Thursday, April 12, 2007

Point and Laugh!

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#11: Thirteen of Lara's Most Embarrassing Moments

1. The Music Man Fiasco, 1992
I was in fourth grade, and I was going to be one of the kids in the band at the end of a local high school production of The Music Man. Seems easy enough, right? On the night of the show, though, I got distracted by a couple of my friends sitting in the audience and laughing. I shot them a dirty look from the stage, but got so caught up with chastising them that I paid no attention to the show itself. Suddenly, Seeser (also in the "band"), was loudly whispering my name. When I turned around, I noticed the curtain coming down... with me as the only person still in front of it. I ran back and slid to get behind it, only to have the heavy red velvet fall directly on my head, pulling off my band hat and leaving it spinning on the other side. The entire audience was laughing at my shenanigans. I think I cried all the way home, begging my mom not to make me return to school the next day. Ugh. So embarrassing...

2. High-Kicking Flop, 2006
In rehearsal for one of my dance groups last spring, we were practicing a dance involving some high kicking Charleston. As I went in to kick high with my right leg (much like in the picture here - that's me in the blue!), my left leg slipped out from beneath me, and I crashed hard, directly onto my (fortunately padded) ass. There was a very loud thump, followed by a stunned silence, followed by my own nervous laughter. "Well," I said, "that was unexpected." Thank God it wasn't in a performance!

3. Punk'd, Even Before Punk'd, 1995
My "first love," as I sometimes refer to him, was a boy named Matt. We were "boyfriend and girlfriend" a grand total of seven or eight times, I think, between kindergarten and eighth grade. One night, he called me up to ask me to be his girlfriend. I was unsure, because he had a bad habit of making me feel not good about myself, and our "relationships," such as they were, never lasted very long. But I eventually said yes. Then he hung up. Then he called me back, laughing with a large group of his friends, to say he was just kidding and didn't want to go out with me. NOT a nice guy.

5. Too Damn Nosy, 1991
One day in third grade, we had a substitute teacher. This was exciting, because it meant we could goof off more than usual. A couple of my friends (two boys, one of whom is the same Matt from above), were passing notes. I had been mostly helping them along, but was getting annoyed after a while. Eventually, a note came through that said, in large writing, "DO NOT READ! PRIVATE!!" So, of course, I did what any reasonable person would do - I read it. As I opened it up, I read these words, "We said not to read this, NOSY!" I turned bright red and they both laughed at me.

6. See If I Trust YOU Again!, 2004
In spring of my second season with my student swing group, we had the opportunity to perform in a major dance show in the university auditorium. The place seats about 1600 and was darn close to full, which was surprising for this particular show. The dance we were performing involved a T-drop (see picture for example), where the girls drop back in the guys arms and then stand back up. As you might imagine, this involves trusting that the guy will be there to catch you. When we performed this dance on the biggest stage ever, in front of a huge crowd (wait for it), I raised my hands high and fell back into... air. And then I fell on my ass. Yep, I seem to do that a lot.

7. Pitch is Overrated, 1998
My very first singing solo was in church during high school. I was asked to fill in for our normal singer on a duet. It was much higher than I was used to, as I hadn't yet had any training at the time (now I'm proud to be a soprano, but I've had years of practice). When we got to the highest note of the song, it came out a bit squeaky, but was much better than I had feared. The two lines after it, however - the last two lines of the song - were warbly and tone-retarded. Apparently, I put so much energy into hitting that one note that I blew any chance of hitting the rest of them. I sounded like a midget frog going through an awkward puberty.

8. Yes, That is My Ass, 2003
It was my first swing performance ever, and it was at one of the biggest school dance events of the year. I was nervous, but excited, and felt very prepared after hours of rehearsals leading up to this night. However, that preparation didn't include much rehearsing in my actual costume (the red polka-dot dress mentioned earlier). At one point during the performance, my partner and I did a quick spin into a series of kicks circling around each other. When I spun, my dress made a pretty flare around my waist, just as it was designed to do. Unfortunately, when my partner grabbed my waist to do the kicks, he pinned my skirt up there - when I kicked around in a circle, there was nothing I could do but grin and bear it. "Yep," I thought, "the entire audience can see my bloomers, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it." Oh well - at least I had the bloomers.

9. Oscar I am NOT, 1997
My high school had a tradition of threatening freshman with being "trash-canned" by older students. This meant exactly what you'd guess - tossing them into trash cans. My step-bro decided that even though he and I were BOTH freshman, he wanted me to end up in the trash. He cleverly tricked me by giving me his sweatshirt when I was cold, then suggesting (when I was still cold), that I pull my arms in from the sleeves. Once I did this, he pulled the sleeves around the front and tying them in the back, pinning my arms to my body. Then he picked my up and dumped me (ass first, rather than head, nice guy that he is) into a trash can. So there I was, sitting on a heap of garbage, with no way to free my arms. My feet couldn't reach the ground, so all I could do was rock back and forth in the can until it fell over and I spilled out. Ah, the brotherly love.

