Embarrassing non-embarrassment

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So one of the things I like to do is talk to random people.

I don’t know if it’s a curse or a blessing, but sometimes it leads to uncomfortable awkwardness. Earlier today, for example, I was standing in Starbucks after an hour at the gym. I was wearing a mustard-colored Packers hoodie, basketball shorts and sneakers. My head is shaved.

I ordered my drink, waited—then noticed another guy in the exact same outfit, with a shaved head. It was an uncanny moment, and I tapped him on the shoulder said said, “Glad you got the memo.”

“What?” he said.

“The shaved head-mustard sweatshirt memo.”

He sorta grunted and walked three feet away. Totally awkward.

But not nearly as awkward as something that happened one day earlier. We were at a gathering in someone’s home (a friend of the wife). There were, oh, about 15 of us. And at one point I was standing in a circle with two other men. One of the guys was jabbering away, the other was staring right at me. And he starts to motion with his finger toward my nose; sorta lifting his index up and around.

It was the international “You have a whole lotta snot dangling” sign.

Mortified (but thankful), I ducked out, called my son to the side and whispered, “Do I have stuff on my nose?”

“What?” he said.

“Do I have stuff on my nose?” I said, louder.

“What did you say?” he said again.



“Oh,” he said, “you do.”