Monday, April 28, 2014

Holy Awkward, When Did I Get So Awkward?

My junior high years were riddled with awkwardness- just ask my brother who jumps at the opportunity to show anyone my 6th grade picture. In my defense, I thought it would be a good idea to perm my already naturally curly hair the Summer between 5th and 6th grade. It wasn't. Not even a little bit. I mean a curl on top of a curl just equals frizz... Why didn't anyone tell me this?
Bikenstalks (real btw- thrift shop score!) and socks. You're welcome.
I'd seen one too many eps of Full House and DJ Tanner was pulling off the perfect amount of curl and I figured if I could just get mine a teensy bit more curly, I'd be amazing. Well it turns out "a little bit of curl" and "perm" never go together... Lesson learned! So I cut it short. Yah, it was an awkward couple of years. Like 4 of them. But then I hit a cool streak in high school and I thought I was in the clear, I'd done my time in Awkardville and I'd graduated with flying colors!

Or so I thought. Since moving I've come to notice that once again I'm hitting an awkward stride in certain unfamiliar situations. Which is like 90% of them when you're still getting used to a new place and new people... and WAIT FOR IT, are back in school. At 33 years old.

The place I most notice a different, much weirder version of me appear is at social networking situations through school and church. It's in these situations where I'm forced to introduce myself and talk about what I do. We just had one through my business class and oh man, I was dreaming of doing dishes and laundry- that's how much I wanted out of there. I tried escaping after 30 minutes and then again after 45 but got caught each time. Standing around a room talking to total strangers about my business is so incredibly painful for me... And just plain awkward for everyone involved. And being forced to listen to people's "advice" is enough to make me a full blown introvert. I had a woman tell me I should consider acting classes so I could get in to character at my themed parties. What the? WHY? Please can I leave now? I'm getting weird, you're already weird... I just want to go home and at least blog about this entire weird event. But instead of me sneaking away to the bathroom or something, somehow the extrovert in me still tries to engage people. Suddenly I'm talking about high school drama class and I don't even know why I'm explaining to this woman that I dropped out after 2 weeks... NO. Just stop. No one's taking an acting class, stop acting like it was a good idea and excuse yourself to GO TO THE BATHROOM. End the conversation, it can't be that hard!

Thank God that night redeemed itself with Thai food with a fellow classmate. I'm still ok in one-on-one situations... For now anyway...

Things like church parties and bridal showers have become kind of strained for me as well in my 30's. In my 20's those events were filled with all of my best friends or I was throwing them. But now a days I'm lucky if I know one other person at a shower. If I get cornered in to a conversation I'm not liking I suddenly don't know how to just get out of it like normal people do. Like hello Kenna, take a phone call for goodness sakes, people do that stuff all the time in the movies! Instead I'll do this thing where I can feel myself looking at the person with a look of confused-distain. YOU know that look. Ya, I'm the creator of that look. And if I'm feeling confused or annoyed or like I totally do NOT agree with what's being said (this happens to me a lot at "Christian Woman's" events) I cannot avoid The Look. I used to have a poker face, what happened to my poker face? Can't read my, can't read my... Poker Face...

Maybe I could make this my Poker Face...?
I keep having these weird flashbacks to feeling like an 11 year old permed outcast and at 33 I've got to say it's such a strange feeling. Most people at this stage of their life are really kind of good at talking about themselves. When I worked at Mattel I think I was good at it. I had a lot to rattle off about my job and accomplishments and future goals... And people just ate that stuff up. But give me an idea of my own to try and make happen (Miss Party Mom) and suddenly I'm almost shy and overly humble about it. It's like I'm in back in 6th grade and Scotty just broke up with me upon seeing the perm and I'm wearing my XL Strawberry Fields Forever shirt because my Great Aunt swore that all kids my age knew that The Beatles were cool. (They didn't Aunt Florence, they had no clue! Even when I tried to tell them! I guess it was more of a NKOTB era but who knew!)

And I know, I know- there are all of these ways to work on not being awkward. Like classes and joining public speaking groups. Like this woman who just came to speak to my class and talked about how she coaches a class of women to, "find their inner voice" and they learn yelling and breathing techniques and whhhaaaaaaaat are you even talking about? Why would I want to learn how to breathe when I'm breathing right now? I'm alive, aren't I? And yelling? Trust me, I yell perfectly.

Sometimes I think I'm a lost cause when it comes to social networking. That I'll always just be the awkward, weird, socially-strange girl in a sea of people plugging away their awesome selves. And then sometimes I remember that I am literally one of the most real people I know. I cannot fake-like or pushy-sell anything and it's a blessing and a curse all rolled in to one feisty little package. If you met my mom, you'd understand. So here's to just working on being a more confident version of myself and trusting in my dreams and my work enough to share them proudly without hesitation... Even if I'm awkward in the process.

The end.

xo Party or Die xo


  1. OMG. It's like you just wrote about me. I sooooo relate to this, and to you!! I can't pretend to like anything, I can't push anything on people even if I do believe in it, and I just die in those situations where you have to small talk with people. It completely exhausts me. Except for the curls, I can relate to it all! :) -- Go see the picture I posted yesterday about no longer trying to be perfect and learning to be yourself.

    1. It's all making sense why you liked me even at 17 (however, this was during my cool-streak)... Cheers to terrible networkers! Love ya babe.

  2. Um yes. I can so relate to this. I permed my hair too in junior high and I had braces. Both deal breakers for any social acceptance. As an adult I too struggle with social awkwardness and for some reason can't explain my job to anyone. I'm very self conscious about it because it's all me. I can't blame my sad logo on someone else. I can't blame the horrible pictures from my daughters party on someone else. I'm responsible for every bit and I love it but I also worry that people will pick it apart or not even realize how many hours of blood sweat and tears go into my job and then laugh at it. Okay I'll stop now.

    1. Omg, how did I forget the braces. OF COURSE I HAD BRACES Sunny. The deal breaker for sure with Scotty, lol... Yes you totally are right, I'm sure for both of us it does have to do with the fact that our business is essentially US so if someone doesn't love it, it is way more painful... That was like therapy. I guess that's why it's so important we have our fellow Party People to support each other!!


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