10. Learning by Doing, 2005
I was at home one day with Dyl, a happy 3-year-old for whom I used to nanny. He came up with a fun new game that I have since referred to as, "I'm a scary monster!" He would creep up to me slowly, waggling his fingers in a semi-threatening motion, his eyes wide with anticipation, and he would say (phonetically spelled), "I'n a thcaiwy montheh!" I would squeal in mock fear and begin to run away. Well, during one "chase", I turned the corner and stepped onto the area rug sitting in the foyer on the hardwood floor. As I ran across it, turning to head to the living room, the whole rug slipped out from beneath me, and I came crashing down on my hip and elbow. To this I say: OUCH. Dyl ran over with huge eyes. "Wha 'appened?" he asked. I explained that I fell, and then we had a long talk about why it's not okay to run in the house.

11. An Unintended Solo, 2006
Lady M and SwingDaddy planned a fun piece for our troupe to dance at last year's Ball. My part of the dance was a quartet of couples dancing swing, and involved numerous partner changes. At one point, my partner was actually supposed to leave me (I was dancing with someone else at the time), go "flirt" with one of the other ladies on stage, and then return to me for the next section of dancing. So imagine my surprise when time comes for him to return and... he's not there. I'm trying to play it off and keep my performance face as I consider my options - do I dance by myself? Slink offstage? Steal a new partner from a smaller, weaker female? Suddenly he appears - late - and pulls me into what he believes is the current part of the dance (he's only slightly off). Because of his lateness, I've decided we have to forego the minor aerial we were supposed to do, but he awkardly throws me anyway. As I left him for the next partner change, I shot him a death glare like you would not believe... which, of course, was captured on film for everyone to laugh at later.

12. Learning to Hate My Intelligence, 1995
When I was in elementary and middle school, I was in the GATE program - Gifted And Talented Education. Basically, I was in the "smart" classes. My "boyfriend" in seventh grade, Barek, was in regular classes. After we finally agreed to be boyfriend and girlfriend, I was thrilled. But it lasted all of about a week before he broke up with me. When he did, I asked why, and he told me all his friends were laughing at him for dating a girl who was smarter than he was. And that was the day I learned that girls, apparently, are not supposed to be very smart - at least, not smarter than boys. Good lesson, huh?

13. Close Encounter of the Metal Kind, 1990
In third grade, I had just started at a new school, and was very nervous about making good impressions. At that age, part of making a good impression with peers is learning to "give as good as you get" when it comes to jokes and teasing. When someone makes fun of you, you can't just walk away, you have to come up with a really clever come-back. Then, ideally, you make a fabulous exit. Actually, I guess this isn't just a third grade phenomenon.

At any rate, I was on the playground one morning during recess, and chatting with a group of girls. I have absolutely no recollection of what conversation transpired, but I was leaving to go to the bathroom when a joke was made at my expense. I came up with what was probably a very lame come-back, calling it over my shoulder as I casually walked away. Quite pleased with myself, I turned my head in the direction I was walking... just in time to walk face-first into a metal basketball pole. The impact knocked me flat on my back, and I was crying. A very nice 4th-grader came over to see if I was okay and take me and my swollen face to the nurse. The group of girls I'd been talking to? Laughing their pre-pubescent asses off.

Clearly I make a jerk of myself on a regular basis. Want to make me feel better by sharing an embarrassing tale of your own?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Beck
2. The Cabinet
3. Michelle Wun
4. The Rock Chick
5. Loretta
6. Nancy Pearl Wannabe
7. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Beckadoodles said...

Very funny! It's nice to look back and laugh at yourself...never take it too serious, "you'll get wrinkles" as my gramma used to say!

happy TT!

Di said...

Great to laugh at yourself...preferably before others get the chance to! I don't think I'm that quick to realize that...choosing the "skulking away in embarrassment" method.

Unknown said...

Embarassing moment #21,458
After being introduced to my girlfriends Dad as-"Michael,This is my Dad.",We proceeded to watch the football game.They announced one of the players "Orville Smith".
"Orville ?!? What a stupid name !!" I announced in my best teenagers know everything voice"What kind of people would name their kid ORVILLE ??"I continued-oblivious as to looks I was receiving.
Guess what my girlfriends Dad's name was ? For extra credit--Guess HIS Dad's name.Yep...and no extra points for guessing the little brother's name...Orville Purvis Whitley the THIRD....

