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Saturday 19 August 2017

Cringe checklist: the ultimate list of Irish awkward moments

Get ready to feel morto.

When you look back, life sometimes seems to be just one awkward and embarrassing moment after the next.

Irish people really can't cope with the quintessential "awky-momo". Whether it is the initial confrontation or the years of slagging that follow, dealing well with an awkward situation just isn't in the Irish DNA.

While we all seem to be great at making a hames of everyday mishaps, there is safety in numbers.

There is nothing to bond a new friendship quite like sharing your most awkward story.

Count yourself as a Calamity Jane or a Morto Michael? Have a look at our checklist and count up all your cringeworthy moments:

Name mix-up

We’ve all been there: you have been calling your new colleague Sarah for the past week and she’s just corrected you, telling you her name is Nora. Sometimes it has just gone on too long: you thought your sister’s new boyfriend was named Dave for months but you just spotted on his Facebook that his name is John. There is no turning back now – you’ll just have to stick with Dave and wait for them to split up.

Stalker danger

Your ex has a new girlfriend so you just had to check out her Facebook. And then her Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. What about Bebo? Is it still going? You are 16 weeks deep in her first cousin’s boyfriend’s sister’s feed when you hit ‘like’ by accident. You’ve been nabbed. You were meant to be leading the life of a fabulous, independent woman not a borderline stalker. Best just to leave Ireland, get a new identity and act like it never happened.

Blast from the past

Looking back on our school years, it might all seem like a very embarrassing distant memory. Whether it was your Boyzone bedroom shrine or those baggy cargo pants, there was plenty about your childhood to cringe about. In the classroom, there was one awkward mishap which trumped all others. You had settled into class and had a question to ask the teacher. You turned to Ms O’Reilly and called her “Mum”. The slagging from that one incident has stayed with you for years, you have never managed to quite live it down.

Fall from grace

You know the man who fell on the ice? Remember him? He may have had the most infamous fall in Irish cultural history but every last one of us has taken our own very public tumble. You were rushing to get the last bus, weighed down by shopping bags and tripped in front of a crowd of tourists on Henry Street. You jump to your feet and make a quick escape: knees and ego considerably bruised. Then you spend the journey home, and for many years afterwards, replaying the moment over and over in your head.

Unrequited love

Loved up in your new relationship, you text all the time. You have a pet name for one another and finish all your texts with kisses. You have just crafted a WhatsApp message that is worthy of the love poet Byron then you hit send. Only to realise in immediate horror that you have sent this lovey-dovey slush-fest to none other than your married middle-aged driving instructor. You should just resign to the fact of getting the bus for the rest of your life.

Christmas Fear

The work Christmas party is something we look forward to all year. You have had your hairdressing appointment booked for weeks, you just bought a brand new outfit for the occasion and you are ready for some festive fun. Free drinks reception – how lovely you think, best take advantage of this. You have a glass of wine with your dinner. Next thing you know you have slept in for work, woke up with a killer hangover and everyone in the office is watching a video of you dancing the full routine to Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ with Robert from IT.

Baby on board

You run into an old friend from school on the Luas that you haven’t seen in a few years. You notice that she is few months pregnant. You compliment her on how well she is looking and ask how she is getting on. Then you ask her would she like your seat, she must be “a few months along”. She lets you know that she is, in fact, not pregnant. You have nowhere to run, you just have to apologise and make polite conversation. A serious cringeworthy classic.

Caught in the act

Back at home, you are catching up with old friends over Easter and you spot your arch-enemy from school. You are having a good gossip session with your mate about how old she looks. You hear her voice behind you, “you’re talking about me, aren’t you?”. You turn round and cop she has been standing behind you both the whole time. It’s bad when you can’t wait to get back to work after the Bank Holiday!

Not making the cut

You’ve booked in for a new haircut. You want something a bit different so you let the hairdresser get going. The best part of getting a haircut has to be a chance to read some great trashy magazines. All caught up on the daily lives of the Kardashians and Kerry Katona, the hairdresser asks you if you like your new style. It’s like a mix between a mullet and a perm. While she shows you the back, you just say “oh that’s lovely”. Then you pay and get back in the car to have a quick cry. You are just going to have to wear a hat until 2018.

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Now that’s worth thinking about.

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