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Crescent City (Mis)Connection: How to survive an awkward situation

Although I have been blessed with many amazing qualities for which I am eternally grateful, I have also been cursed with a few not-so-pleasant ones. The good ones usually outweigh the bad ones, and I guess I appreciate that the universe has to somehow keep balanced. I just can’t help but wish sometimes that I could trade qualities out, especially while making a first impression or on a first date.

One of my most depraved qualities is the fact that I have no center of balance, making me really clumsy in more ways than I’d like to admit. I trip when I’m not wearing heels, I knock things over when I haven’t even had a sip to drink, I fall off bikes, and I run into things. It’s something I, and the people around me, have learned to deal with, and in fact embrace. I’ve mastered the art of turning my awkwardness into charm. Although this revelation has taken me a long time to accept and even longer to perfect, I have finally decided to turn my negative into a positive.

There have been many times that I have messed up while making a first impression, or even a second or 53rd for that matter, but that’s besides the point. In most cases, I have found a way to somehow redeem myself. And to those guys who didn’t think it was endearing, I say, “to heck with them,” because if they can’t accept my flaw, then they obviously don’t deserve me. I digress.

I realize that most people don’t possess the talent of tripping over their sandal, spilling a glass, and sending a nonsensical text all in one night (sober) quite like I do, but for those who may have an embarrassing slip every once in a while, I’d like to prepare you for a smooth save. And always remember that no goof is ever unforgivable.

The situation: You spill wine, sauce, or anything else equally obvious on yourself.

Your saving moment: Now this is something I’ve done a few too many times. It’s not a pleasant moment by any means, but this is your chance to shine and show your man how cool and witty you can be. Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool, don’t cry because it’s your brand new Theory top, and don’t act embarrassed. Simply look up and show him your adorable face, shrug your shoulders, and make a joke of the situation. My comments of choice are, “I was actually saving that for later,” or, “I guess this adds a little more character to this top now.” And don’t be afraid to make it look like this is something that has happened before by joking about how you need your own loyalty card at the dry cleaner or how you’re single handedly stimulating the dry cleaning industry in the city. He’ll see that you’re confident, witty, and not high maintenance, and those are three things that will make any man fall for you instantly.

And for the ladies who are going on date #3 having a home cooked meal at his house, use this as an opportunity to wear one of his t-shirts or button downs while your blouse is soaking. It drives a man wild to see his lady dressed down, especially if it’s his clothes. Plus, a little tease never hurt anyone.

The situation: You (gasp!) spill something all over him

Your saving moment: This is almost more awkward than spilling something on yourself, but this actually works to your benefit more than you might think. Obviously, apologize first and show him that adorable face again, then offer to take it to your own personal dry cleaner so you can use your loyalty card or offer to take him out another time to make it up to him. Not only will he be dazzled by your southern charm and good manners, but it’s also your golden opportunity to ensure a second date.

The situation: You stumble or trip

Your saving moment: Now, if you fall flat on your face after one two many cocktails, I can’t help you save yourself from that, girlfriend, and I recommend you switch to water. But, every once in a while, we all stumble, especially with the uneven, ancient streets of New Orleans. All there really is to do is laugh it off, and maybe try to fall toward him so he can save you. You can also turn this into a conversation starter and an opportunity to share some great scar stories with each other. Whatever tactic you use, keep in mind that it’s a scientific fact that we all act a little clumsier when we’re around someone we’re really attracted to. So there’s no shame in a little trip over heightened attraction, and feel free to share your fun fact if you’re feeling confident!

The situation: You send the wrong text or the autocorrect or your smart phone changed your word into the wrong one

The saving moment: Now, fortunately, my friends have learned to decipher my nonsensical texts. They know that I sometimes press send before revising, and that sometimes I’ll tell them we’ll get slapjut instead of takeout (It’s legitimately happened before and I sill don’t understand what slapjut means). New people who come into my life don’t know this about me, however.

First, I recommend revising your texts and the sender, but if you slip up, just own up to it. Joke that you’re working on a dictionary to help your friends decipher your texts and email, or just tell him what you really meant with a few simple words or an equal sign. It happens to all of us, so no one will judge you for it. Just stay calm, and don’t send 100 texts with a long explanation. One sentence is all it takes to explain what you meant.

The situation: You go into the ladies room, and realize there’s a piece of spinach in your teeth

Your saving moment: First, remove said piece of spinach. Then, make light of the situation when you return to the table. Jokingly tell him, “I can’t believe you let me go on and on about my scar story with something in my teeth. You have permission to tell me next time.” I then like to shoot him a smile to show him my pearly, spinach-free teeth. Hopefully he’ll say something sweet and charming back. Regardless, you’ll look confidant, collected, and you’ll make him feel more comfortable, because odds are he was probably too embarrassed to say something.

Whatever the so-called embarrassing situation may be, just remember this one simple rule: Embrace it and laugh it off. If you turn it into a joke, you’ll definitely show him more about your stellar personality, and you never know when it will turn into an awesome “how we met” story.

Pookie Lola writes Crescent City (Mis)Connections weekly for NolaVie.


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