Monday, March 1, 2010

Dumb, Embarrassing Moments

Grandmother: During my lifetime I have a book of embarrassing moments, so it is difficult to just pick out one. Probably my worst one was the time my husband and I had to go to a wedding reception and I had not picked up a gift. We drove downtown to get something and could not find a parking space. Remember this was a long time ago; no malls, no parking garages. So Grandpa decided to drive around the block and wait for me. I ran in and got some towels, had them gift wrapped and ran back outside and waited for Grandpa. I waited, waited and waited. Finally I saw the car coming down the block and I dashed out, threw my package in the back seat and proceeded to get in and yelled "What took you so long?" I looked over and saw this stranger looking at me speechless and wondering if I had lost my mind. I very quickly removed myself and slammed the door, when a voice rang out "Ma'am you forgot your package." I grabbed the gift and felt so dumb I couldn't say anything. I often wonder about the story he told about the crazy lady who climbed into his car.

Mom: Grace has not been one of my strongest attributes. In fact no one in my family has ever been accused of being graceful. We are pretty much all klutzes. Unfortunately my lack of grace usually rears its ugly head not at home when I am alone, but in the throes of crowds. Such was the case on the day when I exited the grocery store, pushing my shopping cart out into the parking lot. There are square stone blocks placed between the sidewalk entrance and the paved parking lot and as is typical with these types of blocks there are gaps between them. As I merrily pushed my cart, one of the wheels got caught in one of those gaps and my cart went up on two wheels. Feeling that I could somehow get the cart back upright by placing myself off balance, I clutched with both hands and raised one leg to thrust the cart back into the proper position. How I ever thought I could achieve such a feat, I do not know. Because within seconds the cart was toppled onto the ground with groceries spewed about and I was half under the cart flat on my backside. Since the only thing hurt was my pride, I quickly looked around while I jumped to my feet to make sure no one had witnessed my inelegant plop. YES! No witnesses. I scurried to gather up the spilled groceries when out of nowhere appeared a young man. His concern registered on his face when he asked, "Ma'am are you ok?"

My first inclination was to say, "Yes, go away!" But I refrained and said I was ok as he collected my groceries and my purse and handed them to me, once again asking if I was ok. I did thank him as I hustled to my car. It just would have been so much better if there hadn't been an audience...even if it was an audience of one. At least it is nice to know that if the situation had been more serious that someone would have stopped to help! Oh....and the other good thing is that I hadn't bought any eggs or anything in a glass container!!

Daughter: Once you hear this story, it will sound like it's made up. But alas, it is not. Every detail from start to finish happened...and unfortunately it happened to me. It was Friday afternoon and I was working at my bureau post for the local newspaper. I was packing up my things at the end of the day when I got a phone call about a breaking news story. Silently cursing my luck, I got in my car in a flurry. A tornado had just touched down near an elementary school about 40 minutes away. I rushed to the school to interview teachers, parents, students and the principal.

The weather was awful. After the tornado touched down, cold wind and rain started beating down on us. And of course I was wearing business casual clothes, not the most appropriate attire for post-tornado weather. So I was cold and very wet but went about my job anyway.

I had to call into the office every time I interviewed someone or got another piece of critical information. So I was in and out of my car a lot. Well, I was in a hurry and after I called my editor with the latest news, I hopped out of my car and quickly slammed the car door shut. In my head a panic bell went off and I immediately tried the door. My heart sank, as my hand told me what I already knew--the door was locked. I quickly searched all my pockets in a last ditch effort before I realized the truth--I was locked out of my car. And in this scramble I accidentally stepped in a huge red ant hill. So there I was locked out of my car, soaked to the bone with little red welts up and down my legs, more helpless than the children who had just been face-to-face with a tornado.

Now I was really cursing my luck and after assessing my options, I realized I had no choice but to swallow my pride and go up to one of the police officers and humbly ask for help. The officer, who I had interviewed several times during the course of the night, thought I was joking and looked at me like I had two heads. And he reluctantly called the police station to have them send a guy over and it cost me $40. Then I had to make the dreaded call to my office and let them know the situation.

Eventually the guy came and let me in, but my job was not over. My editors wanted me to stay at the school until the last person left. In other words, I didn't get home until 9 p.m. I remember sitting in my tub at the end of that horrible, embarrassing night and thinking how glad I was it was over. I mean really how much stuff can happen to one person in a night?

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