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Name: Adam Bernard
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July 2010 - January 2013
Miss Awkward Talks About Getting Some Tough Love
Monday, May 07, 2012

Of all the women on this season’s edition of VH1’s Tough Love, Melissa Schultz, aka Miss Awkward, seems to have struck a chord with the most people. The announcement to a boat full of men about her virginity, albeit an announcement not made by her, and her penchant for making the occasional goofy face, makes her a bit of a reality show anomaly - she’s unabashedly herself. While others routinely choose to try to present one aspect of themselves, whether that aspect is based in reality or not, Melissa let us know right off the bat that she’s a virgin, she’s quirky, and she knows she needs some help in the dating department.

This week, with Tough Love New Orleans hitting its stride, I caught up with Melissa to find out about some of her initial impressions when she arrived at the house, which cast member raided her closet, and the always important vaginal acoustics. Yes, I said vaginal acoustics. You must read on now.

Adam Bernard: Steve Ward stalked into the main room of Tough Love on the first day with a downright angry look on his face. How intimidated were you, and what was going through your mind when you first saw him?
Melissa Schultz: First of all, whenever I see someone famous I get star-struck. So Steve Ward walks through the door, he’s famous, and then he starts yelling at us, so it’s like a double anxiety attack. I was just like “what did I get myself into? Why did I sign up for this? Did I think this was a good idea?” Then he starts picking on each girl one by one. I felt like I was going to pass out. My heart was beating faster than when I’m at the gym.

Adam Bernard: You mentioned that he labeled everybody right away. You were dubbed Miss Awkward, which, incidentally, sounds like a lost Mr. Men/Little Miss book. Do you think that was a fair assessment of you?
Melissa Schultz: When I think of awkward I think of a tall lanky girl with glasses who really doesn’t know how to talk to anyone. For me, I wouldn’t necessarily label myself as awkward. I think I’m more goofy, or quirky, or immature, but I’m not sure if awkward is the right word for it. In certain situations with guys, like if you put a really good looking guy in front of me on a date, I tend to get a little obnoxious and awkward, which you saw in the episode with the game show, but I’m not sure if that’s really awkward, or just obnoxious.


Adam Bernard: Isn’t awkward a little nicer of a label? I think Miss Obnoxious would be pretty brutal.
Melissa Schultz: {laughs} My name, I feel like it was the kindest name out of all of them. There was Ticking Clock, Husband Hungry, Maneater. (Miss Awkward’s) not a bad name. I’m not sure I would necessarily give that name to myself, but I definitely earned it. I have a lot of awkward dating stories from the past.

Adam Bernard: In the realm of awkwardness, give me a story that you wouldn’t believe if it hadn’t happened to you.
Melissa Schultz: When I go to the gym, I have a staring problem. I stare at you if you’re really ugly, or if you’re really good looking. I just stare. One time I was staring at this really good looking guy. I was on the treadmill, he was on the elliptical across from me. He caught me staring at him and then he nodded at me and I turned red. I didn’t know what to do. Then he gets off his elliptical and gets on the treadmill next to me, and I ran away.

Adam Bernard: Now, you actually ran away, or you tried to run away on the treadmill and actually got nowhere?
Melissa Schultz: I turned my treadmill off and walked away.

Adam Bernard: Ouch! Who handed you the application for Tough Love and how did you take it when they did?
Melissa Schultz: Everyone knows that I am obsessed with dating. There was a point in my life where I did online dating and I had a blog and every time I went on a bad date I would write in my blog about it. My roommate actually told me about the casting call and I really wanted to do it, and as I’m going to the casting call all my friends texted me, “Melissa, the casting call for Tough Love is in Boston this weekend, you should go.” So all my friends thought I would be perfect for it.

Adam Bernard: That first day of the show, as you’re sitting there and all the other women trickled in, what was your reaction to who you were going to be spending the next few weeks living with?
Melissa Schultz: Oh my God, they were wearing so much makeup, skimpy little outfits. I didn’t feel like I would fit in at all. It was sort of a culture shock. I’m sort of the innocent, awkward virgin on the show and I was afraid they were going to judge me for that and think I was a loser or something, so I didn’t think I was going to fit in at all.


