Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re not even sure what happened until after it’s over? I have those all of the time. But quite often, I also experience those agonizing situations wherein I KNOW exactly what is happening and there’s nothing I can do to get out of the situation short of just falling down on the spot. (I have been known to just fall down in the middle of wearisome or boring conversations just to change the subject to “why did Jenn just fall down?” Try it. It really has a way of breaking the monotony and most of the time, none of the parties involved remember the topic of discussion that was being discussed so you are saved from having to hear more about what made you fall down in the first place. Win Win.) I can’t decide which is worse: being cognizant enough to know how horribly awkward a situation is when you’re in the middle of it and praying that the minutes will go by faster, or being oblivious to what is going on as it is going on and then walking away realizing that you may have just unwittingly committed a felony and blew any political aspirations you may have ever had.
The other night I experienced the not knowing. My friend Kev is part of a singles group that was formed on Meetups.com (If you’re not aware of this site, it’s basically a place where people form groups based on shared interests. You can search the site and find things like the “I hate Oprah” group, the “Celine Dion Rocks!” club and the soon-coming meetup I am starting, the “I offended a stripper” group. Kev invited me to go to see a Christmas program/musicale (no, this is not a misspelling. They called their program a musicalE because things are fancier with an extra “e” What this really meant was that it was a choir singing songs that no one under the age of eighty-five had ever heard of in a program that was aimed at the elderly that attended the church to make sure that they extended their giving well into the new year. It also meant that for two and a half hours, I had the baby Jesus bored right out of me.)
We were to meet the other members of the group in the parking lot of a closed grocery store. We were the first ones there so we parked his truck and waited. Soon a white car pulled up.
“Is that someone from your group?” I asked Kev.
“Hmmm…Not sure. We have a lot of members. It could be.”
The car parked several spaces away from us. We sat there for a minute, wondering if it was someone from the group. Kev started the truck and circled around the car so that he was next to the driver’s side on the white car. I leaned forward so that I could see in the car, smiling my friendliest (which does not come easy to me) toothiest grin. Kev rolled down the window and as he did, so did the sixty-something woman who was alone in the car. She smiled at us shyly…or at least I thought it was shyly. I realize now it may have been fear.
“Are you here for the meetup?” Kev asked her as I eagle-eyed her from the passenger seat so that all she saw was my bobbing head aside his.
“Uh….no….I’m meeting a friend of mine.” she replied timidly.
“Oh ok.” And with that Kev rolled up his window and we drove back to our original parking spot.
And then I realized why I mistook her “bashful” attitude. She wasn’t shy. She thought she had just been propositioned by two creepy young folks! Here’s how I came to this:
My guess is that this sixty-something woman probably wasn’t aware of Meetups.com. But she had watched enough Dateline NBC to realize that there are weirdos out in the world who try to “meetup” with random strangers to do very weird and unnatural things. To her, she had just been approached by a couple in a truck, who were waiting in an abandoned grocery store parking lot for a “meetup” with someone they would not recognize by appearance. Some strange man had just rolled down the window and basically asked her if she was there to meet…..while a strange woman sat in the passenger seat, leaning forward with a creepy hopeful grin.
So I guess in writing this I have figured out that the knowing is worse. Because the “knowing” forces you to cringe your way through the experience and in the “not knowing” situation, you are oblivious and are allowed to smile all toothy like Perv Griffin and then laugh at yourself later.
Which I did.
And am still doing today.
And somewhere, there is a sixty-something grandmother telling her son-in-law that the world is full of perverts and that she was propositioned by two of them on Saturday night.
All that being said, I am formally withdrawing my bid for Presidential Candidacy.