People Person

Dear Grace,

I think “disaster” is a gross understatement for your portrait fiasco. But in retrospect it’s now hilarious, right?

Lately, I have been having some awkward interactions with people and there must be a way to make it stop from happening. If only I knew how.


In high school, my classmates either believed I was demure and Disney-princess-like or they believed I was utterly heartless and out to destroy the fragile self-esteems of my fellow teenagers. What they did not consider is a third and more accurate possibility that I am just bad with people in general. I believe that most people grow out of their awkwardness, but I feel as mine is only growing in intensity.

Case in point, when I met Abe’s family for the first time I was a bundle of nerves and was attempting to be gracious and lovely but to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. When Abe introduced me to his grandmother, he announced to me that she was a hugger. I thought it was merely a statement of fact, a note about grandma to file away for later. But no, it was meant as a suggestion. So as we stood there rather awkwardly, Abe said, “Go ahead, give her a hug.” And then I did nothing. I just looked at Abe in a panic not knowing what to do as I am not accustomed to embracing people I met only seconds before. Likewise, Abe’s grandma did not look as though she was particularly ready to hug me either. Someone drew our attention away soon after, but to me it seemed full minutes of agony while I stood dumbfounded as to what I should do. Thankfully since then I have had more opportunities to redeem myself and Abe’s grandma is one of my favorite people.

But my most recent disaster involves Jane. Nothing can be worse than offending one of your best friends. Jane is my go-to person when it comes to fashion advice, because you know Jane, her style is perfect. Sometimes she returns the favor and will ask me my opinion. It’s a rare occurrence, and now I know why. Today Jane sent me a picture of a purse asking for my thoughts. The purse was large and emblazoned with the words “crazy like a fox.” I was not the biggest fan of the purse and thought Jane was only joking about whether or not she should purchase it because it’s not usually the type of thing she goes for. In a sad attempt at wit, I texted back that she would be CRAZY to buy it. Unfortunately Jane had already bought the purse by the time I responded . . . So yes, I told my best friend her most recent purchase was a terrible idea by insinuating that she would have to be insane to buy it. I doubt she’ll ask for my advice again any time soon.  

But how are things with you?



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