Sunday, November 14, 2010

if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to mock it ...

a few weeks ago, i tweeted a random thought:

is an embarrassing moment only embarrassing when you're around people?

no one replied to my tweet so i am re-posting it here (and expounding on it unnecessarily) where even more people can ignore me.

i suppose everyone has had a truly embarrassing moment at least once in their life. my earliest embarrassing moment happened at a kinder presentation although i'm pretty sure i had an accident earlier that school year in the playground, which involved a certain unsanitary act in a wooden playhouse. fortunately for my ego, there were no witnesses (or so i think – i'm still waiting for the hidden camera footage). i was bullied enough in kindergarten and an incident such as the aforementioned would have certainly driven me to quit school and turned me to a life of drugs and hate crimes.

it's a bit hard to recall truly shameful moments that are good enough for storytelling. i think after a while our brain automatically files away these experiences and encrypts them so that we can, at the very least, get out of bed in the morning without fear of being laughed at.

no one saw one of my most embarrassing moments. or at least i think no one did.

i was in my freshman year of college and was starting to make new friends among my classmates. a few of us watched a movie after class and everything was pleasant up to the time we all had to go home. it had started to rain while we were in the theater and by the time we got out, it was pouring and there was already some flooding in the streets. i didn't know how to drive yet and needed to commute back home. one of my classmates offered to walk with me because we were going the same way. i had no choice but to walk in ankle-deep flood water while trying to carry an engaging conversation with her. i think it was one of our first conversations and i didn't want her to think i was a flood snob.

anyway, as we parted ways in the rain, i waved cheerily (bye!!! bye!!!) with possibly inappropriate affect, given the dreary weather and the fact that i was going to see her the next day anyway. while walking away, i remember thinking, 'i really like this day even if it's raining now and i have to ride a jeep with wet seats', when suddenly and without warning, i found myself waist-deep in flood water. it took me a few seconds to realize that

my whole left leg had fallen into an open manhole.

try as i might, i don't remember how i managed to get back whatever little poise i had, let alone get back on level ground. i know i was holding a flimsy umbrella and i must've had a school bag or something else. i'm sure it wasn't an easy or dignified feat. it was one of those moments that i have effectively (but only partially) blocked out. however, i remember looking around after falling to check if any classmate had seen me. no one did. i don't think the passersby cared either – everyone was too busy getting out of the rain and couldn't be bothered by what must've looked like a vertically challenged girl laughing silently at herself.

i wonder if it's on youtube.

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