Monday, 22 October 2012

Day 22: Embarrassing Moments

By the way, I don't have any school-bus related embarrassing moments.
I just wanted an excuse to use this Instagram photo.

As you may have seen already, I woke up at 2am Sunday morning with an absolutely brilliant idea for a post.  It was so good that I knew I wouldn't forget it.  But of course I did.  It took me all day to remember what my wonderful post was supposed to be about!  So here it is, and I hope it lives up to how fantastic it was supposed to be. (It probably won't be, of course...my writing is always much better in my head beforehand...except that one time...)

Embarrassing moments.  Everyone has them.  And if they're really bad, they can keep us from reaching out to people, from taking risks, from being vulnerable.

I'm too easily embarrassed.  I've always hated doing anything out of the ordinary that would make people think I'm weird or different or not good enough.  I don't even like watching movies or reading books in which people do stupid things!  I get embarrassed for them.

But I've discovered a couple of things about those embarrassing moments.  1: Most of the time, those around you have hardly even noticed that you've embarrassed yourself.  2: You can take the power and embarrassment out of these incidents by talking about them.  Laughing about them.  The more you tell the story, the easier it is to bear it until it just becomes a funny story rather than an embarrassment.

For example, for the past 12 or so years, when people ask me what my most embarrassing moment is, I tell this story:
When Kevin and I were out on our second date (or was it third?), we were at Second Cup having white hot chocolate (which became our signature dating drink).  We were deep in discussion staring mutely at each other because we couldn't think of anything to say.  I took a sip of my delicious white hot chocolate, inhaled instead of swallowed, and coughed so hard I sprayed my drink across the table.  I could not stop coughing!  I have no idea why Kevin and I ever had a third (or was it fourth?) date after that!  I was mortified!
But since I've talked about that story so often (teenage girls ask for embarrassing moments stories all the time, apparently), there is no sting left in that story.  I can laugh at myself, and just be grateful that Kevin overlooked that particular incident.

On the other hand, there are a couple of embarrassing moments stories I haven't shared.  One of them happened when I was fourteen, and I still cringe to think of it.  It's about time I talk about it.  So here it is:
When I was fourteen, my family started going to a little church plant in Millet.  There were maybe 50 people attending at the time, and we met in the boy scout hall every Sunday.  One Sunday, when I was sitting in the second row wearing a too-big black button-up tunic with large white polka dots and a ruffle on the bottom along with velvet stirrup pants (I was a fashion plate!), we were beginning the worship section of the service.  The song leader said some kind of intro, after which, at our old church everyone would usually stand up.  So I stood up.  All alone.  And it wasn't as if I just quickly stood, realised my mistake, and sat down after a second.  No, I stood there for a good long time.  Looking toward the front, just waiting for the singing to start.  Which it didn't.  Probably because they were all wondering why I was standing, and waiting for me to say something!  I was horrified!  
And I'm still horrified.  Here's the other one:
This happened the first time I met Kevin's grandparents.  They all live in Ontario, and were very important in Kevin's childhood, so I was anxious to impress them.  Perhaps a little too anxious. We were out for dinner with the grandparents and Kevin's brothers.  I don't remember who said what, but suddenly, I couldn't stop laughing.  I could NOT stop laughing!  I have no idea why.  It's not like I have a particularly beautiful laugh.  I either cackle or I giggle.  This was a full-out unstoppable giggle-fit  That was probably Kevin's cue to cut his losses and run far away from this crazy person he was dating, but amazingly, he stuck it out.  I must have been a really good kisser (if we were even kissing at that point in our relationship...it took a few months).  Anyway, I had to literally excuse myself from the table and giggle my way to the bathroom before I could stop laughing.  Even now I kind of want to hide my face in embarrassment.
Then there's the one about the tinfoil bits in the baked potato the first time I cooked for my mother-in-law...

But that's enough for today.  Whew!  It feels good to get that out!  I just may have to print these out and pass them around to exorcise 15 and 12 years of pent-up embarrassment, respectively.

So, do you have any embarrassing moments that are keeping you from taking risks or being vulnerable and open to your friends and family?  If you feel brave, tell the story in the comments or on your own blog.  (if you blog about it, let me know!)  Don't  keep giving the past emotional power over your life.






4 comments:

  1. I laughed and laughed about you standing up in church... it takes a church-raised girl to get the mortification there! LOL!

    For me, I had an internet "friend," shall we say, from Australia. I was sixteen, and we were emailing back and forth. In one email he said I should come to Australia and he'd show me a koala. I was in the midst of writing back when my father looked over my shoulder and said, "Sweetie, you CAN'T say that..."

    I'd written: "You should come to Canada and I'll show you a beaver."

    I still laugh at myself when I remember it! LOL!

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    1. Whew! Good thing your dad stopped that one! At 16 I wouldn't have known that particular innuendo either. I'm still pretty clueless.

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    2. That's too funny, Patty. Reminds me of the joke I told about 100 men laying the Alberta pipeline (say it in an Italian accent). Didn't know the innuendo there either.

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  2. When I was 10, my parents had a really good friend who was single. One day we were all out at a shopping mall and I was walking with "uncle Ben". I pointed to a pair of fishnet stockings in a window display and told him I thought they were sexy. He told my parents that I was flirting with him - I didn't even know what flirting was, got in trouble for being too grown-up and could never look him in the face again. Mortified!

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