You’re an Embarrassment

August 15, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 11:22 pm   Category: Life

Last year my daughter had an embarrassing moment at school. She was standing at the front of her class, holding a poster, and giving a presentation when from the back of the class a boy yelled, “Your pants are on backwards!”

“No they’re not,” she replied.

“Uh, yes they are,” he said.

She looked down and realized that her pants were in fact on backwards (she’s one of those super skinny people who can slide a pair of pants on and off with out unbuttoning them. These pants also happened to be cargo pants with no pockets on the bum).
She lowered the poster down a bit, finished her presentation, and slinked off to the bathroom to fix her pants.

A few weeks ago when she was telling the family this story I could tell she was still embarrassed by it so I decided it was time to change this event from a tragedy to a comedy. We started by laughing about it and then I said to her, “What a great story, you’ll be able to tell your kids and grandkids about it and you’ll all have a good laugh.” My husband and I then proceeded to tell her of some of our most embarrassing moments that we’ve had in life.

One of the more embarrassing moments for me was right after I became a newlywed. Geoff and I decided that we would have some of our bachelor friends and relatives over for dinner. At one point in the conversation during the dinner I made a comment in which I used a very vulgar phrase. The problem was that I had no idea that this phrase was vulgar and that I was using it incorrectly.

After I said it the whole room went so quiet we could hear crickets chirping outside and I think someone finally said, “I do not think that means what you think it means.”

“Doesn’t it mean, ya da ya da ya da?” I asked, causing everyone in the room to roar with laughter. My husband then told me what the phrase meant in the gentlest way possible. By the time he was finished my face was a bright crimson color and all I wanted to do was creep back to my room and never come out again. I know that some members of my family remember that story with fondness but they’ve come to realize they will be much happier and healthier if they don’t tell it very often.

Now, don’t ask me what the phrase was and don’t try to guess because the Thang is a family blog and I wouldn’t want any tender minds to learn something here that they shouldn’t. I would love to hear some of your more embarrassing stories but only if they’re clean. It would be fun to share a few of them with my daughter so she would know that other people have had their moments too.

[Associated song: Madness – Embarrassment]


  1. Those are both classic stories. I still don’t understand why your story is so embarrassing — you should be proud that you did not have to sullied mind and vocabulary the rest of us were saddled with!

    Comment by Geoff J — August 16, 2006 @ 10:00 am

  2. Wow, no one wants to share their embarrassing moments I guess. Could it be that being embarrassed really is as bad as your daughter suspects it is? Usually people shouldn’t be embarrassed by the things that embarrass them, but that is no consolation to the person who is currently turning red. There may be nothing more uncomfortable.

    I could only think of one embarrassing story which is also clean (I’m sure I have many more but I cram them mercilessly into my subconscious). You know how sometimes you will work up a certain way of telling an anecdote and tell it to more than one person. Well, I still remember realizing that I was telling someone the same anecdote, not for the second time, but for the forth. The bad thing was that it was not even a very good story and I felt very stupid knowing the person was thinking “oh boy, not this terrible story again.”

    Comment by Jacob — August 16, 2006 @ 8:12 pm

  3. Of course now I’m dying with curiosity as to what the terrible phrase was.

    Well, here’s one. I was in film school, (it was a film school geared more towards artsy, independent avant garde cinema), and we were having the tried and true super-intellectual discussion in class regarding commercial (read: evil) film and how it was abhorant and catered to the slovenly masses, particularly pointing out the films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. We were all sitting in a circle and I slunk lower and lower into my seat. My face was getting flushed. All I could say after class was “I guess I picked the wrong day to wear my Star Wars T-Shirt!!”

    Doesn’t sound so bad, but trust me, I looked like the biggest dork in history.

    Comment by meems — August 16, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

  4. Here’s one I thought of. I was in college and me and my roommates and this really smart guy that wasn’t really my friend was there. I think we were watching “Who Wants to Be a Millionare?” and a question came on. It listed a 1 with a bunch of zeros after it and asked “What would you be if you had [this] much money?” The answers were something like millionaire, billionaire, trillionaire, and squillionaire. I looked a couple times at the screen confusedly and said out loud, “What’s a squillionaire??” Everyone looked at me like I was such an idiot! They called me Squills for quite a while afterwards. That was definitely a blonde moment for me.

