WELL, THAT WAS AWKWARD.
I have a theory about the Comfortable Silence. They are either automatic when you click with someone immediately, they grow organically as you get to know people better, or they simply don't exist at all with some people. You never really know how much you take a comfortable silence for granted until you are faced with an uncomfortable one.
We have a new guy working here that I haven't had a chance to get to know very well. He seems really sweet and like someone I could possibly become good friends with given a chance. Yesterday I was sitting at my desk fooling around on my computer when I happened to look up and see the new guy in my doorway. He didn't really say anything, but just stood there and smiled. I said hello, thinking he needed something, and he just kept smiling and standing there. He did eventually tell me he was up there to see one of my co-workers who turned out not to be in his office, and decided to say hello to me while he was there. We sat there basically smiling and looking at each other for a while. I had no idea what to say. I mean, as most of you know I could talk to a mailbox for an hour, if it were a familiar mailbox. I suddenly started feeling awkward. I wanted very badly to make him feel comfortable and not bored, but the more that I wracked my brain for a subject, the less my mind wanted to fix on a subject. I mean, I don't really know the guy! Outwardly, I probably looked fine, except for the big smile that never left my face, but inside I was thinking "OK, what can I talk about? I don't know! He's going to think I'm an idiot if I just sit here and smile. But he's not saying anything, either! He's just standing there and smiling! Dear Lord, I don't know what to do! Now I'm awkward! Awkward! AHHHHHHHH!" It was traumatic.
We finally did end up talking a little and to kind of break the awkwardness I jumped up to try and see if I could find whatever it was he came up here to get from my co-worker. I babbled to fill up quiet time, which probably made me sound silly. We also spent a lot of time just looking at each other and smiling because we didn't know what to say. If he's going to work here and come to visit me, I'm going to need to find out more about him. I'll google him if I have to!