Roomie sent me this link this morning. Because she gets into work before I do and like to leave me “Happy Friday” messages.
Because she’s awesome.
Anyway, it got me thinking about things in books that make me feel the same level of awkwardness as the situations mentioned in that article.
It’s amazing really.
I’m at home. Generally alone, behind the closed door of my room, completely the opposite of the center of attention. And yet, as I read certain scenes, I find myself burrowing under my pillows to get away from the sense of severe discomfort.
I’m nervous laughing. Trying to look away, but lacking the ability.
I’ve just showed up to take a test and realized I didn’t study. Asked to take center stage, while knowing I don’t know any of the lines. Stood up to give a presentation only to find that I am completely without clothing.
Except all I’m really doing is holding a book.
The biggest culprit for evoking these feelings of overpowering awkward-osity? The public declaration of love scene.
I’ve read a lot of romance novels and at least fifty percent of them have such a grand gesture. Some setting chock full of people (and sometimes a microphone) where the hero or heroine can lay themselves bare before all within earshot. And everyone acts like it’s just so romantic.
And, yes, in certain stories it really works. But you know how some people are sympathetic criers? I feel sympathetically awkward. So, rarely do I read such a scene, no matter how well written, where I don’t have a short Robert DuVall in Newsies moment.
“Go home! Go home to your mothers and your fathers! Go home!”
*Buries face in pillow. Peeks up, sees awkwardness still waiting. Laughs uncontrollably. Goes back to reading*
Also making my list of Things That Make Me Feel Like I’m the One Being Stared At?
- Any time a character has to take part in a performance he or she has not prepared for.
- Any time a character is trying to act “cool.”
So, what makes you sympathetically awkward?
*Note: If you’ve found yourself in real-life awkward situations lately, I would suggest using this survival guide.