Wars and Windmills

09 June 2007


Despite my continuous attempts to shed the mighty shroud of awkwardness that I so magnificently donned as a whelp, it seems that it is a battle fought in vain. Some may feel that I never fully stepped from beneath its dark shadow.  And while that may be true, I had thought perhaps, just perhaps, that it had gone the way of my Umbro shorts. However, a recent occurrence proves that though the wave in my hair is gone, my awkwardness remains, and is more cunning and powerful than ever.

For your consideration:

I flew to Denver last month for a nerd-fueled weekend. A wise man could have predicted that the sheer nerdery of the trip would tempt Fate to set into motion the long avoided clash of nerd and jock.  I foolishly thought those situations were long past and was apparently in need of a reminder of my place in the universe.

While in line at security, I was playing a rousing game of chess on my cellular telephone.  Pleased with my successful attempt at a Queen's Gambit, I looked up (as if to accept applause)  and noticed a team of lacrosse players from a college up north were in the line ahead of me looking all jockish and as cool as hell. So cool in fact were these young players that one wore sunglasses, as to shield his eyes from the pasty plainness of those around him. It was these sunglasses that would ultimately prove to be my bane. As the serpentine Tensabarrier drove us to and fro like cattle through the security line, 'Sunglasses' and I passed each other. He looked right at me and said "What's up". I, a bit bewildered and not wanting to be rude, responded back with an ambivalent "Hey" and then thought: "how very odd, the super-cool never acknowledged me before.  Perhaps he happened to observe my impressive chess skills and wishes to discuss how to improve his game play". It was during this delusion that it happened. Mere moments after my initial retort, I heard from behind me the shout of an articulate "What-up Dawwg"......Sunglasses was speaking to someone behind me.

Damn those sunglasses, damn them to live with its fellow minions of the Dark Lord in the fiery furnace of hell where its plastic composition will melt and become a puddle of useless nothing. And damn those who aren't blind and still wear sunglasses inside so people can't see where they're looking to the same fate.

I began instantly mentally kicking myself. The self loathing of my youth erupted in my esophagus. I am an adult, fully confident in who I am, and yet there I was feeling sheepish and completely, utterly, all-encompassingly, and totally lame.

It gets worse.

Recall, if you will, that I was in a Tensabarrier line winding back and forth.........PAST THE SAME PEOPLE. I had to see his snide face another half-dozen times before we parted paths at the end of security. I felt him each time looking, pointing, and laughing (none of that actually happened, but in my mind, it was, and more). Was that to be all? Perhaps for an average life, yes,  and at this point the gods of cruel Fate would have felt satiated and gone to bed. But not for me and my role as the Fate's toy.  That awkward moment, with the following Tensa-weave, was to be just the beginning; the gods were hungry and needed to feed and I was the main course.  

Walking away to my gate I start to feel better as the situation is done and over. My confidence begins to grow back as I think: "you will never see that yahoo again". I sit down at the terminal and begin to forget about the awkward exchange, when I start to notice that there sure are a lot of people wearing matching lacrosse jackets around me talking about their upcoming game in Colorado. Sweet cheetah...they're on my flight. He arrives and (this is not made up) the only seat open is right across from me. Damn.  Our flight is announced and I board before him hoping that will finally be the end and cry inside and a little outside as he finds his assigned seat and sits in the row next to me.  Not in front or behind where I wouldn't have to see him, but in the same cursed row.  I felt like I was in a horror film where no matter how far or fast I ran, 'Sunglasses' would somehow catch up.

The trip in Colorado was nerderiffic.

I get back on the plane to fly home three days later, and he is sitting in the row next to me.


Seriously.  Why?


  1. For those few fleeting seconds you were in their word, what was it like? Who is the president there?

  2. *passing out with laughter and sweet sweet shadenfreude*

  3. And just when I thought you were WAY to hot to be married to me...confidence restored.

  4. Daz,
    Simply the best post of your career.
    I have no literary background, so to speak of the quality of your writing may seem presumptuous........but oh my hell was that funny! You had me riveted my friend. I thought I was in the middle of an episode of seinfeld. Oh that George is a character.
    Funny you stopped at the umbro shorts. I was just thinking the other day about the absolute sweetness of the umbro's. Oh how I longed for a pair. But, alas, I received deoderant and an orange for christmas instead. Things weren't so bad for you my friend.

  5. Darren at least you don't have my narcissism which makes me believe that people are constantly looking at me or trying to talk to me. I've many a time answered the random passer-byer because of this flaw. I've been in this sort of situation too many times.

  6. Seriously, he has. It's humiliating.

  7. Sweet Cheetah!!!!???

    Where did you get that!

    Swell post. We've all done it.

  8. Bring back the hair wave!

  9. James...i think that is how we became friends. I didn't want to make an awkward situation worse when you wouldn't stop talking to me so, I played along.

  10. Blast! I knew it! I'm not even sure if I actually met you as I just heard your voice travel in my direction and your eyes accidently locked mine. That would be enough for me to pursue conversation.

    I've been trying to limit this. It almost got me beat up by a homeless man in Barnes & Noble. True story.

  11. Anonymous12:41 PM

    Darren, it's me, Ms Brown (well, not anymore).

    You and Lindsey both have such great blogs! Thanks for the entertainment guys! But listen, I know what you are going through. Although my name is much cooler now, I'm still a nerd and I married a jock. Things like this happen to me everyday. I've considered getting a tattoo to fit in. Maybe a nice Power Ranger on my back. What do you think? And James, I LOVE that you love to talk. Don't ever change. :)

  12. Finally, the brown Toone breaks her silence.


  13. Former Ms. Brown as in Krigstad?

  14. Yes hello please! It's me. Hi Jonseph.

  15. Not to detract from the thread, but hello Kristen! I hope the Toone family is doing well.

  16. Hey man, I hope the Jonseph family is doing well. :) Sorry Darren, we're done chatting on your blog. Happy Birthday by the way.

  17. Sunglasses-man9:11 PM