Every now and again, I like to use The John Larroquette Project to document incredibly awkward moments in my life, today I’d like to talk about the Awkward Belligerent Question.
This is a rare sort of awkward moment, brought on only by the actions of somebody unaware of their surroundings or the background of somebody they’re talking to. A classic example might be somebody who continues to talk about how much they love their dad and telling funny stories about him before asking the other person, “What about your dad? What’s he like?”, and receiving the answer, “My father died last week.”
I was the recipient of an Awkward Belligerent Question last week. Church had just finished up, and I was going around talking to some friends of mine. Eventually I made my way over to a seat near where my girlfriend Bridgette was talking to my friend Adam. As I struck up a conversation with Bridgette, Adam began talking to another person sitting nearby. Bridgette had been having a tough time that day, so our conversation was a bit quiet at first. At one point, I asked her, “Is everything ok?” She didn’t initially answer, but gave me a look that indicated that it wasn’t. At this point, Adam abruptly re-joined the conversation by loudly blurting out, “WHY AREN’T YOU TALKING?!” I chuckled uncomfortably and mumbled something, and Bridgette remained quiet while Adam started up his conversation with the other person again.
The moment had been swiftly destroyed by Adam’s Awkward Belligerent Question, and we were left swimming in its wake. By the next day, it was pretty funny, particularly because we know that Adam didn’t mean to alienate anybody, it’s just a part of his nature. After all, Adam is one of the members of the Alienating Boys Club (along with me, the founding member). It is in our nature to inadvertently abuse and alienate other people. I can’t tell you how many female acquaintances approached me between the years of 2000-2002 to ask me, “Do you not like me for some reason?” I’ve since gotten a little better, but I fear that my interactions with women will always be somewhat clumsy and uncomfortable for everyone involved. I seem to be unable to avoid making stupid comments or creating pregnant pauses in conversation. Fortunately, Bridgette seems to enjoy my awkwardness, and has thus far put up with my inadvertent alienation. I’m quite the lucky guy.