2014 Has Been An Especially Awkward Year

Internet, I’m glad we've all embraced our collective awkwardness. Before all the Tina Fey and Rashida Jones gifs and the think-pieces about our awkward human existence, I was quietly embarrassed about any awkward vibes I gave off. For days, I would overanalyze the way I stood when I was in line at Panera, how I positioned my arms during a meeting, and how quickly I was able – or not able – to recover from a coughing fit in front of my friends. Internet, it’s so awesome that you’ve normalized awkward.

No longer are we this cowering, marginalized group of individuals who are too afraid to go grab some napkins at a cafe because what if we can’t find the napkins right away and are forced to look around cluelessly in front of a bunch of people? THE HORROR. But no, really – it's horrible, and now I feel more free to talk about it. I’m actually grateful that we are able to embrace our inner-awkward, celebrate it, and cherish it. Our awkwardness is not something we should ever be ashamed of, because it’s one of the traits that make us so very human.

Unfortunately, every year brings new situations, new technology, and new opportunities for all of us awkward humans to be as awkward as possible. Some awkward situations are timeless, but 2014 has some that are truly unique to this time in history:

1. When you grab someone else’s drink by mistake at the coffee shop

Baristas always scribble names on cups, so this mistake is very easy to make, right? And yeah, they may have called out a name that’s not yours, but who says you were listening? Does anyone actually listen? Is there any way I can get my coffee and get out of here without sweating?

2. When you say goodbye to someone but then you two keep walking in the same direction

I always find it’s best to alleviate the situation by saying, “HAHA OH MY GOSH, ARE WE WALKING TO THE SAME PLACE?” as if I don't know what's going, addressing the weirdness head-on. This has literally never diminished the awkwardness, but I keep trying.

3. When you GChat someone even though they're “busy” and immediately feel like a needy asshole

Immediately you regret messaging them, but now you can’t back out. But you don’t want them to feel obligated to answer you, and you also don’t want to keep messaging them with “sorry I know you’re busy,” because that just makes you look too eager. Maybe it’s just best to step AWAY from the computer and also maybe burn your computer and probably never speak to other people ever again, you know?

4. Google Hangout

This is very grandma of me to say, but my 6-year-old niece introduced me to Google Hangout about two months ago. I’ve always been a Skype girl, but if Google is taking over the world, what can I do? Either way, talking to people through computers is very weird. Like, it feels too technologically advanced for us as a society. The screens are always slightly blurry, if the Internet is bad there’s always a weird time lag, I mean, Google Hangout is just a disaster waiting to happen.

5. Eating sushi

Because shoving big wads of rice and fish in your mouth is hard, okay? There was a time when every other lunch invitation did not involve this struggle, and I'm sad I don't live back then.

6. When you’re in a public bathroom and the automatic toilet refuses to flush

Even worse: you pooped or changed your tampon. Now it looks like you’re a hot, inconsiderate mess. Bring back manual flushing everywhere!

7. Stalking an ex’s girlfriend on Instagram and accidentally liking her pic

Surprisingly very, very easy to do. If we can now wear the Internet as glasses, we can make stalking people on Instagram a little bit safer, okay?

8. Work meetings that involve simultaneously eating and talking

Yes, lunch meetings are more of a 2014 problem than any year gone by; we're increasingly obsessed with being productive every minute of every day. So we eat while we meet. And it's awkward. You can’t talk with your mouth full, but you can’t just not eat your lunch. An awkward solution to this is going through with eating, but just covering your mouth with one hand. But THEN you sound muffled. And like you’re eating something.

9. Not knowing what to say when you’re talking on the phone and the reception is awful

Being forced to say, “Hi. Hey. Um. Are you there? I don’t hear you. Hello? Hello!” is the worst. Sometimes I just hang up on people if their or my reception is bad because I can’t deal with confronting either of us about our horrible phones.

10. When your phone goes off in a quiet room and you can’t find it in your purse quick enough

When you need your phone the most is when it decides to slip into that secret pocket where you keep you Burt’s Bees and condoms/tampons (depending on the week).

11. When you answer to someone who didn’t even address you

There’s no good way to shake that one off, either. You're done.

12. Being the last person to get your food when you’re with a large group of friends at a restaurant

And half of them are trying to be polite, good people who will wait for their friend to get their meal, and the other half are slowly picking at their French fries before they get cold and limp. “Go ahead guys, it’s not a big deal. I’ll just eat these bread crumbs,” you say, as you dip crouton-sized morsels of free bread into the leftover butter on your appetizer plate.

13. Choking at any time

The worst is when you’re talk to someone you don’t know very well, and all of a sudden you start choking on spit or some pulp from your orange juice. Maybe it's not necessary to be embarrassed right at this moment, when you're barely clinging to life (okay, that's dramatic but still), but awkward people cannot help it. We feel weird about almost dying.

14. When you start singing aloud to a song and totally botch the lyrics

You could just laugh and say, “It’s better my way anyway,” but you’re too awkward.

15. Automatically responding with “yeah, wait what” whenever you don’t hear something

Sometimes, when you don’t hear something someone says, you try to play if off like you did. Because admitting you're a little deaf is tres embarrassing. But then a second later, you realize this could go very, very wrong. What if it's important information? What if "yeah" is not the appropriate response? So you ask them what they said and your brain cringes in despair.

16. When you laugh out of embarrassment and then can’t stop laughing

If you’re the kind of person who laughs when things go awry, then don’t worry: Your fight-or-flight response is adorable. Except when you can’t stop laughing, and your laughter just builds upon more laughter, and people are staring at you questioning your sanity. The worst is when you’ve finally calmed yourself down, and then someone makes a squeaking noise with their shoe or something, and then the laugh cycle starts all over again.

17. When someone shares a really treacherous photo of you from middle school on your Facebook wall

You could delete it, but then that shows defeat. Like, you REALLY care about how terrible and traumatizing your middle school years were! (You do, as a matter of fact.) Keeping it up means responding with a witty sentence, like, “Look at that hottie – I bet she had like 50 boyfriends." But this just makes things even more uncomfortable.

18. Fave’ing a Tweet five days after it was originally posted

Which means either you follow very few people on Twitter, or you specifically searched for that person’s feed (which is a very intense thing to do in the social media world).

19. Re-tagging yourself in Facebook photos from a few years ago

At some point, you untagged yourself because you didn’t like the way you were smiling, but now, two years later, you realize what a babe you actually were. So then you re-tag yourself in order to add that photo to your collection of acceptable Facebook photos. Everyone knows this is your thought process. Everyone.

20. Farting and not knowing what to do

Either you acknowledge it, or pray that everyone is congested.

21. Walking past the building you were supposed to go to

And realizing like five seconds later that you will need to u-turn, which will show that you were totally spacing out. Which you were, because walking can be boring.

22. When someone’s dog is way too into your vagina

Especially if the dog is only into YOUR specific vagina. You worry that people might think you haven’t showered. Or that you have your period. But mostly, you just want this dog’s face out of your crotch, thanks.

23. Typing a ;) when you really meant :)

And then feeling like a pervert. But don’t fret, we all know you’re just really, really awkward.

Images: Getty Images; Giphy(8)