Awkward Things I Say To Girls


I met a nerdy girl.

Friday, August 17th, 2007

“Why don’t you give me your phone number so I can call you?”

“Okay. I don’t know why I got my phone out too. I guess to look at what my number is?”

“Hang on. I’m in the wrong menu. Wait. Clear. New contact. Okay, go.”

“You mean, now?”

I may have met my awkward match.

She was so cute I almost sat down next to her, just after my friend had introduced us. I’m an absolute sucker for huge, clear eyes and shoulder-length brown hair. I am even more of a sucker for girls who share names of spectacularly desirable female fictional characters. Let’s call this one Elizabeth Bennet.

“Sit down right here,” the friend on the opposite side of the booth had to remind me. I guess, sure. If you want to sit at a booth where a friend and a stranger are sitting opposite one another, I suppose politeness requires you to sit next to the friend, even if the stranger is remarkably hot. This is not only less anonymously invasive of personal space, but also has the advantage of allowing you to look at the strangers pretty eyes. “We’re just talking about Elizabeth’s boy problems.”

“I know!” says EB. “I’m such a disaster. Boys!”

Fortunately: “I like talking about emotions.”

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Hot (Ex-)Copy Editor is Drunk and Online: A Transcript.

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Part 3, Chapter 13

On a frozen February Friday in 2003, HCE and her suitemates tried to drink their weight in boxed wine. Think serious motor skill disruption and mental impairment. HCE’s favorite suitemate and best female friend managed to pass herself out, is how bad we’re talking. People were unable to stand. I know because I stumbled into the suite after midnight. I was escorting her other suitemates home from an entirely chaste and sober movie, because I had spent so much time at the suite being platonic that they all wanted me for their platonic own.

Twenty minutes later, I was back home, lovesick as ever, and online. So was HCE, who, recall, is fabulously wasted.

After great personal struggle with my own verbosity and emotional exhibitionism, I have chosen to present my reconstruction of our subsequent Instant Messenger conversation to you un-cut, free of stylistic interruption. Just know that I felt at least a few emotions during the following.

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Boundaries Are For Losers

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Part 3, Chapter 12

The hot ex-copy editor and I are holding hands while walking back from having cider at the sort of coffeeshop they don’t have in the south, the kind that is big enough to be a house and so cozy inside that the windows are fogged constantly in the freezing winter. I put my arm around her and pull her close. She snuggles into my shoulder.

It’s a Thursday night in March of 2003. Despite all appearances, someone else is her boyfriend. Still.

It wasn’t my idea to escalate our relationship into cute semi-harmless physical contact, but getting hooked on heroin isn’t just something you just put on your day planner either. In our case, my relationship-boundary-observing world had been shattered months before when she suddenly pulled my arm around her when we were walking along. Since them, you couldn’t stop me from publicly or privately displaying non-kissing affection if you tried, and she didn’t. I never got on base, but I was certainly doing what baseball players refer to as “making contact.” Look, plenty of people cuddle with their platonic non-single best friends during movies. Right? That’s not weird.

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I’ve been cheating on you.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

It’s true. Not only am I guilty of neglect and emotional distance with respect to Awkward Things, I recently completed a collaborative fiction project over at another website. Yesterday we launched another one.

The first was called This Most Recent Unpleasantness. It was co-written by Ross, who runs the whole website and who I have to thank for getting me excited pushing me along occassionally. I can’t think of any better way to get you to go read it than to say that, at one point, I have an awkward conversation with a girl who is turning into a zombie.

I looked down at her legs. Her right shin was in her lap. “Yes, you’ll be fine. Let’s get you to a hospital. And then afterwards, dinner? Is that a thing? Because I’ve always . . .”

She interrupted me again, yelling “I am on fire!” She screamed in pain. “Kill me . . . ”

Obviously this girl just has a problem with listening. That’s okay, though. I mean, communication is something you can deal with in a relationship. “The thing is, I’ve been secretly in love with . . .”

That’s when she spat blood all over me. It was as I was staggering away that she suddenly stood up, broken leg or no, and started shambling towards me, groaning loudly.

The newest project is called Gifted & Talented. This one is also collaborative and first-person, but it’s expected to be a bit longer and is being cowritten by Ross along with Val and Susan, both of whom I am ultra excited to write a piece with. Best of all for me, I get to write in a very different voice than I typically use:

It’s fully morning and I’m fully sober when I walk into the apartment. I don’t even look at my prick roommate before I start busting his balls. Call it a habit.

“Hey, asshole, I ran into your sister at the race last night. I think her butt’s getting bigger now that she’s 17. I like it.”

