First of all, recovery from embarrassment is impossible. You will live with the shadow of shame following you through every triumph and every defeat. In fact, embarrassment and shame will be your only companions as you slowly walk toward your death.
But, never fear! There are ways to cope.
I shall start by digging through the dumpster of my memories to scrounge up one of the most embarrassing things I have ever done, lest the fresh embarrassment from this past weekend not be enough self-inflicted torture. What happened this past weekend? That will forever remain a mystery. (‘Forever’ = until enough time passes so that the story becomes funny instead of just cringe-inducing.)
Happily, I have an embarrassing story that has been aging like a fine wine. It has been stewing for years in my memory and now, we can all chow down on this hearty… stew… of hilarious wonders. It is embarrassing but I no longer feel a desperate urge to spontaneously combust when I tell it. I’ll set the scene for you: I was a young child, but 18 years of this world. I could parrot back monologues from Hamlet, sure, but real life skills were lacking. Public transportation was totally inaccessible to me intellectually, truly an enigma. An enigma that almost took my arm off.
I was on my way home and had to take the train to the airport. I wrote down the train schedule four times. I got to the train hours earlier than I needed to. I got to the right platform, HURRAH!!! I silently congratulated myself. I was almost a real person.
Then, a train came and the conductor yelled something but I didn’t hear or try to listen in my excitement. I jumped on the train, only to have the door immediately shut on my arm, from which I could not extricate myself. My body was inside the car but my arm, still clutching my suitcase, was hopelessly flailing on the other side of the door. At this point, I panic. I do a crazy dance trying to will myself to become something – anything - else besides the flesh and bone trapped between the train doors.
Now, this particular performance would not be so spectacular if it weren’t for the fact that the platform was overflowing with people whose attention I held captive with my antics. The conductor eventually figured out what was going on and opened the doors at which point he told me loudly, “I SAID THIS WAS THE LAST STOP, NO PASSENGERS!”
I hurried off, my imaginary tail between my legs. The crowd of witnesses just stared in shock at the stupidity that had occurred before them. I actually overheard another passenger say, “I would feel bad… but she’s just sooo stupid.” Ah, that stung. Thank you, kind stranger!! You are truly a god among men.
Yes, I almost died because I was so anxiety-ridden I became deaf. I almost lost my arm, guys. TO A TRAIN.
Here are my tips for dealing with embarrassment:
1) Become a Hermit: Who needs people? All they do is make you feel embarrassed and ashamed. Unacceptable.
2) Cry: A real cry. A hurricane of tears that no emergency response team can even fathom cleaning up.
3) Fetal Position: Attempt the fetal position and stay like that for three days, preferably in a closet à la Harry Potter.
4) Just Stop: Don’t do the embarrassing thing ever again.
Feel free to share your embarrassing stories in the comments to make me feel better about myself!