Making People Squirm

I put on a good facade and pretend like I hate awkward situations and uncomfortable exchanges, but here’s a dirty little secret: I love them.

I love observing human interaction in general (psych and sociology classes in college were like brain candy) and I especially love surprise “out of the norm” situations. Witnessing a very public fight between lovers, running into an ex-boyfriend who hasn’t spoken to you in 10 years, or peeing your pants on stage in front of 1,000 audience members (true story, happened to me. Wasn’t funny at the time, FYI), all of these are horribly wonderful. There is something about awkward encounters that are miserable, yet they get my adrenaline going and I can’t get enough of them. I know, it sounds slightly sociopathic, but surely I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

The truth is, I get bored by normalcy and people very easily. I’m not saying I’m the world’s most interesting person and other people are simply not fascinating enough to hold my attention  (not by any stretch of the imagination– I can be very vanilla), I’ve just always had a tendency to prefer the different folks in life, the ones who when we end a conversation, I think to myself, “what the f*$# just happened?” I love it. I love their abstract perspectives, their complex emotions, and interesting mannerisms. So in some ways, I think I subconsciously strive to be the type of person who is polite, kind, and respectful, but also leaves people with a healthy dose of “something isn’t quite right in her head.” Is that so wrong?

For example, when I was getting a sonogram of my massive, baseball-sized ovarian cyst a few years ago, I smiled sweetly and asked the ultrasound tech, “is it a boy or a girl?” Isaac shot me a sideways smile and we both fully enjoyed the woman’s horrified look. She started fumbling with the papers in my chart and rechecking the ultrasound image, trying to see if she had the wrong patient. “Ummm, errrr, uhhhh, it’s not….this isn’t….ummm, what did the doctor tell you exactly?” I can never hold a straight face for very long and eventually assured her I was kidding. I knew I was pregnant with a baby-sized cyst, not a cyst-sized baby. She didn’t find it as funny as I did.

I’m also one of those friends who likes to humiliate her friends in public. Once while at the laundromat with my friend Dani, I yelled across the room, “if you would stop wetting the bed we could stop making trips to the laundromat every weekend to wash your comforter!” She was humiliated, and yes I know I was a major jerk. But it was also hilarious in that jam packed laundromat. Sorry, Dani.

largeI have been thinking about this obsession with awkwardness all day as I am preparing for my sleep study taking place tonight. I’ve been daydreaming about how it will go, what the results will be, and how in the world I’m going to fall asleep with hundreds of wires glued to face, scalp, and extremities. I also had a vivid daydream which left me snickering to myself while chowing down on a burrito at lunch. I was thinking about how funny it would be to wear some really sexy, inappropriate lingerie to my appointment tonight. When the techs came in to start hooking me up to machines, I’d take my robe off and be like, “is this okay to wear?” Their eyes would bulge, their faces would turn crimson red (as would mine because I often make even myself blush), and they would stammer and say it’s fine while averting their eyes and trying to leave the room as soon as possible.

It’s not some sick fantasy I have to reveal myself to people and it’s not about trying to be the center of attention, because that’s not really my personality. It’s more about making people laugh. I love making people laugh, and if I have to do it at my own expense, then so be it. I like to watch people squirm, make them uncomfortable (not in a malicious way, I never do anything terrible). Give them a story to tell around the dinner table. It breaks up the same, unvaried routine of life that so many of us get into by working 9-5 jobs. While I may dream about my creepy lingerie/sleep study fantasy, don’t worry. I’m not actually going to do it. Just a fun scene to act out in my head.

I’ll be back with sleep study results when they’re in!


10 thoughts on “Making People Squirm

  1. I, too, have an awkward sonogram story. Several years ago, I had to go in to see what was causing my abdominal pains. I didn’t think anything of the appointment until I was the room and sonogram teched walked in. She was in her twenties and stunning.

    Without looking up from her chart, she said in a soft (and to my ears, sultry) voice, “Please take off your shirt and lay down.”

    Without hesitation, I replied coyly, “Don’t you want to at least buy me a drink first?” To say she was not amused is an understatement. She didn’t just look up from her paperwork. She leered at me with eyes of both contempt and disgust. She didn’t say a word, but she didn’t have to. She simply walked out of the room and let me wait, alone and shirtless, in the dark.

    • Hahahahaha well I think your joke is funny, but I can imagine a young female tech would be a little irked at it. Obviously you were joking and just trying to make the situation a bit lighter, but who knows how many ACTUAL creeps come on to her at work. This is assuming you are not one of those ACTUAL creeps 😉 That image makes me laugh, sitting alone in a dark room just marinating in your awkwardness. I love it.

      I can totally relate, I have said some awkward things to doctors during examinations, too. One time I had to get a colonoscopy and and endoscopy and right before I passed out from the anesthesia, I said to the doc “hey doc, you can just use the same tube for both ends, don’t worry about it.” HAH! Maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t awake to see his face 😀 😀 …errr hopefully he also knew I was kidding.

  2. I just read this post in a coffee shop and laughed out loud when you mentioned wearing sexy lingerie to the sleep study. I’m glad there are people in the world like you to remind us all not to take things so seriously! Hope the sleep study went well and looking forward to hearing the results!

  3. Oh boy… I don’t think I could handle the awkward situation on purpose… Eek! I guess it’s. Good think we will never be IRL friends…

    • To be honest, I don’t embarrass friends as much as I used to, but I do secretly (or not so secretly) kind of enjoy awkward moments with friends in public. Can’t help it! 😀

  4. I would definitely do the lingerie thing, except it would be weird since I’m a guy. That’ll get me kicked out for sure.

    Do you have the “peeing yourself” story somewhere in this blog? I must read it. I think it is really REALLY cool that I’m not alone in the whole awkward field, I enjoy those types of encounters so much.. not enough to make situations awkward, but enough to just let them happen. And maybe push them a little bit, but that’s it. Ok, maybe I like making situations awkward too.

    Wait, so do you consider yourself “awkward”? Super random question coming up.. take your time 🙂

    Think of two of your friends. Do you have them? No, really do it!


    Alright, if the second one could describe you to a party planner for a surprise birthday party for you, what would he or she say to the planner about your likes and dislikes? What would the party be like?

    Best of luck with the sleep machines!


    • You know, I don’t think I have the peeing my pants story on the blog because it was so long ago!! I was in a play and it was my turn to speak, and instead of speaking my part I started at the crowd like a deer in headlights and then peed in my pants. The entire children’s choir (about 100 kids) was standing behind me and watched the whole thing happen. Thank God my sister was also in the play and she started speaking my lines. I walked off the stage humiliated!!!! Glad we can all laugh about it now though haha!

      Okay my answer regarding the party question:
      My friend would describe me as someone who likes small groups of people, sentimental presents as opposed to random, expensive gifts, and lots of details in decorations and overall ideas for the party. I like a plan, an itinerary for the party so people know what to expect, and what is going to happen when. I don’t like HUGE bashes where music is so loud you can’t talk to the people around you at a comfortable volume. I love games, especially if they are slightly inappropriate and scandalous, and love to just sit around and catch up with those closest to me 🙂

      • Oh WOW!!! I hope no one teased you afterward… I have a similar story. I pooped myself once when I was in preschool or something, and as hard as I try to remember what happened after I got home, or even going home that day.. I can’t remember. I mean, I recall trying to hide it, and trying to not sit down.. but maybe my brain was like: its better if you don’t remember the next part.

        That party sounds perfect. But unfortunately my friend would probably push for a loud, flashing lights, drunk type of party. lol he’d probably say something like “He won’t like this, but here’s what I think the party should be like … ” hahah yay…..

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