My Most Embarrassing Shit Ever

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’.


3 thoughts on “My Most Embarrassing Shit Ever

  1. Well that is the nature of being human. We make mistakes, do stupid things, mix things up for no reason or anything else that doesn’t put us in the best of light. We are all deeply embarrassing at times. We may just think we are the only one that is that way because other people don’t normally talk about those times because it does hurt to relive them by telling someone about them.

    .But that is why they make good icebreakers. We are willing to relive the pain and show another person something about us that is not our best side. In a way we are starting to build an relationship with other people or a person by showing that we trust them with knowledge that most other people don’t know.

    Like for example one of things I have a real hard time with is names. Names of people, places, streets or whatever. I have a hard time recalling the name of a person and sometimes a harder time pronouncing the name. Which has lead to some embarrassing times when someone comes up to me and says “Hi Michelle, Its John. You remember me, don’t you”. I would be sitting there struggling to recall who John is. Often times I will play along until the person says something that my mind can associate the name with the memories. Even worse when I have to introduce people I know say to my partner. Nothing more embarrassing than going “This is is is ______” especially if it is someone I know very well 😛

    But these moments can tell you a lot about the people that you tell it to also. People that might be you might want to know better will not make a big deal about it or will not be shocked by it. After all like I said we are deeply embarrassing in some way. They may even return the trust you showed by telling you something embarrassing they did that hurts to reveal.

    A suggestion I would have for you, is prepare yourself for these times. Think about what you may reveal that you can laugh off or are comfortable with telling that is embarrassing. Maybe even practice telling to yourself or people that you trust. That way it becomes second nature and your not caught off guard when you have these icebreaker moments.

    1. Wow! Thanks for such insightful commentary! I wish everyone was as open and understanding about how deeply embarrassing people can be.

      My only contention is that a lot of interactions I’ve had that start with this prompt end up going nowhere. I’m all for getting weird when I first meet someone. I’d much rather have an open and interesting conversation about how they felt after their grandparent died, or what their favorite record was when they were growing up than talk about the weather. My problem with these ‘most embarrassing’ conversations is they never feel genuine. I want to share myself and give you something new about me. I want you to share something weird with me. But, like you mentioned in your last paragraph- people’s answers tend to feel prepared. They always have a story with just the right amount of awkward to make them look endearing, but rarely do people share stories that truly made them cringe. Maybe I’m just frustrated because I don’t have many of those ‘just the right amount’ stories. I have socially acceptable interactions and absolute train-wreck moments. And the few times I’ve incorrectly gauged how much awkward was appropriate to share, it hasn’t ended well for me. I’ve gotten judged, ostracized and left wondering what the purpose of that interaction was. If you didn’t want to know something legitimately awkward about me, why’d you ask?

      Sorry, your response really was wonderful & insightful. I didn’t mean to be argumentative.

      1. You didn’t come across as being argumentative to me. Well like everything it takes practice to correctly gauge people. I know from past experience that a lot of mine where over the top. Then I learn what worked. Its one of those things that people don’t talk about so left wondering what is appropriate and maybe what would be better off until you know the person better.

        Maybe with time you might have a few stories that are not train wrecks that you feel comfortable sharing. Maybe with time also the train wrecks may not seem so bad and you can share them.

        I think the thing to keep in mind is that this can be frustrating not only for you, but me and everyone else until we can figure out what works for ourselves. When that occurs you might tell ne or someone else tge following story to break the ice

        “You know what was embrassing for me? Having to tell a group an embrassing story. That did not go down well at all. Let me tell you about it………”

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