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How To Get Out Of An Awkward Situation

Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
This is a skill I’ve never possessed. Whenever I’ve been in an awkward situation I always do or say something to dig a deeper hole. Case in point… in 1998 I was dispatched to a High School where I was asked by their activities director to host a lunch hour karaoke contest. Each student told the karaoke worker what they wanted to sing and their name then the worker would write it down on a card and hand it to me to announce. When the last student came up to sing I was handed her song card which was completely illegible. So I said “apparently duuuuuuh is next” because I couldn’t read the writing. The student who walked up clearly had Cerebral Palsy. I made the ill-timed comment before I saw her. My heart sank. The students were laughing hysterically which made me feel even worse. It turns out the student with CP filled out the card herself rather than the karaoke worker. Of course I had no way of knowing but it was the most awkward situation I’ve ever dealt with and I apologized profusely to the student, the activities director, the karaoke company and tried to explain to the students that it was a mistake and that laughing was inappropriate… which made them laugh harder. Ugh.

Recently I was at a birthday party for my daughters best friend and this girls dad who had come over to introduce himself found the conversation quickly wane until we were all just sitting there looking at each other when he got up and said the following… “I’m going to go over there”. Lol. Genius. Now I know what to say when I want to leave people in the middle of awkwardness and I can’t think of anything clever on the spot.

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