to be learned: don’t assume you can leave an awkward moment behind…..it may just follow you home…..