I was in Italian class, it was early in the morning, and I was tired. Never a good combination when trying to speak a foreign language coherently. Long story short, I was required to ask a young lady in the class a question using a certain tense. I meant to say, “What time do you get ready in the morning?” It came out, “When do you wear clothes?”
I came back to my room, only for myself and my roommate to greet each other with the exact same question: “Do you want to hear the awkward thing that happened to me today?” Turns out, he had responded to a simple “hello” with incoherent sputtering.
In any case, that morning was lacking one thing. That’s what this week’s column is about ““ the soundtrack to an awkward day.
I’ll go through the day chronologically, starting with the hour or two immediately following your moment of foot-in-mouth, where it’s just swirling around in your head, taunting you. The perfect song to capture this feeling of embarrassment is “Bad Way” by Edie Brickell. The song is on her self-titled album, released on Jan. 11. The album cover, incidentally, features an awkwardly long wiener dog. Perfect.
Brickell sings of waking from a dream to discover something crawling on her, in addition to experiencing a distressing phone call. Both could be described as awkward moments. She follows this verse up with a wonderfully bouncy piano-filled chorus in which she sings, “It was a bad way to start the day.”
Oh so true, Ms. Brickell.
All right, now you have to tackle another challenge: getting over the feeling that everyone you pass instinctively knows that you’re an awkward person.
Enter Lecrae. In “Going In (featuring Swoope),” a song off of his new album “Rehab: The Overdose,” which was released on Jan. 11, Lecrae raps about pulling himself together to tackle something that troubles him.
“I gotta get myself together … and I’m goin’ in,” he raps.
It’s the equivalent of a call to arms. Pull yourself together and dive right in to the rest of the day.
When you get back to the room, there’s really only one thing you can do, and that’s laugh it off. There’s one band that has been making listeners laugh with its quirky humor for years. That band is Cake.
The song I went to in this situation was a little more serious than the band’s usual output: “What’s Now Is Now,” a song off the band’s album “Showroom of Compassion,” which was released Jan. 11. John McCrea, the front man of the band, delivers the lines that could help anyone put a bad day behind them.
In his typical, semi-deadpan style of delivery, McCrea sings, “What’s now is now, and I’ll forget what happened then.”
Exactly. The bottom line is, it’s impossible to have a horrifically awkward experience every day. You just have to accept it, hopefully laugh at it and move on to the next day.
After all, if awkward experiences were that common, they would just be called experiences, and people would instead be complaining about having a “remarkably socially comfortable day.”
No, you’ll have a wonderfully normal day soon, and then another, until finally you can link together some great normal weeks and months (with a few awkward moments sprinkled in for spice).
My roommate and I are set. I’ve been saying Italian sentences correctly for a good two days, and my roommate’s greetings have been going flawlessly. I’m going to keep this set of songs around though. I’ll be needing it.
If you’d like to brag about your lack of awkwardness or suggest themes for future columns, e-mail Bain at [email protected]