I'm fortunate enough to have the kind of memory that...blocks things. It must be a self preservation tactic. Due to my "condition", I've blocked a lot of the embarrassing things I've done in my life. I think it falls close to the category of how mothers forget the misery of childbirth, when contemplating having another baby. If our minds didn't work that way, there would be A LOT of one child families out there.
When I was younger, probably Junior High and High School age, one of the most popular questions to ask people was "What is your most embarrassing moment?" Maybe because it acts as an ice-breaker. Maybe because teenagers spend their time dwelling on their own embarrassing moments, and like to feel secure in knowing theirs aren't as bad as yours. I'm not sure. But I don't think I've had anyone ask me that question for at least a decade.
The reason I remember the question so well is because I never had an embarrassing moment to share. (At the time, I didn't know I had the "block that from my memory" condition.) In searching my memory, I always came up empty. Not that I never got embarrassed. I just never felt like they were funny enough moments to qualify for "most embarrassing".
Things like trying to pull open a door when the sign right in front of me said "Push". It's funny, but it wouldn't win any awards. For a while, it was the best I could do.
While waiting in line at Lagoon Amusement Park, my teenage friends and I began "flirting" (translation: acting like ridiculous, giggling girls who thought the world revolved around us and whether or not the boys thought we were cute...)
Where was I? Oh, yeah, we were flirting with the boys in front of us in line. It was for the Sky Tram thing - the one that takes you from one end of the park to the other. As we got to the front of the line, I had my back turned to the boys (probably asking a friend something stupid like, "is he looking at me?"), when suddenly that "friend" told me to hurry up, it was my turn and I was going to miss the chair.
Without thinking, I turned around and stepped onto the spot right as the chair rounded the corner. About a second later I saw a boy, sitting in the chair next to me with a puzzled look on his face. Then I heard the giggling from behind me, and I knew what had happened.
I'd been set up. And I now had to ride the entire length of the park with the startled, albeit cute, stranger.
That story became my saving grace at those times when the question was asked: "What is your most embarrassing moment?"
But here's the thing:
I'm 99% sure it never happened.
I actually think I made up the whole story as a teenager, so I'd have something to tell, and then over the years of retelling it, I convinced myself it really happened.
I've been doubting the truth of that "embarrassing moment" for a few years now. So when I read this quote a few weeks ago, it really made me laugh:
"There are lots of people who mistake their
imagination for their memory."
I think I have a new most embarrassing moment. It just might be this blog post.