How I Become More Awkward as I Age

I’ve lost my marginal coolness and my mojo, too

Sarah Paris
it’s just foam

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A weird guy poses with a plant
Photo by Stewart MacLean on Unsplash

“First theater on the left. Enjoy the show,” a young acne-faced ticket taker says without looking at me. I respond with everyone’s favorite super awkward line, “Thanks, you too!”

But I don’t stop there. I let out an uncomfortable laugh and the word vomit begins to flow. I can do nothing to stop it. “Er, I mean, if you’re going to see this movie. You probably already have, as it was released two weeks ago. Ha. Ha.”

He lifts his head and stares at me. I continue, “Have you ever counted the number of times someone has said, ‘Thanks, you too’?” His eyes narrow into a glare as if to say, “What is wrong with you, woman? Did you sit alone in the high school lunchroom? Have you ever talked to an actual human before?”

“Welp,” I mutter. I nod and head to the first theater on my left.

This nerdy moment wasn’t always my standard exchange. For decades, I kept my awkward nature bottled up inside. As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve experienced a monumental internal shift. No longer do I exude the cool of a pretty, hopeful youngin’. I become more dorky as I age, and when I open my mouth, I have an out-of-body experience. I watch the speeding train of my awkwardness carve a path of destruction.

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Sarah Paris
it’s just foam

Author of Signs My Toddler Has a Drinking Problem (humor collection).Freelance writer of all things. Looper features writer. Believer. Adventurer. Semi- funny.