I’m sitting in Four Star Pizza, waiting for my order to be ready.
Because I’m sitting here at a table on my own, it’s obvious that I’m just here to collect my pizza and head away.
What is also painfully obvious is that I’m currently the only customer in the whole restaurant, I mean, it’s literally just me, a lot of empty tables and the people working here.
Which of course makes all of my movements all the more noticeable.
So, not wanting to seem like the ‘impatient, desperate for pizza’ type in front of the Four Star employees behind the counter, I decide a plan is needed.
‘Right, I can’t let them think anything of me, except normal things’ I think so obviously I decide that I should adopt a relaxed/devil-may-care air about me while I wait.
Slide down a little in the seat?
Stretch my arms out casually? Check.
Bring up Facebook on my phone so and scroll idly through my news-feed to look like I’m occupied?
Check, check, check.
“Excuse me sir? Did you say you wanted chicken on that?” asks the Four Star employee from behind the counter?
“I did indeed, that’d be perfect, thanks” I reply nonchalantly.
‘God damn it Dennehy, you are being one smooth son of a gun right now! You answered that like some sort of professional relaxed person, we are in the clear here buddy!’ I think proudly to myself.
“Hey man, how are you?” comes a voice from across the room.
Glancing up only for a second, I only see a delivery man for Four Star standing there and not knowing anyone that works here, I decide that it can’t be me he’s talking to and so I go back to looking busy on my phone.
“Man, what’s up?” the delivery guy says again, this time coming straight over to me.
I glance up again, completely not mentally ready for any sort of conversation and realise, ‘Sheeeit, I know this guy’s face…but not his NAME’.
‘Think quickly!’ I tell myself.
“Hey DUDE, how are you getting on?” I say back all too quickly, my words mashing together like a crowd on a dance floor.
“Ahh I’m not doing too bad now. What about you?” he says, in a perfectly calm and easy going tone.
‘This guys got the small talk skill nailed down’ I think inwardly.
“I’m grand out sure….and you?” I say back, before realising my mistake…
“Uh, I’m good…” he says, now looking me a little strangely, “I’m working away sure,” he continues.
“Yeah, ha it’s…uh…got to be done though” I say, my laugh coming out a little too forced, my eyes contact now having drifted from his face to the floor.
“Right, I better be off, see you around…” he says as he walks out.
“Cool, cool,” I respond in garbled English, as my pride mind descends into a hell of embarrassment.
A few minutes later, my pizza is ready, I thank the pizza girl in a carefully measured tone (having been practicing it for the last few minutes in my head) and off I head.
I am the awkward bee.