Confessions of an Awkward Black Girl

Hey, there.

If any of you are my friends on facebook (sidenote- I should get one of those fan pages, eh?), you know that I have been raving for MONTHS about the webseries, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. If the name alone doesn’t catch your fancy as it did for me, allow me to give you a brief overview of the series. The protagonist, J (played by writer/director Issa Rae) is awkward, black, and a woman, so we get to see how she navigates those three unchangeable aspects in everyday life. She shares that internal dialogue that we often have when faced with situations that, to the average person, are nothing, but to the awkward person, it becomes the BIGGEST THING EVER. A perfect example is the protocol for running into someone repeatedly at stop signs, highlighted in the very first episode, shown below.

With that said, this series is EVERYTHING. Being a black woman, it’s hard to find a series out that wants to accurately depict us as something other than basketball jumpoffs or Atlanta socialites. Some of us love quirky too- heck, some of us ARE quirky! Sure, there are shows out there that feature black people, like that one guy on The Office…


… or that one lady from Parks and Recreation that isn’t Rashida Jones, who is Black but they probably never mention it , who I can only call ‘mmm-hmmm,’ because that’s all she seems to say…

Mmm-hmm (Note: she actually does say more than this)

…but there isn’t a show that features a girl that looks like me as the main character, engaging in normal activities outside of auditioning for the next Immature video, and that sucked, until TMOABG (word to acronyms) came on the scene. In honor of the show, I decided to embrace my own brand of awkward, and highlight some features in my daily life that I can’t help because of it:

  • Meeting New People– I’ll be honest: I suck at this. Because I’m an observer by nature, I tend to be on the tail end of meeting folks, in order to avoid the crowds and get to know you on my own terms. Plus, when there’s so many people and things to do, I get a bit flustered, and start to wonder about silly things, like where my hands need to be at any given moment. Uh, pause. Plus, my perception is a mofo, so even before our firs encounter, I may be able to pick up on your entire being in a way that will scare you and I both. Not in a creepy way, but I’m just usually spot on with my first impressions.
  • Conversation Style– Admittedly, I have a bit of a short attention span, yet it gets better with the more things I’m involved in. I actually prefer talking on the phone more than in person, and don’t care much for texting, except with folks I know won’t respond with k’s and o’s. That said, if engaged with you one on one and my eyes start darting, don’t take it personally. Rest assured I’m still paying attention, and listening well. I just need to figure out where my hands go. Pause. 
  • Facial Expressions- My face tells everything I’m thinking, intended or not. If I know and trust you really well, I can even have a full conversation with you based on these expressions. Even if I’m not expressing myself with words, which I admittedly suck at, my faces will usually be your clue as to whether I’m really into your story about *insert whatever you’re talmbowt,* or if I’m replaying an episode of Legends of the Hidden Temple in my head, and mad that the kid can’t put together the Shrine of the Silver Monkey (seriously- it’s three pieces: butt, middle, and jam the head. WHY DO THEY TREAT THIS LIKE PHYSICS?!).
  • Interaction with Babies– My past, present, and future is Nanny McBeez. With that in mind, people think I this magical infant guru who can speak in soothing tones to their wee ones and they gleefuly comply. More often than not, this is not the case. I despise baby talk, so I speak to infants like they know what hedge funds are. When soothing them, I urge them to think about their lives and their choices. When they decide to make messes, I give them a Powerpoint presentation on the effects of littering. I suppose my unwavering patience is what eventually wins me over with the pre-walker set.
  • Inability to Take Compliments- This is, by far, the most awkward thing I do. Every time I get complimented on something, my brain processes it as “you’re messed up somewhere- and it’s BAD!”  which leads me to downplay the compliment the complimenter was trying to compliment me on in the first place. *takes breath* Still with me? The conversation that follows is usually what cements my place in the awkward hall of fame. For example: 
    • Nice person- Hey, I like your eye makeup. 
    • My Internal Monologue- You didn’t pluck your eyebrows- YOU LOOK LIKE DRAKE IN THE FACE! 
    • Me (out loud): Uh… thank… you? I mean… I don’t do this too often, so I was sure I left the house with my certificate from Tammy Faye’s School of Messed Up About the Face-Ness For Colored Girls Who Considered Wet and Wild When MAC was Too Expensive.
    • Nice Person: Uhhhhrrrrmm… Nebmind. *runs away*

Because, as always, I’m working on being a work in progress, I am now aware that my state of awkwardness begins in my head, where all of this wacky stuff takes place. Then again, as the famous knitter Albus Dumbledore once said, “Of course it is happening inside your head… but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” With acknowledgment comes acceptance, and with acceptance comes… t-shirts.

Series creator, Issa Rae, with the phrase of my life. Get them here.

If you want to watch more episodes beyond the first, you can find them at the website, or on YouTube. Follow on facebook or twitter if you have it, too.

Sharing time! How awkward do you allow yourself to be, in the company of yourself and/or others? 

Hoping none of my clients call CPS on me,

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