Do You Have a Highlight Reel?
I did something stupid yesterday. Long story, but suffice it to say that it was a stingingly embarrassing social faux pas. When I realized what I'd done, I wrapped both arms around my abdomen and moaned and fell into a chair. The syrup of humiliation slowly ran down into the knobs and levers of my conscience and something short-circuited. It was my own personal China Syndrome.
Today, the situation has been righted. I worked at it, bared my throat to the injured parties, and life went on.
The thing is, any time I do something asinine or just not very well thought out and it leads to embarrassment, I have this deeply annoying movie theatre that opens in my head. I can hear the projector rising slowly on its platform, and the whirring of the old stale reels beginning to turn.
MOVIE. Not just any movie. The highlight reel of All the Embarrassing Moments of Candy's Life. It's like my brain just waits and waits at the controls, longing for the opportunity to remind me.
Hang on there, Candy. You think THIS was moronic? Look at all THESE pitiful messes you cooked up! You jackass!
And here it comes. The collection of images flying by. There I am, at "kindergarten" graduation (We didn't have kindergarten back then...just a 3-day pretend-school to acquaint us with the process). I get my little blue construction paper mortar board and put it on my head and then I sit down. BUT EVERYONE ELSE IS STANDING. At the moment, I thought I'd ruined my whole life.
Oh, and there's the morning I walked through the snowy yard to the waiting school bus and our German shepherd, Casey, bounded out of nowhere and knocked me facedown in the snow. I pretended to be dead so that I did not have to see the laughing faces inside the bus. Also because I was sure Casey was humping me in his too-jolly Carmen Miranda dance and I wanted to be dead. My mother finally came outside and stood me up like a crooked tripod and walked me inside. She drove me to school.
And the piece de resistance: My ten year high school reunion. In my high school reunion nervousness, I had too much of the cheap Holiday Inn wine and misplaced some of my cognitive functions. A girl in our class decided we should have a moment of silence for this guy name Ted who had died in a car accident somewhere between the 5th and 10th reunion. (He wasn't even really in our class. He had flunked a couple years and landed in our graduating class.) ((Though that is beside the point because I'm trying to avoid telling you what happened.))
I did not hear the girl correctly. I thought she said something else. Something merry and happy. I clapped. Loudly. In the dead silence around me. I was clapping during a moment of silence for the dead guy.
Forget the syrup of humiliation dripping into the controls. This was like 500 lava lamps filled with the boiling snot of Beelzebub exploding and covering me all the way from my scalp to my high heels.
My fingers, while typing this sad tale, have curled and buckled like overcooked fish sticks. Because that was the single most embarrassing moment of my life. And I am really sick of the highlight reel. But it continues to play.
Please tell me I'm not alone. And give me details, if you dare.