Top Five Most Embarrassing Moments

untitledWe’ve all had them. Some more than others. Embarrassing moments. Those incidents that make you wish the floor would open up and swallow you whole. Maybe someone caught you rocking out to your favorite song. In the office. Or you realized the person wasn’t waving at you. Or you found yourself doing the head-bob in an important meeting.

Well, here are my top five. I’m sure there are more, but they must have been so traumatic that I repressed them.

5. I’m reaching waaaaay back for this one, but it’s stayed with me all this time. 1974. I was 11 years old and the junior bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding. Both my mother and my sister said I’d better wear hose. I thought, pfft, I’m wearing a long gown, what do I need hose for? So, I wore knee-highs.

Weeell, I caught the bouquet (which was my sister’s intent). The man who caught the garter had to put it on my leg. And wouldn’t you know it, the groomsman who caught the garter (some 10 years older than me) was the object of my preteen crush. My sister still has the photo of me lifting my bridesmaid’s gown, much to the amusement of the guests in the background, to reveal my knee-high covered, scrawny pre-pubescent legs. Very attractive.

4. Fast forward to my sophomore year in high school. It was my very first high school pep rally, and I was buzzing with excitement. I felt like a true high schooler. My best friend and I designated a spot to meet so we could walk over to the gym together. I stood outside my classroom facing the crowded hallway.

As more time passed without seeing my friend I began to worry. If we were late, we wouldn’t get to sit with the cool kids (which of course meant life and death in those days). I had just about decided to go it alone when I turned around and there stood my best friend, her back to me, looking in the direction of my classroom. We had been standing back-to-back looking for one another the entire time and never knew it. How that happened, I will never know.

3. This time I’m in college, which wasn’t as long ago as you might think. I didn’t go to college until I was 30. So around the age of 32 I’m in this Shakespeare class where we were required to perform a scene from one of his plays in front of the class. The scene: Othello kills Desdemona, from, well, Othello. A dramatic, horrifying scene. I played Iago’s wife, Emilia. Othello was played by this adorable twenty-something.

When it came time for my dramatic line, “I care not for thy sword, I’ll make thee known though I lost twenty lives,” Othello and I charged one another. Welp, we were a little too enthusiastic and ended up doing a rendition of the chest-bump. The adorable little twenty-something blushed every shade of red in the spectrum, then totally lost it. Then I lost it. Then the class lost it. Not exactly the dramatic end Shakespeare had in mind.

2. Nothing says embarrassment like doing a face plant in front of witnesses. At this time, I was managing an ophthalmology practice. I was dressed in a suit and heels, arms filled with totebag, purse, keys in hand, trudging up the outdoor metal staircase to enter the building from the second floor. Did I mention those metal stairs were wet?

It all happened so fast. My foot slipped out from under me, I dropped everything in my futile attempt to break my fall, my keys clanked down the metal stairs as I slid down them feet first, finally catching myself in a pushup position. I dropped my head to the step directly in front of me, and assessed my physical condition. Nothing broken it seemed. Then I heard, “My dear, are you all right?” Standing below me were five patients who happened to be in the parking lot when I fell. Was I all right? My body, yes. My pride — not so much.

1. I used this particular embarrassing moment as the first scene in Ship of Dreams (Book #2 in the Dreams Come True Series) due out in February 2015. I was walking down the sidewalk in a local strip mall, when the heel of my strappy sandal became wedged in a sidewalk seam, almost causing me to do another face plant. No matter what I did, I couldn’t pry the heel loose. Since the sandal was, well, strappy, I couldn’t slip it off either.

As I was trying to decide how to get myself out of the predicament (so far none of the other strip mall patrons had come to my rescue), a male voice behind me said to be careful or I would break the heel. The man wrapped his hand around my bare ankle and freed my shoe. After that, I turned to see a very dear friend of my husband’s. I’m not sure which would have been more embarrassing — a total stranger rescuing me, or a good friend. At least I’d shaved my legs.

OK. I’ve shared my moments. What are yours?




Some Days . . .

5d1ba6d8fa2caa94abc305977d65de16It doesn’t pay to get out of bed. Only I had one of those weeks. You ever have one of those weeks where nothing goes right? Where everything you touch turns to $h!t? Where it seems the very forces of the universe have you in their sights, and they don’t like what they see?

That was my week last week. I felt as if a black cloud was hanging over my head like the cartoon character Joe Btfsplk in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner comic strip.

One particular day, Thursday to be exact, my day-job had succeeded in beating me into submission, and at the end of that day I dragged my poor, battered body and my mushy, wasted brain out to the parking garage to finally go home. And wouldn’t you know it — my four-month old car wouldn’t start. I wanted to lay my head on the steering wheel and cry, but frankly, without my AC, it was just too damn hot to wallow in self-pity. After several phone calls, the obligatory hold-time waiting for my roadside assistance program’s “next available customer service representative,” and the wait-time for the tow truck, I finally reached the solitude of my home three hours later (without my car).

The next day, I figured I’d already walked through the fire that was my craptastic day the day before, Friday had to be better, right? Wrong. Thinking the previous day’s beating wasn’t enough, my day-job took up where it had left off and continued to hammer me. In the midst of my nightmare, my husband called to say our non-profit website was down — what should we do? Um, cry? Because that’s what I felt like doing. At that point, I’d raised the white flag. I surrendered. The Force had won.

By Friday night, all I was capable of when I got home was staring at the TV. I’m not even sure it was on. I lost millions of brain cells I’ll never get back. I can’t remember going to bed. I just know I woke up there the next morning. Thank God, that week ended. And so far (let me knock on wood), this week has been better. But there’s still two days left.

How about you? You have any days or weeks like that lately?



Happy Stories

With all the bad news in the world, from the terror group ISIS and their exploitation of religion to justify their brutality, to the Russian-but-not-Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the never-ending unrest between Hamas and Israel, sometimes I just want to hunker down in my house and bury my head under my pillow.

But there are happy stories out there. Stories that reaffirm my belief in humanity.

Take the story of Ryan Holcomb, a teenager with Down’s Syndrome, who believed thathappy-face-9 just like all of his friends who were graduating from high school and heading off to college, he would be too. And he’d decided that college would be Clemson. Turns out Clemson, as well as some other colleges and universities, has a program for people with intellectual disabilities, and while it is highly competitive to get in, Ryan made it. Watching the video of him reading his acceptance letter made me cry.

Then there’s the story of Michael Brannigan, a teenager with autism who loves to run. He’s so good, more than 200 colleges, many Division One schools, have contacted him about joining their running programs.  His dream doesn’t end there. He hopes to be an Olympic athlete one day.

Or how about the story of Jacen Troxell, whose father is a police officer. He wanted to do something to protect his dad and other polices officers in Indianapolis, so he raised $13,000 for special plates that fit into standard bulletproof vests. The plates will protect the officers from high powered rifles, something that standard Kevlar vest can’t do.

These stories made me cry, but they’re happy tears, not tears of anger and frustration over senseless violence and death. Happy stories are out there, but more often than not, they get drowned out by the noise of all the bad stories. You just have to pay attention to the happy ones. Do you have some happy stories to share?