Amanda said...

I can't even remember most of my embarassing moments. I think I block them out. I really and truly cannot stand to be humiliated. However, being 19, and touted as a great singer amongst my friends, I went to a karaoke place with the guy I was madly in love with, and some of our co-workers. I mutilated a Martina McBride song beyond recognition. Not my finest memory. :p

Xilly said...

Thanks for sharing us. You make me remember my most embarassing moment: I am in the toilet and forget to lock the door, somebody came in.... AHHHHHHH!

Shiiiiii, don tell anybody. It's our secret!

Happy TT! :D

Nicholas said...

It was my first ever visit to the USA. I was eighteen, and was lucky enough to take a tour of the CBS building in New York. At one point a grey haired gentleman came down the corridor and nodded hello to the page, who introduced me to him. This nice man said hello, welcomed me to CBS and said he hoped I was enjoying my visit to the USA. We shook hands and he walked off. The page said to me in awed tones: “That was Walter Cronkite” and I said “Who’s he?”

Anonymous said...

I was biking through White Plaza on my way to dance rehearsal, and saw this guy I had a HUMONGOUS crush on. He's a tour guide, and happened to be leading a tour. I waved hello to him, realizing too late that I didn't know how to bike with one hand. So I fell in front of him and the entire tour group, and he laughed at me :( Punk ass!

Anonymous said...

P.S. This post was FUNNY! :D

The Rock Chick said...

Fantastic list!!! When I was in high school, I had a lead role in a production of "Anything Goes". In one scene, I had to hang upside down on this contraption so that it would appear I was hanging over the side of the ship looking into a window. On the way down, I hit my forehead on a beam (the contraption was built by high school students) and besides almost knocking myself out, I was bleeding everywhere. We had to stop the show for several minutes and I finished the rest of the show with a huge bandage on my forehead.

I don't know who ever said that show biz was glamourous! :)...The show must go on, right?!!!

Love your list-really fun! Happy TT-Jessica The Rock Chick

Anonymous said...

Great TT and good luck in the bloggers choice awards!!!

shelleycoughlin said...

I so would've kicked my sister's ass if she put me in the trash! Of course, I was three years older than her and a whole lot bigger, but still.

Unknown said...

Thanks for being brave enough to do this..I couldnt share my 23 embarasssing moments

Still Jill B said...

Pretty much any time I open my mouth "knowing" I'm speaking the truth is a time to swallow the foot I've just stuck in there.

(that's not a TT that's the story of me pulling a Humpty Dumpty)

Anonymous said...

Great TT list. It was very brave of you to share your embarrassing moments. I don't think I'm brave enough to post mine. Happy Friday!

Lara said...

beck - you are so right! of course, it's really wrinkles either way - the difference is just whether they're laugh lines or not. ;)

di - i usually do that at the time, but i'm pretty good at learning to laugh about it later.

the cabinet - oh, that's AWFUL! did you have to break up with her or did he just break your nose and call it even?

amanda - yeah, i hate being embarrassed, too. i have, however, gotten better about it over the years - quicker to brush it off. and yes, i've had some bad karaoke moments, too. :-P

michelle - oh, i've had those moments too, in both bathrooms and dressing rooms! your secret is safe with me.

nicholas - i think that would have been worse if cronkite had still been around to hear it. ;)

kimmie - ooh, that's a yucky moment. at least when i whacked my face into the basketball pole, no one i had a crush on was present. :-P

jessica - oh my goodness! that story is too funny... well, to me, now, 'cause i wasn't there and bleeding. but wow, that's intense. glad you're okay!

loretta - thank you so much!

nancy pearl wannabe - yeah, brother was stronger than i, so kicking his ass was not so much an option. i did, however, pass it on by once making my younger step-sister stick her head in the toilet. :)

amy - eh, i've gotten to the point where i figure i might as well laugh at myself to avoid feeling crappy. at least i'll never cease to be amused!

jill b - you know, i actually thought of that post while writing this one. :-P and you've yet to stick your foot in your mouth with me, but maybe it's easier to avoid in writing?

sweet 'n' sassy - like i said, if i can't laugh at myself, i'm doomed to just be sad a lot. it took only a little bravery for this, and i got lots of chuckles out of it. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Lara, just when we thought our last major embarassment had been suffered, another pops up! I get those stupid fever blisters every so often, and people look at me funny. Well, take care! -laura

Anonymous said...

Hi Lara, it is nice to make your acquaintance. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I do have a blog on myspace and one on my writer's website as well, but this Thursday Thirteen is totally new to me. I discovered it through a note from another writer at one of my publishers. :) Have a great week! -laura