Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Inspiration for Awkward Happenings

As a collective whole, you may be wondering where the title of this blog came from. Now, if you have ever had more than one conversation with me, it should be obvious. However, this particular event really hit the nail on the head and inspired the name...

At some point in the recent present, I was in Lawrenceville, doing some afternoon browsing after enjoying a cup of coffee in Espresso a Mano. I love that place; Matt, if you ever read this blog, you have cornered the market on exposed brick and espresso. Good job. Anyway.

One of the things I love about living in Lawrenceville is the plethora of independent boutiques, although in truth, I apparently only like to browse. I rarely buy anything, which I feel kind of guilty about because I obviously want to support independent stores and small business owners, but at the same time, I don’t want to pay $80 for a one size fits all flower print tunic. However, the one thing that I am always looking to purchase in these stores is handmade soaps. I love handmade soaps; they make showering pleasant, and they come in a variety of scents, and they allow me to patronize local establishments in earnest. My preferred variety is herbal.

My desire to support these local establishments plus my love of handmade soap is how I found myself in the following scenario:

I was browsing the accoutrements in a boutique on Butler Street. I was the only person in the store aside from the saleswoman, and so of course she began talking to me to me. Our conversation followed:

Hipster Saleswoman: “May I help you?”
Me: “Yes, I’d like to buy one of the rosemary-mint soaps, please.”
Hipster Saleswoman: “Oh, I love that scent. Good choice.”
Me: “Yeah, me too, I love things that are rosemary scented.”
Saleswoman: “Yeah, they really add something extra. I just bought a candle and it is really fragrant.”
Me: “Oh, that must be nice.”
Saleswoman: “It is, I’ve really been enjoying it.”
Me: "I can imagine. Sometimes it's nice to burn them while you take showers."
Saleswoman: "Yes, I do that all the time." 

As you can tell, there is a point when you cannot keep having the same conversation with someone about soap. This was the point in the conversation when the saleswoman and I were trapped in the moment of, “I don’t know what else to say but I also don’t know how to end this conversation.” This moment is usually characterized by avoiding eye contact with the person you are talking to while hoping that another human being materializes to interrupt. Sometimes when this happens, I tend to babble. Thus, the next words out of my mouth:

Me: “You know, the only thing about this soap is, whenever I use it in the shower, I’ll think about roasting a chicken.”
Saleswoman: “…Right.”

At that point, she proceeded to look at me like I had escaped the state pen, although this comment did serve the purpose of ending our awkward conversation. However, I thought her confusion was somewhat less than justified: when I used to roast chickens, in my pre-veg days, using rosemary on them was the best part. It is one of my favorite herbs, to eat or wear, or drink, actually. I suppose, though, I can see why the image of me showering with this soap whilst daydreaming about roasted chicken caused this woman to look at me like I was a few eggs short of a gross. It was this exact scenario, in fact, that led to the name of this blog: awkward happenings, indeed.  

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