I have a fantastic ability to embarrass myself on a regular basis. I have an extremely high tolerance for awkwardness and humiliation since I have been vaccinated so frequently.
At about this time last year, I was traveling home from a friend’s wedding. I was taking a flight with my very dear friend D (who also appreciates classically awkward situations) and is my partner in crime for almost any time I put my foot in it (whatever IT is…I have managed to step in it).
We were tired. Like not being able to stand up straight, exhausted. Due to a miscommunication we had to get a hotel room the night of the wedding and had to crash with some friends in their room, due to the short notice. NO sleep was procured that night. For the sake of not reliving the evening, I will not go into further detail. But as the clock ticked closer and closer to our 5 am wake up call in order to make our flight, I was slowly turning into an angry, delirious, zombie. After the first part of our journey home, we had to change plans because of our layover. The plane we were on was so small, that they left our luggage at the bottom of the steps used to exit the plane, so we could carry them ourselves. As I went to pick up my bag it started to tip over. At the moment, under the stress of extreme fatigue (let’s face it, people who know me understand that my brain will actually shut down) my bag falling over seemed like the worst possible thing in the world. I saw it falling in slow motion reminiscent of shell-shocked soldiers from any war movie ever made. My brain was saying “NOOOOOOOOO!” I stuck my foot out to stop my luggage, miscalculated horribly, completely missed my bag, and managed to kick an elderly woman in the shins. She not only didn’t see my bag falling, but my explanation for kicking her was less than coherent, followed with D falling over in a giggle fit. It was a shining moment of humiliation.
This same glorious D (along with J, A, G, K and several others) threw me a surprise party this weekend. Up until the night before, I had absolutely no inkling that there would be a party. Apparently my friends are really good liars and quite talented at making believe I am not the most important person in the world. It was sold to me as a simple “girls night out” which I was MORE than happy with. In the car on the way over to the super, sneaky, secret party, I told D my suspicion. Damn, if that girl doesn’t respond well under pressure. “Oh sweetheart, no…no. no, no. Are you disappointed that you’re not getting a surprise party?’
me….”No way! Thank the Lord…I am so relieved.”
We walked up the back steps to my friend A’s house and across to the living room.
And I saw the door between the rooms closed. That door is NEVER closed.
I had a split second where I almost turned and bolted, but D was blocking my path. The door opened and I saw a sea of 25 of my dearest friends. All wearing masks of my own face. Welcome panic attack. There was the initial “SURPRISE!” followed by a silence I imagine only existed before the creation of the world.
Then me cursing. Then more silence. This is a level of awkwardness, to which even I am not accustomed.
So this story has some actual lessons:
1. Kristin does not react well when tired (or hungry; or as we like to call it “hangry,” when you’re so hungry you become enraged).
2. Kristin does not deal well with surprises and cannot be held responsible for any obscenities that may come as a result.
3. Kristin is SOOOOOO very thankful for friends who love me enough to lie to me (as long as it’s for a party, I will tolerate it) and treat me like a queen. I am more blessed that I can think.
So thank you to all who have helped inoculate me against embarrassment in the past and in the present. I just hope you’re strong enough to be there in the future. Love you 🙂