The email read: “I’m in the washroom at work and the toilet won’t flush. I can’t go out because the VP’s secretary saw me come in here. What should I do? Help!”
I held my sides as I laughed while reading the message from my friend sent an hour earlier. I couldn’t wait to hear how it turned out
I wondered why she’d thought to email me for advice. Maybe she assumed I’d been in a similar situation and would know what to do. She’d be right.
When asked to describe their most embarrassing moment most people can usually recall it instantly. It’s been forever etched in their mind. Others may never have experienced the shame or awkwardness of such a moment.
What does it say about someone who when asked to describe their most embarrassing moment, not only has one, but has to determine which moment was actually most humiliating?
What does that say about me?
I’m the first person to laugh at myself and I readily share most of my experiences with others. There was the time I complimented my doctor on the photo of his wife only to be told it was a photo of his son; the time I flew off the back of a treadmill at the gym, not once but twice; the time I stood outside the bathroom door in nothing but a t-shirt expecting my husband to walk out, only to have my daughter’s boyfriend appear. There was the time my car died in the middle of the Santa Claus parade, not to mention the time I turned and walked face first into a sign after being asked out. Sadly, the list goes on and on.
Yes, I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments and this week there were a couple of more incidents to add to the long list.
I’d been visiting my parents and when it came time to leave my father handed me a bottled water for the long drive home. I usually stopped for a coffee at the trip’s halfway point but decided to drink the water instead.
Keeping one hand on the steering wheel, I put the bottle between my thighs and squeezed as I twisted the lid. As it came off the water squirted up over the top and ran over my thighs, between my legs and onto the seat.
Just great, I thought and began drinking the water. I lowered the windows and let the cool air whip through, hoping to dry my pants. Shortly, between the water and the cool air, I was in dire need of a washroom. I was holding my breath as I pulled into the coffee shop. I got out and looked down. There would be no doubt. It looked exactly as if I’d peed my pants.
I caught a few strange glances on my way in and wanted to yell, “I didn’t wet my pants. I spilled my water.” But I couldn’t be bothered. Instead I held my head high and looked directly into the eyes of everyone I passed, almost daring them to lose eye contact and glance down. I used the washroom and quickly left.
It was pretty embarrassing to say the least, but nothing compared to what happened the following morning.
I was in the shower when I thought I heard a banging sound. I turned off the water and listened. I didn’t hear anything but my music, which I’d cranked way up. I resumed my shower. Minutes later I stood naked at the bathroom mirror taking my time applying lotion, drying my hair, and applying make-up.
Suddenly I heard the noise again. It was too close. I turned to see a ladder propped at the window. My heart stopped. Holding my breath, I peered out the window and looked down to see two men at the foot of the ladder.
Oh my God. Oh my God, I thought. The eaves-trough guys!
They had called a few days earlier to say they would be coming but with the last minute visit to my parents, I’d completely forgotten.
Please God, don’t let them have already been up the ladder. I threw on my robe and opened the window. They heard me and looked up.
“Make my day,” I begged. “Please tell me you just got here. You weren’t already up the ladder?”
I’m sure they could tell I was near tears with embarrassment. They smiled.