Awkward, Anxious, and Average

AwkAnxAvg 3: Chicken Fingers

“I would like the chicken fingers.”

“I would like the chicken fingers, please.”

“I would like…”

“What are you doing?” Her voice broke my rehearsing. Why do I think out loud? For once, I will not overthink it, I am going to try and play it cool.

“Hmm, what’s that?” Real cool.

“What are you doing? I hear you mumbling behind your menu.” Oh what a sweet chuckle, if only it could calm me.

“Oh, I was just saying my order out loud. I want to make sure I am ready when our server returns.” Oh no, I did not think that answer completely through. That is not a normal behavior. I know I want to be myself, but that’s not always the winning way. I’m blowing it! Maybe she won’t press it. Please don’t press it.

“Oh, interesting.” Is she saying that to be nice, interesting? That is not interesting at all. Oh, that is interesting. Really interesting, Jayla. You are so interesting. I can pick up on sarcasm.

“Are you ladies ready to order?” The server is back. What was his name, Jordan? John? Jason? Sir, instead of taking our order, please run an iron over your wrinkled, black shirt and come back in a few minutes. That was mean, I’m sorry. Please go away, thank you.

“Yes, I think we’re ready! I’ll have the Caesar salad.” She speaks for the both of us now? She cannot tell that I am not ready? Am I hiding it that well? Please let there be a fire in the kitchen that you must excuse yourself and forget my order.

“Excellent and for you?” Damn.

“Uh…” They are both looking at me, expectantly. “I….” Why did he come back so soon? She distracted me. What do I want? “Uh, I would like the um chicken fingers?” Why am I questioning it? Curse my upward inflection!

“You don’t sound too sure.” He laughs. I don’t think your smirk is cute, sir. Reign is going to think I am so weird. This is not going well at all. Sniff, sniff, do you smell that? Anxiety sweat, my armpits!

“Ha! Yeah, right. That’s what I want for sure. Ha.Ha.Ha.” Yes, everyone loves robotic laughter. Please do not take my menu, I’m hiding. My green, plastic shield; my only safety.

“Are you okay?” Her eyes are so soft and warm and here I am, in my own head. She probably does like me. She just wants to understand me and know me. Why can’t I be cool? Why can’t I just be normal? Stop thinking!

“Yeah, I’m good! I just get a little flustered when I order food sometimes. Or, you know, talk or be a person.” Or, just exists in general…

“You’re so funny and quirky.” She flips a twist over her shoulder and cocks her head to the side.

“I’m glad you think so, that’s what I am going for.” Too bad I’m not joking. Okay, she is staring too intensely now. I cannot keep it up. Let’s break the eye contact for a bit and scan the diner. Old people ordering coffee, delightful. Full pies in the dessert display, they look like they have been there all day. Children staring at the fish tank, salt water or fresh water do you think?

The noise of someone clearing their throat breaks my focus, “am I boring you?”



Do you like Awkward, Anxious, and Average? Start from the beginning!

  1. The Beginning? It’s Probably Nothing.
  2. Mindful-what?

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