Embarrassment


That it’s-so-wrong-I-can’t-believe-that-happened moment in your life.

I’ve had plenty of embarrassing moments in my life and I’m still here among the rest of you who have also been been subjected to egg on your face. Asking for a spatula is not beneath me.

I look at embarrassment this way: If you can’t laugh at those awkward, mortifying moments in your life, you’re missing out on a huge dose of happiness.

I was recently trying to recount the number of embarrassing moments I have gone through in my life. What I can remember are a few doozies; I’m not ashamed to share.

When I was in high school, I was on a pom-pom squad. Back in the early 80’s the song and movie that everyone was talking about, Flashdance, was going to be our history making  awesome routine done for the first time without wearing any shoes. Instead, we wore tights and leg warmers just like Jennifer Beals. As I started out the routine directly in front of the varsity football players, my right leg slipped on the shiny, waxed school gym floor and I landed like a pancake face down. I heard the entire student body yell out, “OOOOH!” and then “BUWAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHHHA!!!!!” 

I got up as quickly as I could not even realizing how long I’d been flat on my face. The splat had been quick – like someone kicking out my legs from underneath me. I continued with the routine in red-faced embarrassment, but learned a valuable lesson. Never do high kicks on a slick, waxed high school gym floor unless you’re wearing shoes.

An embarrassing moment for both players on this one: I caught my son, who was nine at the time, discovering his penis. I walked into his room to put his laundry away and he was looking at the damn thing like it was something that should belong in the Smithsonian. I pretended to not notice that my son was discovering that his penis can do several things by touching it, and quickly left the room. I silently laughed my ass off downstairs in the kitchen to avoid his further embarrassment.

garden rakeAlthough I love gardening, I really have to be on the lookout for culprits called garden tools. Metal rakes to be exact. Raking through some dead foliage on the side of my house one fall afternoon, I threw the rack down to remove the dead leaves in order to let Spring burst through the soil. I happened to turn around to pick up the rake not realizing that I stepped on the metal tongs. It was a skit out of the Three Stooges.  The handle smacked me right in the middle of my forehead. I think I actually blacked out while still standing. Since this was outside in a residential area, I had to glance around to see who saw my Lucy Ricardo moment. Maybe no one. Maybe everyone if they were looking out their windows. I had a golf ball sized goiter on my forehead for three days. Thank God I didn’t have a photo shoot the next day….. Jeez.

My head takes a good pounding. Have you ever played Laser Tag? It’s fun. I played often with my son and his friends at birthdays or just to goof around. However, one of my boyfriends at the time had an office party outing at a laser tag place and we all decided to split up into teams. Laser tag arenas are dark with black lighting. I am an animated person. I loved crawling along the corridors, crouching down and shooting people. It would be too boring to walk right up to them and shoot them point blank! There happened to be one specific corridor that was a great hiding place. I got down as low as I could because I saw an enemy coming my way. I proceeded to speed up my duck squat and go in for the kill. However, the corner of the wall killed me first. I didn’t see it. Again – hit right in the middle of the forehead. When I came out of the arena, there was blood streaming down my face. It didn’t hurt at the time, but I’m pretty sure I had a concussion from it. Everyone seemed to feel sorry for me as I had a pack of ice and butterfly bandages on my forehead while we were eating pizza. I drowned my embarrassment in Rum and Diet Cokes. Several.

When I worked for a digital media firm, they IT guys loved me. They loved me so much that they knew I could take a few jokes. It was lunch time and I sat at my computer going through e-mails. One of the guys asked me a question about going to some url to check out a website they were working on. I said, “I’m eating my lunch, hold on a sec.” I was trying to chomp down my banana as fast as I could so I could take care of his request. All of a sudden I hear huge laughter in one of their rooms. The door was shut. I said, “What’s so funny?” He said, “Did you pull up that url yet?” I finally did. I saw my face on the monitor eating a banana like an orangutan. It was hysterical and embarrassing at the same time.

The other trick they pulled on me was when I had to play receptionist for an  hour. I received a call asking for one of the girls that worked there. I asked, “May I ask who is calling?” The man on the other end said, “Hugh. Hugh Jass.” Now, the girl didn’t pick up the phone, and the guy hung up. I didn’t get it. I didn’t get it for four MORE phone calls until they called from their desks having to explain to me that the caller had a huge ass. It was an hysterical trick. I still laugh about it to this day. Even though it was embarrassing for me, it was worth the laugh!

I’ve fallen at home more times than I care to count. I need socks that toddlers wear with rubber bottoms so I don’t trip and fall. I do manage to fall gracefully though. I once fell with a full glass of white wine in my hand; not one drop spilled, thank you very much. However, my husband thinks I need to start wearing a helmet in the house. This isn’t going to happen.

Every drive down a street the wrong way? I did. As soon as I made the turn, there was a cop RIGHT there. I completely zoned out. You know how you drive to work every day and you get to the point where the car just does the driving for you? You don’t even remember how you got to your destination because you are so preoccupied with meaningless crap?  That’s why I turned down the wrong way. The cop let me off since I wasn’t texting and I have a good driving record, but when it happens in the middle of an extremely busy intersection of your own hometown you feel like a complete nincompoop.

I would imagine that there are plenty more embarrassing moments, but when I look back on them they either taught me  a valuable lesson or gave me a fond remembrance of laughter and understanding that maybe having that embarrassing moment really wasn’t so bad after all.

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