and now it's time for me to boss you around. aren't you just thrilled? thrilled is a very nice word.
like i said yesterday, it was hard for me to think of a good DIY project, because everyone else did everything already. but then i thought of something that i could teach you to make, because i'm an expert on the subject, and feel i am extraordinarily gifted in the art of it.
today, we're going to learn how to make...
it's even harder than it looks, but you'll just love it when you've mastered this tricky little craft. because, quite frankly, there are awkward people everywhere. i think God decided to make ten awkward people for every one not-awkward person alive. which means that, unless you're in some sort of cult that doesn't allow awkward people in, you're going to have to talk to an awkward person sometime. maybe today, even.
or maybe, like me, you are the awkward person. unlucky. but this DIY is still a helpful starting point for people like you and me, because awkward people trying to talk to awkward people is the next skill level up, and, though you can find the basics here, requires an additional tutorial.
but the point is not that.
the point is, are you ready?
first, you'll need to gather your materials.
just for starters, you'll need:
- at least one awkward person. for the sake of this DIY, we will call the hypothetical awkward person Phylliam [a hybrid of the names "Phyllis" and "William" so that you don't think i am thinking of any one person in particular even though i am.]
- a pair of sunglasses
- a lot of food
- a list of things to talk about
ok, the next thing to do is strike up [inevitably awkward] conversation with Phylliam. this step initially seems easy to most people, but Phylliam will tend to exhibit classic awkward signs within the first few seconds: fidgeting, making either too little or too much eye contact, saying awkward things, not responding [or over-responding] to anything you say, etc. but don't give up! the trick is to give a little slack, while pulling tight on the variables you can control and gently working forward without making it obvious.
you need to study your subject carefully--notice the ways in which he or she is awkward, and then come up with creative ways to counteract their awkward actions, while trying very hard not to be awkward yourself. [the latter part is usually where i fail miserably.]
fig.1a: Phylliam is staring right straight directly exactly into your eyes while you're trying to tell him/her about your recent family vacation. it's not romantic, or creepy, or anything, really, except for awkward.
fig.1b: Phylliam has not even glanced in your direction once since you began talking, and you have this awkward feeling that it's because they're feeling awkward about looking at you at all.
fig.2a: Phylliam isn't very talkative and everything you say is met with silence.
fig.2b: Phylliam monopolizes the conversation, but everything he/she says comes out too much, too loud, too rude, or too lame.
don't make it even more awkward by sitting there in silence! take charge of the conversation! here's where the food comes in: find out what kind of food Phylliam likes, and bring a lot of it. while they are eating, read from your prepared list of things to talk about. the food should not keep Philliam from saying anything, it should simply moderate his/her flow of words to a happy medium. or, if they weren't saying anything in the first place, at least you can rest assured that they probably like you because you fed them their favorite food, and at least their mouth is doing SOMETHING. i feel that something is always less awkward than nothing.
[you could also bring a pacifier. but only if the offending party is an infant.]
these are only two of the common issues i've experienced, but there are definitely more that you will have to deal with on a case-by-case basis. and with practice, you'll get better at it! and then, we'll be able to go out for coffee!
for the haters who are definitely going to write me nasty letters such as, "this is not a craft DIY, i wanted a craft DIY, what good is a DIY that is not a craft DIY": consider, for a moment, the amount of awkward people out there versus the amount of people that can knit or make you a dress out of a pillowcase. those numbers should cause you to stop and think. because you are probably 10 times more likely to go for coffee with someone who is awkward than with someone who can make you a dress out of a pillowcase.