Category Archives: Embrace the Awkwardness

The Matter of Manners

A few years ago, before I started making real progress on my own writing career, I was an enthusiastic reviewer of other people’s fiction. I had enjoyed some pleasant exchanges with authors via email and social media after posting positive reviews of books I’d enjoyed. Who knew that authors could be so gracious and so interested in their fans? I was delighted (truly, I was) to hear from writers who appreciated my support. And then, something went wrong. Continue reading

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Why I’m a Jerk at Dinner Parties

People think I like to help in the kitchen. There’s two truths to the matter. I do like to be involved in cooking (I’ve cooked professionally and love to cook to this day). But I also like to keep tabs on how the food I eat is being prepared. Anyone who wants to be blase about checking the temperature of their Sunday roast or who thinks that wolfing down raw cookie dough is a necessary part of childhood, allow me to steer you to the Food Poison Journal. If you want to be casual about your own health, that’s jim dandy, but when it comes to preparing food for others (which might include young children, the elderly, people with chronic illness, and those who simply wish to not become very ill) being negligent about food safety is inappropriate. Oddly (and, sadly, for me) this stance makes me an unsociable weirdo when I decline ill-prepared food. I’m the villain. Me. The person who’s sharing this article from Nutrition Action Healthletter only because I give a damn about your health. Continue reading

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The End of Drive-Thru Coffee

I know other people have blogged about this before (and been criticized for their seeming stinginess), but I don’t get drive-thru coffee anymore. Drive-thru windows kind of stress me out anyway. At below-average height, I have to risk tearing off a side mirror to get close enough to reach, and I struggle to understand the attendant through the tin-can-phone-sound-quality of the ordering speaker. I’d rather walk in and handle the whole transaction in person. But every once in while, I’d pluck up my courage and hazard it. Last summer, I was on my way home from a bike ride and had to stop at a red light. There was a Starbucks on the corner and, since I was waiting anyway and had two bucks in the console, I figured ‘what the hell.’ I was sweaty and dusty and wearing my pedal-cleated shoes, so I didn’t want to walk in. I got in the drive-thru line and ordered a black coffee. Continue reading

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Here’s the Thing

Years ago, friends and relatives (more of them than I care to admit) enthusiastically compared me to television’s Adrian Monk. That was how I stumbled onto the show after it had begun. I caught an episode mid-season and saw how right they were. This is not to say that I share every one of Monk’s phobias (I actually have no problem at all with glaciers or ladybugs), but I can’t deny that I’ve spent a lot of time squirming with awkwardness in situations that more normal people would take in stride.

image by Zoe MacDonald (prezi.com)

image by Zoe MacDonald (prezi.com)

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