Glo’s Guide to Gauche

Gloria Mrazek

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lacking ease or grace; unsophisticated and socially awkward

Everyone experiences awkward situations–some more than others. The common problem is not knowing how to handle them. This article is designed to help you get out of these positions in the most casual ways possible! Through the examples given, you should be able to avoid getting stuck in a pickle.

Sometimes you’re talking to someone and you observe food in their teeth. You ask yourself, “Do I tell them?” You don’t want them to be embarrassed if you point it out, but you also don’t want them walking around all day with spinach in their chompers. What should you do? Easy: don’t say anything. That person will go about their day and eventually, that peanut will soften up, making for good snack later when their appetite returns!

You’re in public and you have to go #1, so you decide to find the nearest restroom. Once you enter and look for an open stall, you accidentally make eye contact with someone through the opening of one of the stall doors. So awkward! You don’t want them to think you’re trying to be a peeping Tom! But the damage is done; now, you’ve got to own up to it. That’s right… go back to that spot and stare them down. This shows your confidence and how you’re not afraid to establish your place. When that person finishes their business and leaves the stall, give them a polite smile to show you’re not that intimidating. After they hesitantly exit, you have a toilet to use!

You have an encounter with a new friend but can’t seem to recall her name! How do you get out of this one? Go along with it and pretend you remember, or be honest and ask for it again? My solution is to make up a nickname for them. When she greets you, just say, “Hey, Cornelius!” When she gets confused with the title you’ve given her, justify it by explaining that you have come up with a fun label for her because that’s what friends do! This will become a regular thing… and the easiest way out.

Wow, look at that! That’s one awfully friendly person waving at you! Or so you think–but you thought wrong. That person was waving to the kid behind you; by the time you realize that, it’s already too late and you’ve returned the friendly gesture. Yikes, how do you fix it this time? I’ve got just the solution. Quickly raise your other hand in the air and play it off by doing jazz hands. You might get a few odd looks but no one can deny that you’ve got rhythm flowing through you. Keep that jazzy vibe alive!

The day is done and evening takes over; dinnertime rolls around and you spend the meal at a restaurant. After the waiter drops off your food, they tell you to enjoy the cuisine–and you, being the polite person you are, respond with, “You too.” The thing is…they don’t have any food to enjoy. To make up for your poor choice of words, give them food to enjoy. Snag the nearest dinner roll and toss it to the server before they leave–underhand, NOT overhand. Just like that, your foolishness turns into generosity. You’re welcome for the bread, Sydney!

Just like that, you can play off the most cumbersome of situations. Confidence can cover up most of the mistakes in your life! At least that’s what works for me. Follow these tips and you’ll make it far socially. Probably.