I’ve seen so many memes on “That awkward moment” and while I’m getting tired of seeing a lot of the same ones over and over again, this is not usually one of them. Unless they’re stupid or make no sense. However, many of them do happen all the time and Irish people are particularly great at making the situation better by making it worse. It could be an awkward silence followed by quickly moving on and changing the subject but in Ireland, we take pride in pointing out how awkward it is, to sort of laugh it off. We’ve even created actions to signal the level of awkwardness – oddly, the ones I’m familiar with are all sea creatures.
Most people are familiar with The Awkward Turtle. In fact, there’s even a plush toy of this little guy, along with a range of other awkward animals. But without the toy, he’s generally present in minor awkward situations where someone decides to flag it by placing one hand face down on top of the other and wiggling their thumbs out to the side. This is awkward…
Next, there’s The Sexually Frustrated Jellyfish. We may be falling into things that only I’ve heard of but feel free to use this for moderate to severe awkward situations. The jellyfish is a good bit less subtle than the turtle and requires full body movement. Stand straight, put your arms in the air, and wiggle your whole body, Shakira-style, but front to back, as opposed to side to side, like a wave. Needless to say, this is very awkward…
Finally, we’ve got The Awkward Whale. This should only be used in the most unbelievably, ‘can’t get passed it’ sort of awkward situation. The awkward level of this situation must be fatal to justify the whale. Again, it requires your whole body but this time you actually have to lie down on the ground, on your back and gently move your arms out in desperation, like a whale trying to turn over on the beach. Not for the faint-hearted, or for the mild to moderate awkward moment. This should only be used in truly catastrophic moments. OH MY GOD THE AWKWARDNESS.
Now, here are my top ten awkward moments. Deep breaths now…That awkward moment when…
- …you have to give someone an email address you created when you were 12. – Turtle
- …you make a joke about a friend’s significant other and they tell you they broke up. – Jellyfish
- …you realise you’ve been chewing on someone else’s pen for the last 20 minutes. – Turtle
- …you say goodbye to someone and end up walking in the same direction. – Turtle
- …a fat person says they’re fat and you don’t know what to say back to them. – Jellyfish
- …you make a funny comment and the other person doesn’t hear you. – Jellyfish
- …you realise you are walking the wrong way and proceed to look at your phone, act surprised and subtly turn around. – Turtle
- …someone you don’t know very well sits beside you on the bus and you try and fail to make small talk with them. – Jellyfish
- …you wave at someone who, it turns out, was not waving at you. – Turtle
- …your dress blows up Marilyn-style, and it’s not sexy at all. You’re wearing Spanx. – Whale