My Most Embarrassing Moment
Well, my second most embarrassing moment.
The most embarrassing, I would say, was when I was eighteen years old at the pub, reasonably drunk. I returned from the bathroom to witness a large group of male onlookers point at me and laugh. My best friend laughed too, so hard that she was crying. As we stood in the middle of the room with the hyenas circling, I couldn’t make her explain what was wrong with me. When her ability to speak returned (it took an age) she pointed to the long trail of toilet paper behind me that was tucked into my pants like a tail.
The second most embarrassing went like this:
I was at a large shopping complex and parked in the yellow section of the colour-coded carpark. Being from the country, where we only had ground-level parking, I was careful to memorise it. Yellow carpark, yellow carpark, yellow carpark. I looked through a dozen stores and got fed-up quickly, deciding that no clothes anywhere in the world suited me. I went out to the carpark, the yellow carpark, to return to my vehicle. It wasn’t where I thought it should be. For the next 90 minutes, I walked down every row of that yellow carpark. Blistered and angry, I returned to the shopping complex and bought a bread roll, sat on a bench to eat it. I stood up wondering what else I could possibly do. And that's when I saw her. She was a few metres away, but her face stood out in a sea of ordinary faces. I couldn’t remember her name, but I knew that I knew her, and that I liked her, and if I told her my story I knew she would help me. I put my head down and walked briskly in her direction and – BAM.
Straight into a mirror.
I don’t know if people pointed and laughed, like the men at the pub, because I got out of there so quickly. But I imagine what they saw was similar to a bird that flies into a windscreen. Heart pounding, I phoned my city friend who lived half an hour away. “I went shopping, and I think my car’s been stolen,” I explained. We drove around and around, eventually discovering there were two yellow carparks (Why? To torment country people who get so frazzled they smack into mirrors?).
Embarrassment aside, how lovely to recognise myself as a friend.
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