I am easily embarrassed for other people. As in, I get mild anxiety when someone tipsy tries to give a heartfelt, rambling Oscar acceptance speech, and I’m better off leaving the room.
When it comes to myself, I’m most embarrassed when I misread a social situation. For example, that moment earlier this week on St. Patty’s Day when a friend’s husband walked up and stood much closer to me than usual, and I thought for some reason that we were going to do that awkward back-pat-side-hug-with-space-still-between-us greeting (and then made my best attempt to execute this nearly impossible move) when all he wanted to do was find out if I was wearing green so he could pinch me (I wasn’t…because getting six children + myself to the gym with all of us dressed in ANY color ranks slightly higher than avoiding pinches).
Or that time I thought Kendi was trying to shake my hand when she was really reaching for the clothes I was holding, and I ended up holding hands with her for a monumentally awkward moment or three. Cue: me, trying to sink through the floor.
What’s that you say? You’d like to hear more of my embarrassing moments?
All right, then.
Let’s travel back in time to my ultra-cool community college days when I, an over-achieving, exceptionally nerdy 15-year-old freshman, sat on the front/middle seat in every single class so as not to miss one word of instruction (I’m kind of embarrassed for myself already, and I haven’t even gotten to the story yet).
One day, in History 1301, which was taught by the diminutive, soft-spoken, dryly funny Dr. Parks, I was doing my level best to subdue a bout of ribcage-punishing hiccups, while scribbling notes and trying to resist the inevitable drowsiness that comes with after-lunch classes in warm rooms.
When I could fight it off no longer, I allowed myself one enormous yawn, the kind that leaves you suspended with your mouth gaping for a good 5 seconds.
Right in the middle of said yawn, I could feel my diaphragm begin to spasm with a hiccup. Desperate, I tried to hinge my jaw shut in time. To no avail.
And do you know what happens when you hiccup violently while your mouth is open wider than its ever been in your life? You make noises that resemble the mating call of an orca whale…that just swallowed a terrified zebra. Only 47 times louder. In the world’s quietest room.
And then you hear the titters of laughter, along with a snort or two (because your incredible vocal feat just woke up those two dudes snoozing in the back corner), and you feel the burning sensation of 27 pairs of eyes boring holes in the back of your skull as you attempt to fold your body into a smaller-than-desk-sized shape, since disappearing completely is not exactly an option.
Of course, that little episode was nothing compared to that time I was playing keyboards for the worship team. In the midst of a particularly quiet moment, as I played slow, gentle chords on the string pad–my simulated cello notes providing the perfect, worshipful accompaniment to our worship leader’s exhortations to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus–my fingers slipped, and my knuckles bumped one of the 1,034 buttons on the console. Suddenly, the auditorium was filled with the raucous sounds of…Polka.
“Just close your eyes, and let Jesus speak to your…” OOMPA OOMPA OOMPA-PA!
Every eye snapped open. Every head jerked toward me (not hard since I was standing front and center on a stage).
I dove toward the power button, punched it, and then just stood there for a second, beet red, before slowly, sheepishly giving a double thumbs up. And then, everybody clapped.
It. was. awesome (-ly bad).
Aaaaaaand now it’s your turn.
These are, by far, my favorite kinds of posts because I get to hear from YOU. So, spill your most cringe-worthy, embarrassing moments so we can all laugh
at with you. Pretty please? I promise it’ll be fun!