Thursday, March 12, 2015

This Embarrassing Life



My first memorable embarrassing moment happened when I was a cheerleader in elementary school.

I ran out onto the gym floor for a cheer routine during halftime of a basketball game.  I might have been ten or eleven years old.  I was head of the line, and flounced out to mid-court to take my place in the middle of the formation, saddle shoes kicking the edge of my skirt, compatriots in a line right behind me.  I jumped to face the crowd, hands behind my back, all set for our first move.  Ready?  O.K.!

I was alone.  The two teams were only having a time out.  It wasn’t the right time for our cheer.  The rest of the girls had stayed behind, no doubt held back by a coach or fast-acting parent.  Not fast enough to catch me, though.  I was mortified, tragically.  I swallowed my tears, skipped back to the sidelines, and wished for a hole to jump into.

During my school years, I remember falling down stairs while wearing a skirt, tripping up stairs and dropping my books, saying the wrong answer out loud in class, telling a story that made people laugh when it wasn’t my intention to be funny, and bursting into tears in public.  I remember going to the homecoming dance with a plaster cast on my hand while my broken hand healed, and marching around a football field in my colorguard uniform wearing that cast, standing stock still as a placeholder while my fellow flag-wavers twirled and threw their flagpoles up in the air to the marching band's music. 

I remember several bathroom emergencies when people tilted their heads with a mix of compassion and disgust and all I wanted to do was disappear.

Embarrassments in my twenties included roommates throwing back the shower curtain to take surprise! you’re naked! photos, flirting with abandon only to find out that my objet d’amour preferred someone else, over-estimating my alcohol tolerance and displaying one of many unrefined behaviors.  Once I rocketed a tampon out of my pocket during a speech I gave to a college class of about two hundred students. 

I stuttered significantly during my wedding vows in front of two hundred wedding guests.  It was recorded, naturally.  I’ve since become dubious of the importance of wedding videos.

It’s safe to say that only I, and maybe a few others, remember these most embarrassing moments of my life.

As I age the embarrassments get fewer.  I’ve lived through birthing two babies, exposing my most intimate parts to virtual strangers.  I took said babies out in public hundreds of times, resulting in losing my pride along with my mind over and over again.  Through this life I’ve practiced the art of being red-faced, and these days, I take it as it comes. I’ve given myself allowances to say the wrong things, make mistakes, and trip over my feet now and again.  And again and again and again.

I trust that nobody really dwells on my mishaps like I do.  As my mother wisely lectured when I was an angsty teen, nobody thinks about me as much as I think about me.  In short, nobody cares, and if they do, then maybe I’ve made someone’s day a little brighter. 

After all, if they’re laughing at my embarrassing moment, they’re still laughing.  Sometimes, a little humor is more than anyone expects from any of us.

And that’s just fine with me.





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This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1: Write a blog post inspired by the word: Embarrassed.

21 comments:

  1. Someone once told me the same thing - that we think about ourselves more than others think about us - and I often try to remember it. Because I am usually doing something embarrassing on any given day.

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    1. It's one of those sayings that I hold close, because I am usually peering around my shoulder to see if someone caught me in the act of looking like a fool.

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  2. I embarrass myself less as I age, too. Or maybe I just don't get embarrassed as easily. I'm pretty sure that's it. And, when I think about it, the funniest stories I recall now are always the ones that were mortifying when they actually occurred. I guess it's better to skip the mortifying and get straight to the funny.

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    1. Those stories are what make life interesting, I think. You know, when we want to crawl in a hole and never come out.

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  3. I embarrass myself all. the. time. Even now. I just care less. :)

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    1. Yep! The best is when I don't care about embarrassing my children. When I'm able to do that, it's a very good day.

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  4. Okay, surprise your naked photos shouldn't have been embarrassing for you, that's a terrible thing for a roommate to do! And I eventually grew out of being embarrassed by most public foibles, but still find it hard to accept that nobody else notices!

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    1. Having taken surprise naked photos of others myself, I will say that yes, that is a terrible thing to do. ;) Fortunately they never saw the light of day.

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  5. Stopping by from Mama KAts....

    Ha! Great stories....I can only hope no one remembers or dwells on mine!

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    1. I can almost guarantee they don't. Whew!

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  6. So true! Loved these stories today. I have a few of my own...

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  7. Once upon a time when I was working at a pediatric ER nurse and could never spare a moment to go to the washroom because - holy - hell - busy....I was discharging a family and I reached into my pocket to give the dad my pen...pulled out my tampon instead. Yup. Awkward.

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    1. Oopsies! Feminine hygiene products are always good for an embarrassed giggle or two.

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  8. That is brilliant... "Nobody thinks about me as much as I think about me." And SO true! I fell during my first ballet recital when I was 5 and all I remember hearing was laughter. But I came to learn they were not laughing at me, they were laughing near me. ;) I've had my share of these moments too, my friend. We all have.

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    1. "Laughing near me" - YES. I need to keep your sunny outlook in mind when I do something mortifying. :)

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  9. Oh my gosh, I feel your pain! I would have done each and every one of these things! That cheerleader story though...omg that one was funny. If it makes you feel any better I got a case of the difficult to contain giggles AT my step-dads funeral WHILE speaking to the church of grievers. It. Was. Awful.

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    1. I think hysterical giggling at funerals is common. While speaking, though - that is something I haven't personally seen. I'm sure it lightened the mood considerably, which is always a good thing at a funeral. xo

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