EJ Photo/Travis Charlson
Have you ever felt embarrassed? Maybe even stupid? Believe it or not, I have too!
Take this morning, for example. I was in Casey’s grabbing a healthy morning meal of breakfast pizza and Diet Dr. Pepper. After paying for my stuff and having a few polite words with Mary, I realized I had misplaced my phone. The panic attack was instant. As my digital life flashed before my eyes, I screamed in terror… “I lost my phone!!!” I grabbed my 750 calories of processed deliciousness and ran to retrace my steps. Anxiety soon turned into relief. “Never mind,” I told the unconcerned and fairly annoyed line of customers. “It’s in my hand.”
When I think about it, I’ve done more stupid things in my life than embarrassing things. Most of those ill-advised antics start with “hold my beer,” so I’ll save them for another time.
Fall of 1992. I was at my first college party. With about a thousand 18-19 year old single (or close enough) Freshmen, there were more people at this party than in our entire high school. A buddy and I were checking out the wide array of potential future Mrs. Frantums and Mrs. Falks. Feeling quite dapper in my new teal Ralph Lauren Polo, whitewashed jean shorts, thick wool socks and brand new Birkenstock sandals, I decided to approach a fine looking young lady.
“Would you like to dance?” I asked, as Hootie and the Blowfish blared from the DJ’s speakers.
“Yes,” the obviously enamored girl replied.
Well that was easy, I thought, as I walked toward the dance floor. I reached the rest of the awkwardly gyrating college kids and started showing off my sweet moves. After a few seconds, I turned around, now realizing that she hadn’t moved. I abruptly shut down my awesome routine and went back to see what was causing her delay. Before I could say a word, she humbled me hard.
“Not with YOU!” she proclaimed. Embarrassment level: Maximum.
During my junior or senior year of high school, it was cool to have longer sideburns. Mine weren’t quite coming in thick enough to notice, so I used some of my sister’s mascara that she had left in our bathroom to fill them in. Unfortunately, it must not have been the good kind, because after 3rd period PE, the sides of my face looked like Tammy Faye Bakker’s cheeks! Embarrassment level: Mild.
One labor day weekend, a bunch of us were back in town from college and having a small get together. I had a jar of Jerry Kline’s famous jalapeno peppers and we were having contests to see who could eat the most on one tortilla chip. I may not have won, but I was definitely in the running. This was a particularly “hot” batch, and the next morning I was screaming from the bathroom in my parent’s house for some help. My dear mother came to the rescue with diaper rash lotion, something she hadn’t had to do for some 20 odd years. Don’t worry, this time I applied it myself. Embarrassment level: Minimal. Thank goodness this happened at home.
Writing this week’s column is starting to bring back a lot more stories from the past. I’ll have to start writing things down as I remember them, or if new opportunities for situations arise.
Hold my beer.