Are you a Scamster, Shy, or Shameless?

For April, the Silicon Valley Moms Book club tackled Suzanne Guillette's Much to Your Chagrin, a memoir of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and many, many embarrassing moments. It got me thinking of what I would say to her if she asked me about my most embarrassing moments:

1) Putting my head through the bars of a teller's window cage... and getting stuck.

2) My skirt falling off while I was onstage performing in a pop concert as a backup dancer, in front of thousands of people.

3) My father-in-law inadvertently walking in on me as I was sitting on the toilet (or was I naked? I can't remember exactly).

4) Sending The Pea off to a playdate with her friend and receiving a call about 10 minutes later from the parent of another of her friends, asking me what time they should drop off their daughter off at our house for the playdate that I had scheduled.

5) Dragging Jammy, at age 1, through a nice restaurant with poop streaming down his legs.

Actually, these are the ONLY embarrassing moments that I can remember. In fact, it took me quite a while to think of them. According to Suzanne, "People who don't have embarrassing stories are untrustworthy. Or at the very least, they aren't telling the truth".

I wouldn't go so far as to call people untrustworthy just because they don't want to spill their most embarrassing moments to a stranger. It's true, some people are naturally shy and don't want to call attention to themselves, so they lie and say they don't have any stories. But I think most people would love to share an embarrassing story (as long as it's all in the past) because it shows that they're interesting, witty and humble. Also, I think many people just have an awful memory. And many don't get embarrassed that easily -- something that would cause others to cringe in shame wouldn't even count as an embarrassing story. Which kind am I? Well, I've been known to leave the house in wrinkled, stained clothing, spill water down the front of my jeans and not bat an eye, so I guess I must be the shameless one. I can't imagine any embarrassing situation that I could have gotten into that I wouldn't retell on this blog, or at a cocktail party -- so come to think of it, I must have a really bad memory.

So what kind of a person are you: untrustworthy, forgetful, shy or completely shameless? Leave a comment here and share some of your most embarrassing moments! I personally can't believe anything could be more embarrassing than my #5, so I invite anyone to prove me wrong. And if anyone knows of an embarrassing story about me that I've conveniently forgotten, tell it here and let the world know that Bonggamom isn't All That.


poppy fields said...

In the 7th grade, I was walking down the school hallway between classes when a pair of old underwear fell out of my pant leg onto the ground. I had a bad habit of pulling my clothes off and leaving them in a pile on the floor at night and putting them back on in the morning...but didn't notice the undies stuck in the leg until they fell out in front of everybody.

And I'm always saying hi "first name" to someone and then realizing that I've once again mixed them up with someone else. I have a bad memory for faces and should learn to keep my hi's generic until I'm sure of the person's name.

Suzanne Guillette said...

Thanks for your post! I can appreciate that it took you some time to come up with these five "moments." Indeed, sometimes it takes a bit of digging. After I published the book, a high school friend wrote to me about one of my embarrassing moments I'd forgotten about--it reminded me, sometimes there's a reason for forgetting. That said, I would argue: if one is haunted by shame/embarrassment, it's definitely worth exploring.

Also, in the entire time I collected the stories, I only had one person say he'd never been embarrassed (I call him Luke in the book). Mostly, those who are shy or understandably unwilling to fess up to a stranger, would say,"I don't have any--that I'm going to tell you!" It was never my intention to force people to spill their secrets--in retrospect, I view that effort more as a way for me to feel connected to others.

Subconsciously, hearing other people's stories, especially the darker ones that have more to do with shame than embarrassment per se, was really a way for me to face the then-reality of my own life.

Thanks very much for reading and for your post! As a complete aside, I'd love to hear about the back-up dancing experience. You must have some amazing stories!

EcoMama said...

How on earth did you get out of the teller window bars?! I'm always afraid that my kids are going to get stuck in some railing...

melanie said...

i think there are embarrassing stories that are funny to retell and then there embarrassing things that you really just don't want anyone ever to know about--they are just too distasteful.

i usually keep handy for retelling the time in junior high that i was locked out of the house. i finally heard someone was home (i was out back) and as i ran up the hill to the front door, i couldn't hold it a second longer and i wet my pants.

i don't like to tell about my bad leaking period experience even though that is more embarrassing because it just doesn't seem funny.

ChefDruck said...

You have quite a list of embarrassing stories! I wish someone had taken a picture of you stuck in the teller window. That must have been something to see.

erica said...

Your #5 totally reminded me of one I'd forgotten! My brother, my 18-month old son and I were at the library and just turned to walk out the door and leave. An old lady tapped me on the shoulder and said "I think you dropped something". There on the floor was my son's soaking wet diaper that had fallen OFF him and slid out the bottom of his shorts. None of us had noticed and just kept going. Nice!

Bonggamom said...

R.e. the teller bars.... after about a minute of trying to forcefully pull my head out in a panic (and severely hurting my ears in the process), I took a deep breath and figured what goes in must come out. I slowly wriggled and eased my head out like you would take a ring off a finger. Boy, that was embarrassing -- serves me right for horsing around.