Now, not in an Asperger-I-have-an-excuse-and-medication-to-handle-it kind of way, but in a occasionally-funny-but-a-little-sad-at-the-same-time kind of way. It’s just my lot in life and I’ve come to embrace it. I’ll be the first to trip, sneeze on someone or get my wallet caught on my purse strap and in turn spill all its contents on a hard marble floor, so you don’t feel bad about yourself if the same unfortunate circumstances come your way.
Schadenfreude, my friends. One of my favorite words. Schadenfreude. Definition: Happiness at the misfortune of others. I am the butt of Schadenfreude’s joke.
This by the way is from Avenue Q, one of my favorite musicals, and recently viewed live and in person by yours truly. The best birthday present ever, courtesy of Sister. It’s my Red Ryder BB Gun.
But back to the point at hand: The working world has opened a whole new outlet for situational awkwardness. And we’re kicking off this spiel with a trip to the accounting department. Seems easy enough right? You had to buy a plane ticket and reserve a few nights at a Drury Inn in Baton Rouge since A. You didn’t want to drive seven hours and B. You didn’t want to sleep on the ground, so you had to fill out an expense report. And take it to accounting. The story should have ended there. There shouldn’t even have been a story.
Unless you’re me.
The making it to accounting was fine. They’re on another wing of our building, but I felt my way there A-OK. I even found my accountant who will handle all of my expense reports. Was feeling quite proud. But somewhere along the way back…I made a wrong turn. Just to give you a mental image, picture gray cubicle walls to the left and right of you and beige walls in front and behind. Occasionally insert a gray wall in the foreground. That, my friends, is what every route I could possibly take looked like. Now, we do have artwork hanging on the walls. Virginia College students excelling in examining bones, operating X-Rays or creating sugar art. These should be able to be used as guideposts. Except we have about five of each of those pictures scattered throughout the floor. So If I turned left at the graduation photo thinking it was the other graduation photo where I actually *should* turn left…I’m officially effed directionally.
Because of my years of experience being quite awkward it doesn’t show in my face that I’m a lost 25-year-old. Like I said, this is my lot in life. I can handle it. So I use the old standby: Follow the Exit signs. Surely they will lead me back to reception area that serves as middle ground between marketing and accounting and I’ll be good to go. The exits lead me in a circle. I literally circled around a block of cubes. Now I’m starting to get frustrated. Not because a two minute errand has turned into a 15 minute excursion, but because in case of a fire, a visitor would be totally screwed. And burnt to a crisp.
At this point I’ve run into the same man (that thankfully I hadn’t met before) twice. At least I have a folder, a prop, to act as a ruse, a distraction, that might make this man actually believe that I’m on a mission, and not, in fact wandering around aimlessly. But I know I can’t run into this guy a third time. This is his territory. He doesn’t know me. He’s going to start asking questions. But then I see it: a beacon of hope, a stairway. This will definitely get me out of here. Yes, I’ll have to walk down to the bottom floor, but at least then I’ll be able to find my elevator bank and make it back to my office.
If only it were so easy. I walk down to the first floor and have two options to exit the stairwell. One is an emergency exit, so my choice was easy. I pick the one that won’t kick off an alarm and attract even more attention to me. Exiting the other door led me to two more options. One door I assumed led outside and the other I recognized it to be a door that would lead to the main lobby on the first floor. Winner.
Like I’ve said before, you need your ID card to get anywhere in this building, which I actually had (mini hooray!), but my card wouldn’t work to open the door to the main lobby. Come on! So I’m stuck using the door leading to the outside. Fine. Whatev. I know I can definitely find my way back if I start outside. There are more colors than gray and beige out there. And you know, a parking lot and fountain to direct my path. I open the door to yes, find the outside as I had suspected. But I also find mulch. And bushes. And lots of grass. Not a sidewalk or pathway in sight. There is a tiny concrete stoop just outside the door. I’m assuming it’s a smoker’s hide-away. Now it shall be known as the bane of my existence. I close the door. Reflect on my ratardation for a moment in the cool stairwell. And open the door once more and step out confidently and purposefully into the mulch. I meant to come this way. I like a little all-terrain in my life. The bushes slap the side of my thighs, the recently watered grass leaves a trail on the bottom two inches of my pants, but I’ve finally made it to the sidewalk. I see the Motherland. And I realize why my card didn’t work. I had somehow wandered into Healthsouth territory (we share the building), and I don’t get to roam in their land without a price. The price of course being that when you leave, you have to leave through bushes with wet pants.
Awkward Account #2
I stepped in a puddle. In Target. In the freezer section. Right pant leg was freezing for the duration of my visit. I mean seriously. How many people don’t see a giant puddle in a grocery store and proceed to not just step in, but stomp through the unnatural body of water? Sadly, was not at all phased by the event. We all know why.
Awkward Account #3
On a recent trip to Memphis [sidenote: Birthday Palooza 2010 was awesome. So much lurv for my people. And I finally made the pilgrimage to my Mecca. Yeah I’m talking about Graceland and I’m not at all ashamed. It was wonderful. Still basking in the afterglow nearly two weeks later. Ahhhh.], I forgot pants.
Yes. I forgot pants. And despite coming straight from work on “Jean Friday,” I did not wear jeans. Mellie decided to wear a dress. Crap. Now, I did bring casual dresses as options for Saturday-off-to-meet-Elvis-daywear, but I’m, um, modest. And I enjoy cardigans or jean jackets to pair with my sleeveless things. Of course, this happens to be the one trip where I don’t stockpile 3 cardigans for just-in-cases and decided to just wear the jean jacket if I wear the dresses.
Unfortunately the jacket wasn’t an option come Saturday morning. Yes, it was a little warm, but that’s not the reason…And for the sake of the party involved I’ll just shut my trap now. The jacket was out of commission that weekend. I don’t learn of my lack of pants until shower time Saturday; I knew my jacket wouldn’t be an option for the weekend on Friday, so I’m totally ill-equipped to start the day. And this is Elvis Day. Nothing must ruin my Elvis Day. I run down to the car hoping my pants had magically grown legs (Strike that. They have legs.), I mean, grown animated legs and walked out of my bag. No such luck. But because I’m an awful mover, I still have boxes and bags of stuff I didn’t want to carry up stairs to my new apartment in my trunk. Could there be a cardigan? Could I be so lucky? No. But there was a plaid button up shirt that had belonged to my grandfather. And it just happen to be in—not the same, but at least the same neighborhood—of my dress’s color palate, so there we go. Rolled up the sleeves, tied under the bust and continued with my day of Presley Perfection. I think BopBop would have appreciated the ingenuity.
I may have looked a little off, but like I said…that sort of stuff is old hat to me now. At least I brought shoes. That would have been a trickier situation to deal with.