    Comment by Jamie J — August 16, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

  5. Hehe. Meems’ comment reminds me of an embarrassing college moment too. Johnston is a Scottish name and I’m Scotch through and through (aka frugal, aka cheap). As a poor grad student I was even worse than usual. So in a marketing class the teacher brought up a new product called “Lunchables” that was selling for $3-4 and asked how we thought they would do in the market. I was living on $0.99 Big Macs at the time so I raised my hand and said “That is way too expensive, no one will go for that!”

    The class sort of sat there silently for a while… Then the teacher and several other students, umm, disagreed. I felt like such a cheap doofus. Apparently not everyone thought $3-4 for lunch was way too expensive. (And it turns out Lunchables wasn’t such a bad idea after all…)

    Comment by Geoff J — August 16, 2006 @ 9:02 pm

  6. Geoff, Lunchables are way too expensive!!! Can’t people put some cheese and crackers into a Tupperware? :-)

    Comment by meems — August 16, 2006 @ 9:29 pm

  7. It’s true they are too expensive. They are marketted well though. My kids think they’ve died and gone to heaven if they ever get their hands on one.

    Meems I’ll give you a hint on the phrase. Think of the name of the anonymous tipster in the Watergate scandal. That’s all I’m going to say.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 16, 2006 @ 10:52 pm

  8. Kristen,

    The problem is that for those of us who (like Geoff) have minds full of dirty phrases that just isn’t narrowing it down enough. I feel one more hint is in order. Seriously, we’re dying out here.

    Comment by Jacob — August 16, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

  9. I think I’m getting the picture. All I can say is, I still sometimes goof up when saying I’m going to the hair salon to get a blow dry. sigh.

    Comment by meems — August 17, 2006 @ 12:25 am

  10. Meems,

    Nicely done. And I’m still getting a chuckle about your Star Wars t-shirt.

    Comment by Jacob — August 17, 2006 @ 12:30 am

  11. I didn’t know what that phrase was until 7th grade. Two girls in band class made fun of me for not knowing what it meant. Eventually they explained it to me. One of those girls became my best friend and we still email each other every day, which is kinda funny to think about. I wonder if she remembers that. I don’t think I’ll ask.

    Comment by Susan M — August 17, 2006 @ 7:21 am

  12. That’s okay, Susan! Here’s another one from seventh grade:

    The setting: Seventh grade social studies class.
    The characters: Me, the mousiest kid in the world, and two really tough girls — the kind you would jump out of the way if they were walking down the hall.
    So, they approached me in class, and stifling their snickers they came up to me and said, “Hey, there’s a question we wanted to ask you.” I was all flush with excitement that they were even lowering themselves to speak with me!
    “Um, okay.”
    (snicker snicker). “Are you a virgin?”
    “No…” Tremendous howls of laughter erupt. So much so that they don’t hear me add, “I’m a Scorpio!”

    Comment by meems — August 17, 2006 @ 7:50 am

  13. My husband just informed me that this shouldn’t be most embarrassing, but should actually be filed under “most pathetic.”

    Comment by meems — August 17, 2006 @ 7:57 am

  14. I’m lovin’ these stories! Jacob, do you still need a hint?

    Here’s one for you meems-Once in 2nd grade another girl and I got sent out in the hall for talking (very embarrassing to me). As we were sitting there 2 6th grade girls walk by and say, “Do you guys want to hump?”

    Now I didn’t know what that meant but I knew it was probably not a good thing so I gave them a dirty look and said no. I looked over to the girl sitting next to me to see her nodding, grinning, and saying, “Sure!” They walked off laughing hysterically but I felt some of my dignity remained intact.

