Why is ‘what is your most embarrassing moment?’ such a common ice-breaker? My most embarrassing moments aren’t funny. For the most part, they’re fucking weird. Like, cringe-worthy as opposed to giggle-worthy.
Some examples of how deeply embarrassing I am as a human being:
There was one time, I can’t remember what the circumstances were, I was sitting around with a bunch of people and in an attempt to get to know each other we were given the prompt “What’s the weirdest thing about you?” I responded with “I have a jar of scabs”. Everyone looked at me in a way that conveyed to me I had thoroughly misunderstood this exercise. I don’t know if I spoke to any of those people ever again.
While I was working on a project I turned on Netflix for some background noise. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time had just come out and I hadn’t seen it, so I thought “why not?” After it had finished, I pondered just how deeply terrible it was. There was rampant white-washing, the plot itself was tenuous at best, and there were Ostrich races. But, I wasn’t done with my project yet, so I attempted to find something better to watch. I scrolled through documentary after action flick, through TV shows and comedies and couldn’t find a single thing I wanted to watch. So, I watched Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time again.
There was another time I was working in my studio at school (this one was shared by several people) and I listened to “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” by Elton John on repeat for approximately an hour. It wasn’t until after this had transpired that I realized that someone else was also working in the studio.
More than once while working retail I would give a customer their total for a purchase and they would hand me cash, to which I would promptly ask, “Debit or Credit?” and have to pretend like everything is normal and I was not the biggest idiot on the planet in that moment.
Also, I regularly mix up Elton John and Eric Clapton when discussing music. No discernible reason that I’ve uncovered as to why I perpetually mix these two up, but I do. It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but it sure makes you sound stupid when you talk about how great Elton John was in Cream. I’ve also been known to mix up Pakistan and Palestine. Which, while slightly more understandable given their similar pronunciations, it does tend to make conversation about that Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip awkward.
So, this is why I hate the game “What’s your most embarrassing moment?” because it’s just as bad to recount these moments as it was to live them the first time. I will be very happy when this stops being a part of ‘team-building’ and starts being a part of ‘deposited in the dumpster and forgotten forever’.