I'm a smart, well-traveled career woman with a master's degree and three published works on the market. Unfortunately, I'm also fairly awkward. Today begins a new series chronicling some of the awkward things I've done and the lessons I've learned along the way.
These Awkward Things I've Done, Part 1: The Time I Sat in Cheese
Once while on one of my summer road trips, I met up with some former students for dinner. For the venue, we'd chosen Hodads, a grub burger joint in Ocean Beach, California. While crammed together shoulder-to-shoulder in a dimly-lit booth, we swapped stories about school and growing up and life, discussing their classmates and what everybody's been doing since their graduation.
I couldn't help but admire the grown-up sort of people that these two had become. I had seen them through middle school dramas, taken their pictures at high school formals, had kept track of their college and military pursuits, and had been suitably shocked when the two of them had gotten married to each other (were they not still babies?!). Now I had to grapple with seeing them as my peers in the adult world.
In all, it was an enjoyable evening, complete with tasty food and lively conversation. Once we'd finished our burgers, we decided to walk down the beach and the nearby pier. The night was too beautiful to draw to a close so soon.
We talked and laughed as the sun set and the salt breeze whipped our hair around our heads.
Partway through our walk, one of them cleared her throat and said, "Um, Miss Buchanan, I think you have something..." She trailed off while gesturing suggestively toward my hindquarters. Never a good sign! In a classically stupid move born of panic, I twisted my upper body around, turning in an awkward half circle in my attempt to view the troublesome area.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear... but a slice of cheese. Stuck to my butt. Plastered in all its bright orange glory to the back of my long black skirt. Worse yet, when I reached to pull the cheese off, I found that it had dried into a sort of crusty cement, requiring real effort and attention to remove.
While I'd been strolling down the pier with my head thrown back, laughing and carrying on, I'd been doing so with a slice of cheese plastered to my glutes.
The point here is neither that Hodads needs to bus their tables with a bit more attention to detail nor that I obviously need to be more careful about where I sit.
The point is that we all have blind spots, and that when you're the person who sat in the cheese, you're generally the last one to know. Maybe we should consider this fact the next time we're tempted to think a little too highly of ourselves.
Because at some point, we all sit in the cheese.