You’re walking along. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, there’s a rainbow over the rooftops and joy in your heart. Maybe.
Another person is walking towards you. A stranger, who avoids your gaze as studiously as you avoid theirs.
Problem. You’re both walking on the same side of the pavement.
The other person seems determined to stay on that side. This annoys you. ‘Why should I be the one to back down?’ you think. ‘I’m not going to move.’
So you both stay on the same side. You get closer and closer.
Close enough to touch.
A collision is half a second away.
But of course that doesn’t happen, unless you’re both engrossed in your phones and haven’t even noticed the impending collision.
Defeat: you move to the other side of the pavement, rather than crash into the stranger.
Victory: the stranger decides you’re the more determined and probably a psychopath, so they move.
Or you both move at the same time, compounding the problem because you’re even closer to collision and you’re starting to look ridiculous. Unless one of you stays still, allowing the other person to walk around, you’ll be locked into a pavement side-step until the end of time, shuffling one way and then another while God pulls the plug on the Universe and one by one the stars are going out.
Awkward! is a series about those tricky situations we encounter in everyday life.