During the fall of my first year at Bowdoin, I felt compelled to join a group on the then-benign Facebook called "Why Is My Life So Awkward?" Upon first discovering the group, I had been touched. "Finally," I thought to myself, "a group of collegians who, like me, have failed to outgrow their adolescent ineptitude. I shall find my niche at Bowdoin yet!"

To corroborate just how awkward I am, yes, I did say that aloud, in a room populated by no fewer than five strangers.

This sense of intimacy was dashed, however, when I clicked into the group's home page and discovered that it was comprised of over 300 members. Could nearly a quarter of the students on campus be as chronically maladroit as I? For one, that would explain the extreme popularity of alcohol on campus. Also, it would explain why nobody dates, or dances in rhythm, or talks to each other ever again after abiding a spontaneous sexual impulse.

Whatever the case, I feel that awkwardness is prevalent enough to deserve attention in this column. I wish to share with you one of my most awkward moments during my time at Bowdoin.

It came early in the second semester of my first year. I was in Thorne Hall, enjoying a rather typical dinner with my floormates. At some point, I said to myself (not aloud this time), "Boy, a jam sandwich would really hit the spot right about now." (That's jam, NOT jelly.) I excused myself from the table and ventured toward the buffet to retrieve my quarry.

(Just in case anybody is hung up on the fact that I craved a jam sandwich and not a peanut butter-and-jam sandwich, I would like to make clear, for the record, that I harbor no prejudices against peanut butter-and-jam sandwiches. I enjoy them often. Sometimes I opt for a jam-free peanut butter sandwich. My taste buds are eccentric and unpredictable. Anyway, it's none of your damn business and I'd appreciate it if you stopped judging me and paid attention to the narrative.)

When I arrived at the toast station?by which I mean the area of the counter where toastable bread, toasters, and toast paraphernalia are available...I don't know if it has a name, exactly?I found it was occupied by a friendly seeming young woman who was buttering a slice of honey wheat.

Now, I'm not sure what the consensus is with regard to etiquette in these circumstances, but as far as I'm concerned, it is acceptable to reach around the sneeze-guard support-pole in order to access the jam (or hummus, butter, peanut butter, et cetera) as long as you do not interfere with the business of the obstructing party.

Why not just wait 10 seconds or so for the girl to finish spreading, you may inquire? It is a fair question, but please bear in mind: I really, really wanted that jam sandwich.

I awkwardly contorted my body into the shape of a question mark and made for the jam. Though I managed not to touch the girl, but she did sort of look at me funny when I executed this maneuver. Not angry or annoyed; just a bit surprised. I was, after all, mere centimeters from touching her hip with my inner thigh, which is among the most awkward places for two sober people to accidentally touch.

Her reaction rankled me. I had been counting on her indifference. Embarrassed and a little panicked, I sought to explain myself.

"Oh, um, excuse me," I said.

And then I said this:

"Nothing like a jam sandwich, says I."

In a numb instant, I traveled several seconds into the past. This time, when I uttered perhaps the most awkward line imaginable, I was completely outside my body, watching the scene unfold in slow motion as I screamed "No! Don't say it!" at the top of my lungs.

I mean, seriously, "Says I"? Where on earth could I have picked that up? It sounds like something I must have absorbed from the Renaissance fairs or sea chanteys of my youth. Why it reared its awkward head that fateful day in Thorne, I cannot figure for the life of me.

The stranger smiled that slight, polite smile that you use when someone says something that you don't understand and then grins in anticipation of your reaction. The full weight of the awkwardness of our interaction had clearly not struck her yet. I, on the other hand, was pinned to the floor by it, the breath escaping my body, followed closely by my dignity.

I recently checked the group page for "Why Is My Life So Awkward?" and found that nearly half the people who were members two years ago have since left the group. Does this mean that as the college experience wears on, people become less awkward? If this is the case, then I once again feel I am in the minority, having helplessly watched myself become exponentially more awkward as my adult life has progressed.

But perhaps I am not alone. I'm thinking of starting a new group, something along the lines of "Despite Pretenses to Maturity, I Remain Wretchedly Awkward." I welcome anyone to join.

Nothing like a little camaraderie and commiseration, says I.