Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Awkward Conversations


I recently went up to Northern California to attend my grandma's funeral and visit with family.  The funeral was nice -- really, really nice.  I think my grandma would have approved.  There were many funny stories, many laughs, and of course many tears.  There was a lot of churchy crap too, but church was important to her, so that was only fair.

I ended up seeing a lot of relatives and family friends that I had not seen in years.  Almost everyone greeted me with an enthusiastic "HELLO!!!!!  How are you?!" -- which seemed like such a strange/inappropriate kind of greeting at a funeral.  Eh.  Whaddya gonna do.

There were MANY awkward conversations surrounding the funeral, such as these...

My oldest (and confoundingly clueless) sister and I drove with my mom and my dad to my grandma's funeral.   There was tension, stress and sadness in the car during the drive.  We were about a block away from our destination when Clueless pointed across the street from the funeral home and said, "MOM!  There is an estate sale!  We should stop by!"  I wanted to thump her on the head for saying that.  Who wants to visit an estate sale before or after burying their mother?!  

At the grave site a vaguely familiar distant relative walked over to me and stood next to me. She said, "Who are you?"  Kind of a RUDE intro, but I told her my name.  She then said, "Do you have a family?"  Confused, I said, "Well, yes, XXX and XXXXXX are my parents, and I am here with them and the rest of my family.  Louise was my grandma."  She said, "Yes, but do you have a family?"  I STILL did not understand the question, and then it dawned on me that she wanted to know if I was married with kids.  So I told her that I was single and on my own, and then sensing that she really wanted to talk about herself, I asked her if she had grandkids.  BINGO -- that was what she was waiting to hear.  She launched into a long conversation about her daughter and her grandkids and that seemed to make her happy.  She finished up by patting my hand and saying, "Anyway!  Sorry about your grandma."  And that was it.  Weird.  

Before, during, and after the funeral, my uncle kept announcing that everyone was invited to attend a dinner at the Macaroni Grill (ew -- for some reason my family is obsessed with chain restaurants) after the services.  It was mentioned so many times that it sounded like Macaroni Grill had sponsored my grandma's funeral.  TACKY!  After the funeral, about 30 of us headed over to the restaurant.  At one point my aunt cornered me and said, "You need to visit more often."  I said, "It is difficult with work and the distance, but I visit when I can."  She wasn't having it and emphatically said again, "YOU NEED TO VISIT MORE OFTEN!"  At this point she grabbed me by the shoulders (and I am about a foot taller than her) and she said, "FAMILY IS IMPORTANT!!!!" followed by, "I AM IMPORTANT!!!!!"  I really had no idea what to say to her and I stupidly mumbled, "Well, I am important too." Cripes.  No wonder I don't visit more often! 

I suppose I should pony up and admit that many times I am the cause of awkward conversations.  UGH.  A recent mortifying example of this happened at work.  I was in touch with a new client, one named Riley Rhodes.  I STUPIDLY kept referring to him as RANDY RHOADS, which is the name of the former GUITAR GOD that worked with Ozzy Osbourne.  ARGH!!!!!  FOREHEAD SLAP!!!!!!!

And now it is your turn to share any awkward conversations that come to mind.  Please!  :)


Cheryl Ann said...

haha! awkward conversations are so much fun to talk about later, but so shitty to be part of in the moment. it is my belief that funerals make people crazy - i don't know why, but i swear, some of the strangest conversations i've ever had (with people who are generally otherwise normal) have been at funerals. i guess people just don't know what to say...? lame.
*hugs to you!

KaH said...

Ok, so weird... I am pretty much estranged from my mother/family. My dad died a few years ago (he was divorced from my mom), but at his funeral my mom's twin sister came up to me and yelled at me for not visiting and being a bad daughter to my mother. Yes, she did. At my father's funeral. Was so pissed. Again, and similar to you... why the fuck would I want to with manners like that?

Rita Templeton said...

Okay, so talking about feeling awkward at funerals made me think of a story you'll appreciate.

When my husband (Curtis)'s grandma died, the family was filtering in and out at the visitation, having conversations among themselves. I overheard an old guy introducing Curtis's cousin to someone. Now, the cousin's name is Shane, and his father's name is Dick. So during the introduction, the old guy kept calling Shane "LITTLE DICK." OMG! I seriously almost suffocated from trying so hard to stifle my laughter. I mean, of alllll the inappropriate times to laugh! But I could NOT help it!!!

Trissta {Living on the Chic} said...

