Awkwardness 2000 by Travis Evans
November 28, 2006, 9:18 am
Filed under: Humor

It’s happened to every guy at least a million times. You’re walking through the office, or on campus, or in a shopping mall and it never fails. No, I’m not talking about bladder or bowel disorders (though those are things near and dear to my heart to discuss), and I’m not talking about the sudden urge to tear your shirt and fight for the freedom of oppressed people and to win the heart of a woman. I’m talking about those awkward interactions that take place when you see someone you know in passing.

How can we bust through the weirdness and the almost complete lack of genuine communication in those few seconds that we exchange broken cliché phrases in a pathetic attempt to meet some type of social protocol? I mean, in those moments, what we really want to say is, “Hi. I acknowledge your presence. I am glad we know each other, but I need to get to my destination, post haste. I hope you are doing well, but I just don’t have time to engage you in any type of meaningful conversation. Please understand that had we seen each other in different circumstances, I would be more than happy to engage in a fifteen to twenty minute conversation that would serve both of our souls. But, for now, shut up, walk away and get something done.”

In those few seconds you just don’t have the time to communicate all of that. I am not quite sure how to remedy this problem, but I do know that the typical “What’s up?”, “Yo!”, “How’s it going?” “Word up, bro!”, or “What it is, my brother?” does not work. I mean, most of the typical greetings in those few seconds either communicate very vaguely what you really want to say or open up the door for too long of a conversation. There is nothing worse than a “How’s it going?” to be misinterpreted as the beginning of a conversation by the person you are greeting! Then you have to figure out a way to cut the conversation short or end up counseling someone through 20 years of family and personal problems. There has to be a better way!

Please respond with suggestions for a solution to this problem. What should we say? How should we say it? How can you communicate your heart in just a few seconds?


17 Comments so far
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I like the simple “See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!” I have found this greeting to be a quick and effective way to communicate several things:

1. I acknowledge your presence (hence, I am not stuck up).
2. I recognize that God’s sovereign plan involves you as an individual and I wouldn’t want to interfere with that by switching places with you.
3. Life is short, and I am simply trying to number my days–and hours, and minutes–accordingly; otherwise I’d love spending hours in deep, heartfelt conversation with you.
4. See how cool I am by my use of “hip grammar”? Therefore, you should feel special that I am even talking to you. (This message comes across especially clear if I affix my greeting with “Yo, homes!”)

And that’s why I have so many friends.

Comment by Cap Stewart

I like a keep-walking-sharp-finger-point-with-a-smile-and-a “what up!” This communicates “I see you, I acknowledge you, you’re my friend, but I’m on the move.” The finger point keeps the distance while you’re in a hurry, while the smile and “what up!” communicates the care and friendship. If the other guy reads too much into it, that’s his problem!

Comment by Jonathan Oldacre


Thank you for not using emoticons in your comment. I must point out this huge evidence of grace and growth in your life. You are becoming a man. If nothing else is gained from this blog, that comment with no emoticons is enough for us to know that we did the right thing in starting it.

Not letting you comment without a response from me,

p.s. now to the next issue: why were you putting girly moisturizer on your hands Sunday morning?

Comment by bigplew

Just say “HEYYY!!!” Real enthusiastically and joyfully while walking fast and full of purpose. I don’t like the finger point “What up” idea! It seems so fake and proud.

Cap, I’m afraid the only way you’re going to shake Mike is by challenging him to a cage match or catch him in the act of something effeminite and blow him up with it. He’s like a pit bull he doesn’t let go.

Comment by Travis

Manspeak cage matches at the VFC House. This is going to have to be another agenda item for our sping manspeak night. Wings, chili cook-off, wrestling, war movies, paintball, and some cage fights. This weekend is getting better by the minute.

Comment by bigplew

Trav– I’m so glad you can see into the depths of my heart and discern pride for me. That’s encouraging to know you have that ability!

Cap–No emoticons, excellent! now let’s move on to some “do this all the more” application. Namely, i want to address the tight, clingy, ribbed, turtleneck shirt collection you have. “What Up?!”

Comment by Jonathan Oldacre

Basically, Cap is a woman with a serious facial hair issue.

Comment by Jonathan Oldacre

Plew: if you haven’t already, visit my blog to see my recent apologetic on the masculine use of emoticons. Now, about the “girly moisturizer”: I was trying to hide it from you on Sunday morning–not because it was unmanly but because I knew it would cause you to stumble. I’m sorry for not applying Romans 14:21 more effectively. In any case, my hands get chapped in this cold Tennessee weather and I need to take care of my body (which, might I remind you, is a temple of the Holy Spirit).

Travis: the thought of cage fighting with one of my pastors isn’t a very pleasant thought. It doesn’t matter if Mike isn’t secure with my masculinity–I am.

Jonathan: ribbed turtlenecks are a requirement for all male filmmakers. If I were to throw all my ribbed shirts away, my NIFTEE (National Independent Filmmakers Training for Excellence in Entertainment) membership would be revoked.

Comment by Cap Stewart

Capper, it concerns me that you belong to an organization known as “Nifty.”

Comment by Jonathan Oldacre

Cap, here is my response:

“maculine use of emoticons” — no such thing. Any apologetic for the use of them by men is heresy and as your pastor I must warn you: you are heading towards being a wolf. Watch out!

“hands get chapped” — most men live with chapped hands from something we in the manworld like to call “manual labor”. Look it up.

“cold Tennessee weather” — we are in the south. When you have to cut your dog open and stick your hands in him to keep from losing them — that’s cold weather.

You are not “secure with your masculinity” — you are secure in something much less.

Finally, I’ve never seen Clint Eastwood in a “ribbed turtleneck”.

Comment by bigplew

Jonathan WHOOAAA???? Offended much? You were probably raging mad when you typed that response. I know you!

Comment by Travis

Plew: you’ve never seen Clint Eastwood in a ribbed turtleneck? I take it that means you’ve never seen this picture…

Comment by Cap Stewart


Comment by bigplew

Alright men at least we have “The Duke”. John Wayne wouldn’t sport a sissy sweater.

Comment by Travis

Sissy, eh Travis?

I guess I can understand where you’re coming from. I mean, who better to model the ideal man’s haircut than John Wayne?

Who wouldn’t want to imitate The Duke? He struck such manly poses for artists to sketch:

And instead of those “sissy” turtlenecks, he went with stellar masculine outfits like this (with colors so manly that they made him feel quite happy, as you can tell from this picture):

Comment by Cap Stewart

Why are you doing this to me?!?! UNCLE UNCLE!!!!

Comment by Travis



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