Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Awkward Moment When You Try To Make Friends

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          Every Saturday I go to the Music Institute of Chicago to wait for my little sister to finish with her violin lessons. And every Saturday it seems like the same kid sits next to me in the waiting room, opens a green binder labeled “Pre-Calculus,” stares at a page of notes for exactly two minutes, active reads half of a book (yes, it’s different each time), and then takes out his music and hums quietly to himself. Yes, all of this occurs in approximately 45 minutes while he waits for his teacher to call for him.
            If you were curious, this week’s literary work was Hamlet.
            Considering that I see this kid every Saturday, I decided to make a friend and break the awkward ice that always occurs since we always end up sitting next to each other every single Saturday.
            “Hi, I’m Sarah. I noticed you come here—”
            “Yeah, I have a lesson.”
            Enter a good 10 minutes of silence. Why am I so awkward? I’d like to know that, too.
            So I took out my assignment notebook and was busy crossing out my English homework pretending to be productive when the kid looks at the cover of my notebook and asks, “You’re from Glenbrook North?”
            Extremely happy that he decided to break the silence, I took the opportunity to respond with, “Yeah, I am. Which school are you from?”
            “New Trier. But I’m actually a transfer student from Spain.”
            “Oh, wow, you don’t have an accent!”
            Why do I always say the wrong things at the wrong time?
            Trying to not sound completely stupid, I added, “I mean, like, you know, for, uh…”
            That definitely helped.
            Luckily, his teacher decided to come just at the right moment and call for him.
            He reached for a handshake with his left hand.
            I reached for a handshake with my right.
            Seeing that the handshake wouldn’t work out, he simply said, “Well, it was nice talking to you, Sarah. Also, your pencil case is spilling right now.”
            “Oh, well, yeah, thanks…”
            I cleaned up my pencil case and swore I’d never try to make small talk with people who open green binders labeled “Pre-Calculus,” stare at notes for two minutes, active read crazy hard books, and hum their violin music to themselves again.
            But I mean, chances are, I’ll end up talking to the kid again.
            Because who doesn’t want a friend from Spain? 

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