Friday, November 7, 2008

Unsolicited attention

Top Hat
Originally uploaded by George Eastman House
Usually, I don't even notice, but this has been special and concentrated attention and I want it to GO AWAY.

I do everything that can to make awkward situations alright. I really try to. Go ahead, say something awkward and (when in top form) I will say something 10 times more awkward to make you feel better. Try this sometime if you haven't seen me do it! I will warn you that it could backfire-- I may inadvertently *do* something awkward that may involve breaking something or spilling. That or pants-ing someone. You've been warned. You're welcome.

So this attention comes in the form of a twice daily visitor to my office area. It started out with general lingering, progressed to awkward banter, and at this stage he walks very quickly by my desk eyes down, and then stops short and says "Oh, hello-- I'm just so busy." and then proceeds with the awkward banter. it's always very awkward.

I don't know if I can properly communicate the awkwardness verbally, since much of this has to do with the comical physicality. The strange dance of ignoring me and then noticing and then trying to figure out how to transition from "looking really busy" to "wanting to talk." This is made all the more interesting since lately I have been actively trying to discourage any talk. I have tried many things;

1. Being on the phone. This doesn't seem to help, he'll just stand there and say "Busy?" then sometimes he will wait, in order to tell me that he has no business reason to be here, and then move on. Blissfully, a couple of times I've been on the phone with my husband and said "OK, I've got to go, love you." This has had no effect.

2. Prominently featuring my wedding photo. Again nothing. It could be that he's near-sighted. We've talked awkwardly about glasses more than once. (He wears them since he has to read so much.) When I started wearing mine he noticed and asked if my eyes hurt.

3. Refusing to make eye contact. That was my tactic today. I just stared at the computer screen and when he said "Hi there" I said "Hi" without looking up. It backfired. He stopped at the desk and said "Oh, I'm sorry, were you talking to me? I couldn't tell cause you didn't look up" ACKKKKK!!! just leave me alone! (is what I silently screamed.)

I am confounded by this situation because usually I find awkward people wonderful (being one of them myself) and do everything I can to keep them around to see what will happen next. I guess in this situation the awkwardness is predictably mundane. I must do away with it somehow. I'm considering a gross prosthetic facial deformity.

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