Now, don’t you worry your pretty heads about ATISTG. I’m practically bursting to tell you what happened last weekend, as soon as a I get the chance to edit the loooooong e-mail I wrote to a friend about it yesterday. But I figure that if I’m going to give you something to do for hours when you don’t want to work, I’m going to need more variety and lots of help from my friends.

I don’t think “nice” means “smoking hot.”

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Part 3, Chapter 11

“You should hang out with Justin sometime! He’s really,” she paused for emphasis, “really nice.”

I flinched when I heard the adjective. I don’t have anything against the word generally, or even its application to me, unless the person using it happens to be the hottest ex-copy editor I’ve ever seen. And when Michigan Girl is telling her friends that I’m really nice, obviously no one is going to be having hot makeout and cuddle sessions anytime soon. Except for perhaps them. And her. With people who aren’t me.

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Michigan seems like a dream to me now.

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Part 3, Chapter 10

“…and then when we woke up Michigan Girl and I went out for breakfast on that last morning before I left. We finally didn’t try to order the same thing as each other, but then when we went back to the cabin her dad said that he had ordered the same thing that I had, just a few hours earlier! And then…”


That’s what I did, the second I was back in Cleveland. It didn’t matter who I was talking to: my roommates, coworkers, friends, and even my ex-girlfriend became uncomfortably intimate with the most insignificant details of my trip to Michigan, and the girl who had become, for me, the living representation of the entire state. If you live in Ohio you have to hate the University of Michigan, but I was in love with Michigan Girl.

“…and then I was about to leave, but I saw my bathing suit on her clothesline, you know, drying? Which obviously means that I forgot to pack it. But, I figured, why say anything? Because now she’ll just have to…”

I simply would. Not. Shut. Up.

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“That’s what girls like, for sure.”

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

“Wow, Starbucks is empty. I don’t even know what I want in here,” my platonic friend said.

I’m paying no attention to her, thinking about someone else. “Do I still have that girl’s number?” I glance up from fiddling with my credit cards, insurance cards, and ID to make awkward eye contact with the barista. “We’re gonna need a minute.”

“Do mochas have milk in them?”

“I hope I didn’t lose that phone number. I’m going to put it in my phone right now before I screw it up again like I usually do.”

“Yeah, can I have a tall mocha, but with soy? And no whipped cream.”

“Here it is. I’m telling you, she was absolutely gorgeous. Okay Eight Oh Four . . .”

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A Pair of Awkward Stories from Childhood and Adolescence

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Age like 4

I wanted my mom to follow her car to their house to see where she lived, but she wouldn’t. She was the cutest girl in pre-school. All I remember are overalls and brown hair. I didn’t really feel like coloring, so we just kissed instead.

That was before we got caught. Now that I think about it, it’s astounding that between all the school buses, parked cars, parents’ houses, and non-private-areas in college in which I’ve made out, the only time I got in trouble was when I was in pre-school.

“Justin! No kissing girls until you get to big-kid school,” the woman said. I figured that’s, what, a year? I can wait a year to kiss girls again.

Age 15

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“Do you like science fiction?”

Friday, June 1st, 2007

I think it’s time to admit you have a problem after you watch five Veronica Mars episodes in a row. In your underwear. While eating ice cream. On a Friday night.

Actually it’s hot, and I am still wearing the very nice shirt which I happened to wear to work today and which I personally like a lot. Bright colors are the new blue shirt (in my closet, at least). Seriously, I have a lot of blue shirts. But I think we’ve discussed previously how freaking colorblind I am, haven’t we? The sheer cornucopial variety of blue tones attracts me so much more than other stupid boring colors do.

Plus, Friday night is the new Sunday morning. I’ve been going out all week, and last weekend was spent travelling. I’m tired!

Oh wait – is this not a personal blog? Sorry, I forgot. Awkward things I say to girls, right. Okay, fine. Here: I predict you’ll really enjoy this one.

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“I think I need a lapdance?”

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Those of you who’ve dutifully checked my recently unupdated blog have suffered enough, and deserve some sort of an awkward oasis to quench your thirst for ridiculous things I have said to girls.

It’s time to write about the time I went to a strip club and got a lap dance.

“Oh geez, what do I do? How does this even work?”

“Well, the first thing you need to do is to take everything out of your front pockets and put it in your back pockets.”

I was out with some acquaintences on a bachelor party. It was maybe two summers ago. As bachelor parties go, this one was entirely unsuccessful in its intended purpose because the bachelor, a coworker with a cubicle contiguous to mine, didn’t show up. (We didn’t see or hear of him too much after that, until he was arrested later in the year for attempting to kill his then-estranged wife. Three times. That we knew of.)

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