Two Embarrassing Episodes
In high school, only one kid sat lower on the social totem pole than I did. He made boogers out of rubber cement and stuck them up his nose. Back then I picked my nose, on occasion, in public, but I was never so socially inept as he. Came close a couple times, though. Let me tell you about them.
My parents, blissfully unaware of fashion trends and shockingly forgetful of my social status, bought me these multicolored “crazy pants.” Imagine if Jackson Pollock, in a Grateful Dead inspired psychedelic frenzy, vomited all the colors of the rainbow upon a pair of polyester pants. I wore those. To school. To high school. A very large public high school.
I should have worn Hammer pants.
The realization that I’d goofed came almost immediately. Students who arrived before the bell were to go to the gym and sit on the bleachers. I was in band, however, so I had to drop my trumpet off in the music room before taking my seat and chatting with possibly no one. To get to the music room, I had to cross the gym at a diagonal.
When I first entered, the gym was packed with students talking noisily. As I moved into view I felt the room staring at me. Steadily all the talking ceased and the gym became dead silent. I had goofed. Bad. Laughter erupted, and I closed myself off from the world for that day. I didn’t wear those pants again. To school, anyway.
So that was high school, in the early to mid 90s.
In sixth grade I had a different sort of goof, but one I remember just as vividly. I had a serious crush on this lovely girl named Jeanie who I knew from church. She lived in a town a few miles north, so I didn’t get to see her as often as I would have liked, but we both attended the same religious ed class on Wednesdays. She liked me too, which was strange because I was the type of boy who would wear crazy pants to school. One day, during class, she passed a note to me, asking me if I’d like to go out with her. I wrote back “No.”
You see, I didn’t know what she meant. The expression was alien to me. I thought she wanted us to leave the classroom in the middle of learning about God and stuff. Being a rule-abiding, hell-fearing youth, I declined.
I acted stupid again later on, when a boy in the class teased me about liking her, and I loudly denied it, going so far as to move myself to a seat away from her. For years later I felt really bad about my behavior, especially since I wouldn’t get a shot at having a girlfriend until college. I was such an ass. A naive little ass, but an ass nonetheless.
So, friends, if you like, tell me of your embarrassments.