That Awkward Moment: Adult Edition (Seriously, Don’t Let Your Kids Read This)

I don’t write about “private” things on the Internet.

This isn’t to leave you all out of my personal loop, but rather because I don’t talk about such things at all.

(Truly, you can ask my friends.)

(Assuming you know them.)

(Which would probably indicate that you know me in real life, and thus don’t have to verify said story.)

(So… pretty useless advice, really.)

And also because the kids read my blog.

Well, read is a strong word.

I’ve given them the address of my blog.

And when I’m in town, they sometimes look at it and then tell me to write more about them.

Still, though, I’d prefer their mother (my cousin) to not consider me the corruptive influence.

(At least not until they go away to college.)

(Bridget, if you’re reading this, that was totally a joke.)


When Classic NYer volunteered to share an embarrassing, awkward moment, she first asked if it was okay to go risque.

And, as my own repression is not hers, I said of course.

So if you’ve been yearning for more private area mentions on Best of Fates, this is your lucky day.

Or, if not, come back tomorrow.

There may be a post about motherhood.

(Which, should be emphasized, will not be mine.)

(The motherhood, that is, the post actually will be.)

(I’m going to stop myself now.)

“So,” she asked, leaning forward in anticipation, “have you seen his penis?”

(I warned you.)

“I’ve seen it,” I answered, sipping my afternoon wine.

Of course, it didn’t occur to either one of us that this was not appropriate conversation for a public eatery at three or so in the afternoon. Neither one of us really ever knows what’s appropriate. We were high school friends ten years ago in what some grown-ups called a “School for the Gifted,” which was of course, a thinly disguised code for “School for the Purposefully Awkward.”

(How was I not at that school?!)

We were the type who would take our shoes off in Central Park to protest the bondage of our feet. We were the type who would sit on the floor in the subway and sing very loudly in three or four part harmony, depending on how many of us were all going in the same direction.

(Aka, the cool kids.)

Now we were grown-ups, at least by the definition of the US Government and other grown-ups, and we still had no good sense.

“Is it good? Do you like it?” She cringed, sensing my hesitation. “It’s small, isn’t it?”

“No, it’s not small, but that’s just the issue. It’s very big. Surprisingly so. And I’m a little worried that it won’t fit.”

She smiled a sweet, knowing smile and leaned back in her seat. “Don’t worry,” she said. “It’ll fit. You’ll adjust. Too big is always better than too small.”

“I hope so.”

I would tend to trust her judgement on things of this nature. She had a lot more experience than I. She had already mastered the whole penis-vagina thing way back when I was still figuring out how to work a tampon.

The man of whom we spoke was my then-boyfriend-now-husband, who was in the process of being imported from way out of town. When he finally did arrive some months later, it would stand to reason that the first party we attended as a couple would be at her house. She’s like that. She throws the parties. For her, it was simply an excuse to show off a brand new dress that looked simply delicious on her. For me, it was an excuse to show off my brand-new fresh-off-the-plane fiance.

And oh, did he prance about! He is an extrovert, which is exactly the opposite of what I am. He managed to make more friends in his first five minutes there than I made in four years of high school. I sat in a corner and sipped on my whatever-the-hell-poison-was-in-my-glass while he chatted with all the people I didn’t even remember I had gone to high school with.

In a moment when our host, good host that she is, came over to offer me food or whatever she came over to do, she asked me if I was enjoying myself. I watched my fiance enjoying himself and decided that that was good enough for me.

“Yes, I am most definitely,” I said. I might have slurred it, actually. I don’t quite remember exactly how drunk I was at this particular moment.

“Oh,” I added with a bit of a wink. “It fits.”

She grinned a sly grin. “See! I told you!”

His ears must have been burning.

“What are you ladies talking about?”

We looked at each other and then looked at him. “Your penis,” we said in unison, and then broke into giggles.

“Why are– why are– why would you be– talking about my penis?”

“Because it’s soooo big!” I said. I think I was most definitely slurring by now.

The look on his face was complex and poetic. One could see the epic battle being waged between his sense of public decency and his testosterone. His face became just a little bit red. His usual habit of talking with his hands became extra pronounced as he waved them about, not quite sure where in space they should be.

“Well, yeah, but…” For a moment, I thought testosterone was going to beat out public decency.

“Why don’t you go ahead and drop ‘em? Show that baby off!”

And if I thought he couldn’t turn any more red, he proved me wrong. He also proved me wrong about the testosterone winning.

“I’m not going to drop my pants!” he said emphatically.

“Did somebody say something about dropping pants?” Somebody in the other room must have felt their spidey sense go off.

Suddenly a crowd of people who were previously doing something stupid or other in the living room thought it much more interesting to be in the kitchen. “Ooh! I wanna see!”

Did I mention I went to a high school for the Socially Awkward?

(Apparently, I attend rather boring parties.)

Suddenly, my fiance was surrounded, and turning the brightest red I’ve ever seen a man turn. “I’m not going to drop my pants, you pervs!” he said, laughing nervously.

“Why not, baby? I just want to show all these cats what I’m working with here? Can’t I show my baby off?”

(That might have been a black moment. I have way too many of those when I drink too much.)

(Or a ’60s moment.)

(Depends on whether you were suddenly wearing bell bottoms.)

(And also sometimes when I don’t drink at all.)

(Hey, you like what I did there with the parentheses?)

(Yes, yes I do.)

“Yeah,” said somebody who wasn’t black. “Show all these ‘cats’ what you’re working with!”

“Yeah, baby! Let’s see you swing low, sweet chariot!”

(Because being around people who are not black but imitating my blackness makes me act more black.)

(It’s complicated.)

(It always is.)

At that moment, another school friend of mine sneaked alongside me and took the glass out of my hand.

“Hey! I wasn’t finished with that!”

“Oh, yes you were.”

And that’s why friends are so important.