I ALWAYS seem to have millions of awkward convos, but the one that you reminded me of was with the guy I had been dating prior to my move (which he still texts me and we have awkward convos) when we were laying on the floor just hanging out (he was getting ready to move, so he had no furniture in his place) and he had been reading some poetry that he had written to me. I told him that I loved that he wrote poetry and that it was a great depth factor for a guy to have and that he always seemed to surprise me. His response (and this is an exact quote) was "The only thing that has surprised me about you is that you're a lot smarter than I initially expected you to be." Needless to say I was dumbfounded and could only come up with some smart ass comment in response and then the whole thing went downhill from there. LMAO. I still laugh about awkward convos I have with people. I really just think that I'm a magnet for such situations.

Much Love,

Jen said...

Hmmmmm...Awkward conversations...Well. This wasn't really awkward for me but possibly my uncle? I had to call him recenly and I hadn't spoken to him since like 1987. A. To let him know that his sister had died and B. That he would NOT be receiving any of her's or their parents antiques or jewelry as it was relayed to us kids that he (my uncle) and his wife had pretty much pirated my grandparents house back when they died and left my Mom nothing and that if my Dad hadn't tried to kick your ass, you would have given her anything. So that was a good time ;)

MarlaD said...

When my grandma died in 1988, my mom and I decided she would like to be buried with a little costume jewelry stickpin I had bought for her that she loved. So we had them put it on her dress. After the service, two of the gentlemen in suits working for the morturary came to my mom and I and gallantly presented the pin to us on opened palms like it was the crown jewels and said "we understand you wanted to keep this". My mom and I must have looked like cartoon characters, we looked at each other horrified with jaws dropped and eyes like saucers. My mom was speechless. I said uh, no, that was supposed to stay with her. They had to open the casket and put it back on. (This was the first time I became aware that people dress up the corpse with jewelry just for the funeral, and then take the jewelry back...ack!!) So awkward!

Lorena said...

I think some people just don't know what to do at funerals and idiot takes over.
20 years ago when my uncle died i overheard a woman as she went to my grandmother and said ! so sad your only boy died, i mean you have three girls..."
So she meant that maybe one of the women had died.
I am sorry you had to put up with all that crap, it's bad enough someone loved passed away.

Claire Kiefer said...

I don't think that I knew that your grandma had passed away. I'm really sorry to hear that. My grandma passed away this summer and it was really sad. The funeral was similar to your grandma's: really nice, churchy, and full of relatives.

I'm in a bit of shock re: estate sale, appalled by "DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY?" (um, no, I'm an orphan), and endlessly amused by the Macaroni Grill thing. OMG the idea of Macaroni Grill "sponsoring your grandma's funeral!"


kathy @ vodka and soda said...

gosh, those are awkward! i don't have any awkward convos, mostly because i keep to myself most of the time.

i'm sorry your grandmother passed away :( i went to a funeral yesterday too :(

Kristine said...

Glad you got through the funeral okay (although glad isn't really the right word to apply to a funeral)Families are so weird, even more so at highly charged occasions. I am always dodging the "any kids?" "Why don't you have kids" questions and made it really awkward once when I said "because I'd really rather give birth to a puppy" (which is true)Hope you are doing okay and are recovering!

fabulousjunk said...

This is soooo weird! I just posted a awkward post about how fucking socially awkward I am. Uggghhhh and making small talk! I can relate girl. Sometimes you just can't read people... and then when you do its too late. You know what I mean.


Maegan Tintari said...

omg people are so dumb.

In other news:


" like Macaroni Grill had sponsored my grandma's funeral "

...made me laugh.out.loud. lol


I stupidly mumbled, "Well, I am important too."

....JUST FUCKING KILLED ME!!!!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAH so amazing. seriously. gold.

cerebral e said...

My goodness, this cracked me up. My family (particularly some of the Asian aunties) like to tactlessly state the obvious "Ooh, you have a lot of pimples," or "Your tummy's so fat, you look pregnant."

Lara said...

So so glad to hear that the funeral was nice. Seriously.
Funerals really bring out the weird awkward convos. No one wants to be there but they're still excited to see people they haven't seen in a while so yeah... let's get happy and catch up. So weird.
OMG I have these terrible socially awkward moments all the time. Last night I was stuck taking tickets for a friend's dance thing with a girl I'd never met before and I kept repeating myself while we were making small talk. I couldn't stop myself. I felt like an idiot.

And to "cerebral e" above me, yes... Asian family awkward convos have been blowing my mind since I started dating my fiance 4 years ago. No filter at all! :)

SabinePsynopsis said...

I'm really sorry about your gran. And sorry about sister Clueless and Mrs Ego and all the rest... Nonetheless this was SO MUCH fun to read... I giggled all the way. (Bad bad woman!!)

Miss Absinthe said...

My condolences on your grandma. xoxo

melifaif said...

I can't think. You just make me giggle. And I know Louise is too. Much love to her and you. :)