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Changing lanes, then having to merge back in

I had a friend in Michigan that would not believe me that I drove around in 5-7 lane freeways here in Los Angeles. One of the freeways (the 5 Fwy) is expanding around here, and they kicked out a bunch of people from their homes in order to have room to add lanes.. hey, its a sacrifice we must make if we want to get to places faster instead of waiting in traffic.

People are always in a rush around here, so it feels nice sometimes to watch frustrated drivers through the window of the Metro rail, and wave at them as you zoom past them. But there are certain places that I need to get to that have no train routes. And that means only one thing.. take out the car.

Driving on the freeways isn’t as bad as people make it seem though, as long as you avoid rush hour, you’re fine. But even if traffic is awesome, people still decide to rush. A 65 MPH speed limit freeway turns into a game of “Don’t  hit the old people” as you zoom past them at 80+ mph speeds.

So yes, people do a lot of lane changing. A lot of it.

Imagine you’re behind a slow minivan, and want to pass them up. You change over to the right, and start to speed up when suddenly you see one of these:

“Oops.”

And there you go back in again. It is hilarious when it happens to other people that are trying to pass you, but when it happens to me it is extremely awkward.

A car followed me once I moved over to the right, and we both got pushed back right to where we were. Its just one of those things where you pretend that its no big deal but still refuse to make eye contact with anybody.

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119. When a tiny piece of food flies out of your mouth while speaking

“Hey Bill, so yeah *tiny piece of the Dorito you’re currently chewing flies out* … uhh.. sorry about that.”

Super awkward.

Have you ever been forced to ignore such a thing in the past? Like when you’re having a conversation… –No. I know how to make this even more awkward:

Suppose you’re ON A DATE,

and you’re currently bragging about your fantasy football league. Of course, you actually think your date is extremely interested, when suddenly a small piece of your french fry flies out and lands on the table. Here is usually how such a scenario goes in real life.. you ignore it. Yes, I know you do, just admit it.

If you’re on a date with me, however, things would go a bit different.

Psyche!

They’d be the same.

I’d ignore it. Or if I really like you I’d laugh about it before pretending it never happened. Well first dates are awkward in general anyway.. do you guys remember this post on it?

But going back to the whole food thing, do you think its a matter of manners? I mean people speak when they have food in their mouths all the time! Yet I was told to not speak with my mouth full when I was growing up. I see it in movies, TV shows,and besides, women do it (I always imagined a woman coming up with all the Manner Rules). Even though the sound of a muffled voice can be irritating for some, that should be the least of your worries.. you should focus on the possible missiles flying out of the person’s mouth especially if it is something grainy or dry, like cookies or ..rice. Haha.

Awkward!

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Here’s a story posted on the awkward topic of “Listening in other people’s conversations” on Awkwardlist’s Facebook Page (Like!) by my blogger friend Angie from angiewest.wordpress.com:

Using the phone on the porch and saying something the neighbors overhear. 

(I’ve faded out some parts to show you what you’d be hearing while eavesdropping)
“I’m telling you Angie, I’ve got a bad feeling. Promise me you’ll be careful.”

“No, ma, no dont you say that. The last time you had a bad feeling, my house burned down. You keep your bad feelings to yourself. I’m at the end of my rope as it is.”

“I’m just saying be careful is all.”

“Careful? Forget it. Maybe I’ll just buy a bag of crack and stay awake and on guard for the next week.”

(House burned down while I was sleeping)

*neighbors cough and slowly begin to back away toward their own front door*

Oh. Hell. I’m outside. And I just said….
Wait, I was kidding. I don’t even know where to buy crack. I’ve never ever in my life touched a drug –oh forget it. Guess they won’t be coming over for coffee anytime soon.

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Yay for neighbors! Hahaha 🙂

Why size matters

Accepted awkward moments are those that happen often, and are considered normal to some extent, so they are therefore in danger of becoming extinct from the awkward realm. A couple of these are observed in almost every situation we are in.. whether we are in a class room, or eating with some friends.

Let’s consider the example of the pizza box. When we first open a pizza box, what do you first? Well yeah, you look at it; but if multiple people look at it at the same, the size of the slices is really what is being looked at. Keeping this in mind, consider this: when you order a pizza at a sit down restaurant, there are several of these accepted awkward moments.

1) Who is going to grab the first slice? -Awkward mostly only if there was an exchange of eye contact beforehand

2) How big is the slice the first person got? -You would notice if the person got the biggest slice on the pie. It is especially awkward if the person reached across the pizza in order to get the biggest slice. Keep it safe and get the one closest to you.

3) Reaching for a second slice? -If there are 5 friends and 8 slices, those who are very hungry (and happen to eat slowly) will be looking at you if you are going for another slice. If you’re the reacher, avoid eye contact. If you’re the hungry dude, look at his plate; if he still has the crust left, he is officially a jerk.

Of course, there are more moments like those with just that example (e.g. what happens to the pepperoni that fell off and is on the tray?), but at least you get the idea.

Other things? Yes there are other accepted awkward moments.

The List:

1) When looking for a parking spot, and it looks like you found one but its actually a small car parked there. What sucks is that you slowed down for it, and the driver behind you noticed.

2) Accidentally staring at couples when they are made up of a very big (tall or fat, either works) and a very small person. Or when the woman is taller than the man (I personally don’t see anything wrong with it but it was insisted that I include it on here).

3) When you are on a walkway and realize that you forgot something and must turn around. I don’t really have a technique for making it seem normal, sorry.

4) Arriving at a shop or restaurant that is closed. They wait for you to park, and walk to their front door and then tell you that they are closed through hand signals. If there are other victims arriving as well, you try to be nice and tell them that it’s closed; but they just have to figure it out themselves by pulling on the locked door. “Why!? I told you..”

Eh, we all do it anyway.

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