I’m terrible when it comes to face-to-face social interaction. I really am. I’m awkward and weird, and I generally make people feel awkward and weird because of my awkward weirdness.

Did hearing me admit that make you feel awkward and weird about what you’re reading?

It did, didn’t it?

The proof’s in the pudding.

My ability to bring a party to a halt isn’t exactly a new development. I’ve been this way for a very long time and the chances of me ever being anything else are slimmer than, Calista Flockhart’s thighs or the idea that, Katy Perry will ever write a song that doesn’t make me want to chop her head off and store her boobs in my freezer.

Wait just one cotton pickin’ minute.

Did I just make a Calista Flockhart reference?

Wait one more cotton pickin’ minute.

Did I just say I wanted to chop off her head and store her boobs in my freezer?

Wait one last cotton pickin’ minute!

Did I just type the words “cotton pickin’” three times?

I bet you’re feeling pretty damn awkward and weird now.

Anyone that knows anything about me knows how utterly useless I am when it comes to situations in which human beings gather to do the things human beings do. It’s common knowledge. It’s also the reason I was so taken aback when my wife said the following to me over dinner one night:

“So…we’re doing this silent auction thing at school and I signed you up for an art experience with some of the kids.”

I nearly chocked on my fork of spaghetti. “What?”

“Oh, it’s nothing, Steven. You’ll meet the winners in the classroom and give them an art lesson. You can show them how to paint, or something. It’ll be fun. You’ll love it.”

I jabbed the fork into my brain.

Okay, I actually didn’t do that. I wanted to though.

It’ll be fun? I’ll love it?

Was this broad insane? Who the hell did she think she was married to? I don’t even have fun and love doing the things I actually have fun and love doing. I’m practically a Vulcan. I’m incapable of such emotions.

“Are you nuts? I’m not doing that.”

Instantly the expression on her face changed. It twisted into something ugly. It coiled and morphed into that angry wife-thing that wives everywhere do when they mean business. If you’re a man and you’re married, you know what I talking about. You’ve seen it before. It haunts your dreams and makes your genitals run for cover.

For some reason the name, John Bobbit popped into my head.

This was going to suck.

Two weeks later, I found myself in her classroom after school, waiting for the winners to show up and the art “experience” to begin.

Unlike John Bobbit, my penis remained firmly attached - loosely actually. Maybe dangly would be more appropriate? Whatever. What I’m basically trying to say is that it hadn’t been chopped off and tossed into the woods by a crazy woman.

I’d made the right choice.

Less than ten minutes later the kids arrived. There were four of them – all girls and all under the age of ten. My wife gathered the group around a table at the rear of the room and I proceeded to kill time by filling a few glasses of water for them to dip their paintbrushes in.

After I filled them once I poured them out and filled them again.

A quick glance at the clock told me I’d only wasted three minutes.

I emptied and filled the glasses again.

That killed another sixty seconds.

Damn it.

Why was I so nervous? They were just kids – snot-nosed little kids and nothing more. I was twice their size and in at least one case, three times! I couldn’t allow these kids to get the better of me. It was time to stop being such a sackless weirdo and grow a pair! It was time to knuckle up and be a man!

My hands were sweaty and my face flushed. I could feel their tiny little kid eyes watching me from across the room – staring at me and wondering why I was constantly refilling the same four plastic cups. They were talking in their little kid voices to each other – whispering. One of them laughed and another joined in.

Were they laughing at me?

I bet they were laughing at me.

Those, little punks.

That’s it! I’d had enough! I’d show them! I’d experience the crap out of that art “experience!” It was time to step up and knock this thing out of the park! It was time to point to the bleachers like, Babe Ruth and swing for the fences! It was time to channel my inner Kirk, and take on the Gorn despite being grossly overmatched!

It was time to stop making nerdy Star Trek references that were in no way helping my cause!

With my fully filled plastic cups I strode across the room with my chest puffed and my chin pointed north. I reminded myself once again that I was a grown-ass man and that my fear was idiotic. I needed to take charge! I needed to take control of my stupid brain and let it know exactly who was controlling whom!

I needed to fail miserably despite my bravado!

Wait. What?

Forget that last pat.

Barely five minutes into the “experience” and I was already a blubbering mess. I was sweating more than, John Candy in a, latex John Candy suit. Every sentence was a contradiction. My words were bumping and sliding into each other like drunken assholes in a mosh pit, molding and melding like glue and spurting from my mouth in mostly nonsensical grunts. Suddenly my hands wouldn’t work. For the first time in my life I couldn’t even draw.

Hell, I could barely hold my pencil.

Not only were these kids getting the better of me, they knew something was wrong. The puddle of perspiration on the desk below my head was a dead giveaway. The little girl with the wide eyes and confused look on her face across from me wasn’t helping matters any.

Her face was slimy. She kept smacking her lips and scratching her head, and dropping flakes of dandruff into the still wet paint below. Every once in a while her tongue would peek out from between her lips, extend upward and try it’s damndest to find its way into her nose.

She really needed to stop doing that.

In between my jittery pencil strokes and awkward burp-speak I could hear laughter coming from elsewhere in the room – from behind me. Though the muscles in my neck had stiffened to the point of being utterly useless long ago, I managed to spot my wife and one of her teacher friends standing in the doorway with wide smiles on their faces.

They were watching me suffer and they seemed to really be getting a kick out of it.

Wait one final cotton pickin’ minute.

This was all a set-up wasn’t it?

The little girl sitting beside me broke wind.

Being married is fantastic.


  1. hahahahahaHAHAHAHA*breathe*hahahahahahhahahahhaaha

    I love Tami. She is a comedic genius :-)

  2. @Tomara - Shut up, you.

  3. Anonymous26.8.11

    O steven, you've made my day...You have a way of writing that makes me LAUGH until my sides hurt...I can't wait to spend time with you again..Let's see..hmmm o good...the next family holiday is Thanksgiving..you know...when you have to spend almost ALL day with us..
    Talk about awkward weirdness...xoxox

  4. You're still taller than I imagined. I bet them little school girls thought the same.

  5. @CODA - Did I forget to mention that I won't be able to make it this year.

    Oopsie. ;)

  6. @RAV - If only my height could have intimidated them more.


  7. So the first step to being an artist is

  8. @DORKYDEB - No, but being a weirdo is. ;)