    I got rid of the rest of my dignity periodically during my life though. Like the time I barfed for about an hour straight while sitting in a tiny igloo with about 8 other people. Yeah, that was really fun.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 17, 2006 @ 9:21 am

  15. Hey chiquita~ I can’t think of many embarrasing stories that would be helpful to miss skinny pants, but I know that Nate keeps me posted on some pretty embarrassing moments since we started dating. Like the time we were kissing and a booger fell out of my nose and into his mouth. Yes, he identified that a foreign object had arrived. Hope these other stories are helpful:
    I think Nate wore mismatched shoes to work the other day.
    When I was in elementary school I often wore my shirts backwards or inside out and had to fix them at recess.
    Oh yeah, I threw up in someone’s car on the way over the Bay bridge in San Francisco and had to wash the barf off my skirt when I got to work…

    Someone stop me.

    Comment by Leeyahh — August 17, 2006 @ 9:57 am

  16. I love this stuff. If I ever meet any of you in person, we’ll already have known each other for years. :-) I am surprised there are so many of us that have endured our teen years without dying from embarassment. Sooooooo many times I thought I would.

    Problem is, it followed me into adulthood. I inherited the role as family entertainment. For about ten years, it didn’t matter where I was or what I was wearing at the time, I would fall in very public places. My inner gyro was off and I could embarass myself on demand! It seemed. It has gotten better, and I haven’t fallen in about 6 years, knock on wood, I’ll probably fall today.

    Worst time: We were having a huge regional conference for church in Palm Springs. President Hinckley was speaking and of course no one was going to miss it. It was held in a huge gathering place with polished marble floors. Okay so can you see where I’m going? Yep, my ankle turned sideways on the floor but instead of falling on my bum, as usual, I tried to catch myself and somehow, (I still don’t know how it happened) I ended up on my tummy seemingly sliding into home plate! Oh, ugh. Falling front of a bunch of dignified mormons on their way to see the Prophet.

    If I didn’t die from that, I know I’m going to live forever! heh.

    Comment by chronicler — August 18, 2006 @ 7:01 am

  17. Chronicler- I would have loved to have seen that. Not that I would have laughed at you or anything. It seems like some people are proned to that. I have a friend that is often seen stumbling and often falling.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 18, 2006 @ 8:24 am

  18. Your daughter shouldn’t worry. when I read her story, I was reminded of the time I was in third grade, spelling words in front of the class. Suddenly, amid giggles from the class, two of my classmates (one of them a good friend) chanted “X Y Z, examine your zipper!!!”

    Sure enought, there I was with my zipper down. Oy.

    Or there’s the time I tripped on a wrestling mat and surfed down it on my … chest. That was bad enought, but looking up and realizing that my crush and a very talented, popular girl saw it and were busting up. Oh yeah, that’s great.

    My mom keeps reminding me of the time I repeated a joke I had heard from my dad to the missionaries. I didn’t realize it was a dirty joke. Those poor missionaries.

    I could go on, if I need to … just in the interest of letting your daughter know that she’s doing pretty well. ^_^

    Comment by Allanna — August 18, 2006 @ 9:21 am

  19. Kristen, the great part of being the family entertainer, is that if you don’t laugh it’s considered bad form. Who can’t not laugh at that scene? It is appropriate and expected in our family! ;-)

    Comment by chronicler — August 18, 2006 @ 6:20 pm

  20. I was on a first date. We were on a weinie roast picnic, and for some reason I started playing with the matches. I stood there, holding a burning match and told the guy I was a nymphomaniac. He got this really blank/shocked look. I still didn’t catch my mistake, until he said, “ur, I think you mean pyromaniac?”

    Comment by fMhLisa — August 20, 2006 @ 8:52 am

  21. Lol. So was he relieved or disappointed Lisa?

    Comment by Geoff J — August 20, 2006 @ 9:35 am

  22. What do you think Geoff?

    Probably a little of both. He must not have been too scared, we did end up dating for quite a while.

    Comment by fMhLisa — August 20, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  23. Too funny. I’ve made so many mistakes just like that and I hate it when I do.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 20, 2006 @ 6:39 pm