01 April 2008

awkward

Sometimes I wonder if my social skills will ever recover from graduate school.

Once last semester, right after that final grueling summer of my M. Div., I accidentally introduced myself with the wrong name. I was meeting a friend's (now ex-) girlfriend from out of town. My friend Olivia, one of the hosting our gathering, introduced everyone in the room. She started with me, "Kelli, this is Meredith. Meredith, this is..." I broke in and meant to supply my name as I amiably stretched out a hand to shake hers. The hand was extended successfully, but the overly confident words that came out of my mouth were, oddly enough, "Hi, I'm Meredith." At the same time, that I claimed my new acquaintance's name was my own, Olivia finished her part of the introduction, "...Kelli." Kaylynn, after she stopped laughing at me (it took a while), remarked, "If I didn't know who you are, I would have believed that your name is Meredith. You said it with such confidence." It was a bad day for social awkwardness.

Most of the time my social blunders are less conspicuous, like saying obnoxious scholarly words in ordinary conversation. At one point over Christmas break, I found myself explaining what an inclusio is to a 3rd grader. (That was a low point of my social awkwardness. It just came flying out of my mouth before I could stop it! I'm blaming exegesis, David and Jon for this one. ;) ) This week I ran into some friends at a local restaurant and we were chatting casually when I found the word "culpable" on my lips. One friend kindly mocked me. Really - I don't try to do this - these things just come to mind before other, more commonplace words. I end up feeling like I'm being pretentious... even though I'm not trying to impress anyone.

12 comments:

Amber Joy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amber Joy said...

I laughed AGAIN at this story! I wonder what my neighbors think...

And I happen to appreciate your broad vocabulary. You're smart. We're not. That's all there is to it. ;)

Caryn said...

The 2nd grader has recognized an inclusio in a sermon and used the word in a sentence! You're a good teacher. (I wish I was as brilliant as you!)

Kelli said...

Ewww - stop it, both of you!

(Wow, way to go, Anne! She's the bright one!)

Amber Joy said...

Isn't Anne in 3rd grade, or am I out of the loop?

Kelli said...

No, you're right. I fixed it! :)

Kasey Lane McCollum said...

I too experienced this side effect of graduate school. I get word salad. (See Boston Legal). My words get jumbled in a sentence and don't make any sense. It is quite embarassing. It is good to know I share this with you, Kelli.

kentbrantly said...

kelli, at least when you use your big words they sound merely like the words of a well-educated woman with an extensive vocabulary. when i use my big words by accident at inopportune times - like the dinner table - i'm likely to make someone lose their cookies. you drop words like "inclusio" and "culpable" (i happen to think this is a completely acceptable word for every-day conversation). when i slip up, the words that come out are things like "serosanguinous," "purulent," or "recto-vaginal exam."

Amber Joy said...

ICK!

Kelli said...

Thanks, Kent. I don't feel so bad now. I guess as long as I can avoid slipping up and saying "recto-vaginal exam" that I'm good to go. But it sounds like maybe you have some funny socially awkward stories yourself... ;)

dps said...

Wonderful! Have David and Jon read this? They really need to, so I take full responsibility in linking this to them...

Lisa said...

Kent, please don't use those words at my table. I'm afraid that I might be the embarrassed one. ;)