Adam Bernard: But you have.
Melissa Schultz: So far. There are so many different personalities, so we had to figure out way to bond even though there’s a lot of drama at the house at times.

Adam Bernard: Definitely, and I think you were at an advantage using less makeup since the first thing Steve said to everyone was to tone down the makeup.
Melissa Schultz: Exactly, and now, when I’m watching the show I sometimes search on Twitter and so far no one’s being really mean to me, so that’s pretty good.

Adam Bernard: It takes a really rotten person to be mean to somebody publicly on Twitter and tag them in it.
Melissa Schultz: They don’t tag them in it, but a lot of people say really nasty things. You’d be surprised. Search “Tough Love Awkward” and see what happens, or “Tough Love Stephanie.” People are crazy.

Adam Bernard: Stephanie’s the Barbie one. When she takes off her makeup she’s really beautiful.
Melissa Schultz: I know. In the online dating episode she was wearing a new outfit, and that was my plaid shirt. She was like raiding my closet “I have nothing to wear! Tone me down Melissa!” She’s cute.

Adam Bernard: Your V-bomb news was dropped almost instantaneously. Was there any trepidation on your part revealing that aspect of yourself on national TV?
Melissa Schultz: Everyone who knows me in real life, they all know. I am the queen of TMI. I’ll say anything. I’m not a very closed off person. Everyone knows everything about me, which is probably bad.

Adam Bernard: Well, you’re blogging about your dates.
Melissa Schultz: Exactly. So it doesn’t really bother me, and I know younger kids probably watch this show with their parents and I think it’s refreshing to see someone who’s not a promiscuous 16 year old on TV, and to see someone who actually has some morals. So in a way I think I’m being a good influence on young people.

Adam Bernard: We’re only four weeks in and you’ve already had a few, let’s say regrettable phrases. What on earth were you talking about when you said a guy has to talk to your vagina? Are the acoustics just really good down there?
Melissa Schultz: {laughs} I have this thing, after I go on a date I usually talk to my best friend Krista about it and she’s like “Melissa did you like this guy,” and I'm like “no, he didn’t speak to my vagina, I’m not getting turned on by this guy.” So when I say a guy doesn’t speak to my vagina, or he’s not the vagina whisperer, it means that I don’t really want to hook up with him, I’m not attracted. He doesn't wake up that area.

Adam Bernard: Has life changed for you at all since the show started airing? Can you walk down your block without someone saying “hey, awkward?”
Melissa Schultz: You know what, when I go to the mall people usually recognize me, and I didn’t think this would happen, but when someone recognizes me I get an anxiety attack. They say “are you Melissa from Tough Love,” and I stare at them like a deer in headlights. I turn bright red. I turn purple even. I start getting like a hot flash and I feel like I’m gonna pass out. That’s happened a few times, and I went to the bar last weekend and someone wanted their picture with me. It’s cool. It’s cool to be a D-minus list celebrity.

Adam Bernard: D-minus? Wow, that’s pretty low. By the end of the year do you think you’ll be C list?
Melissa Schultz: C list? That would be pretty cool. At the bar another night my friend went up to the DJ and said will you give Melissa from VH1’s Tough Love a shout out and play “Like a Virgin,” so he gave me a shout out and played “Like a Virgin.” It was pretty embarrassing. I wasn't even drunk. I was sober, which makes it ten times worse.

Adam Bernard: You had an awesome reason to get drunk at that point.
Melissa Schultz: One of the websites think I’m an alcoholic. TVgasm.

Adam Bernard: Where do you think they got that idea from?
Melissa Schultz: Because every time I’m on a date on the show I’m drinking wine, and they think I’m drunk. It’s really fun because I’m not a big drinker at all.

Adam Bernard: Four episodes in and you already have people claiming alcoholism, you’ve exhibited major awkwardness, and there’s still six episodes left.
Melissa Schultz: Uh huh. My poor family.

Adam Bernard: Is there anything you’d like to add before we go?
Melissa Schultz: There’s tons of drama coming and tons of craziness coming. All the episodes are getting better.

Related Links

Tough Love Website: vh1.com
Melissa on Twitter: twitter.com/melissa_VH1

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