Now, I’m not an easy guy to embarrass. The picture chosen to accompany this piece can attest to that. Shame? Maybe, but embarrass? That definitely proves a little more difficult. Still, every so often, I feel that swell of awkward emotion wash over me and the heat rush to my cheeks which must be turning red. I mean, we all get embarrassed at one time or another. Sure, I’d love to believe those “platitude of the day” calendars that say things like “embarrassment is a wasted emotion” but you just try and tell yourself that in the heat of the moment. It’s not as easy as it says. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you turn even redder because you’re so embarrassed that you thought that was actually going to work.
Just recently, I had an encounter at the local Jewel. Now I know what you might be thinking. “Oh, he ran into an old friend and couldn’t remember their name” or “He got the wrong milk and held up the line when he had to run back and get a different gallon.” Lemme tell you, I wish it was one of those types of problems. For starters, I’ve become a master at having entire conversations without addressing the person by name since I’m that bad with names, but no, this was actually worse.
Now it’s a fact of life that eventually, no matter where you live, plumbing becomes an issue. Well, after a particularly brutal hangover, my toilet reached its breaking point. I mean, you can only expect it to hold so much puke, right? So I run the two blocks to Jewel, grab a plunger quickly and proceed to the checkout.
When I finally reach the front of the line, the young woman looks at my cargo, then looks at me, then back down to the plunger. She sighs heavily as she scans the barcode and asks for my card. Now, this is the type of thing I’m talking about. I’m almost certain she was thinking, well, she was probably thinking “Man, I hate this job” but also, “I don’t even wanna know what goes on in this guy’s bathroom.” So I felt my cheeks grow flush, as I stammered, searching for something to say to make the awkwardness go away or even less palpable.
“I puked. Like, a lot.”
That’s what I came up with. That was my my save the day moment. Here this poor girl was thinking I must have shit myself stupid, but no, no it’s okay, I just puked. In retrospect, I don’t know what I was hoping that would accomplish. It’s not like any bodily functions are particularly proud moments once we graduate from potty training. Still, it was all I could come up with. God, I hope I was still partially drunk from the night before, but I’m not even sure that’d make up for it.
Moral of the story? Regardless of the bodily function, keep it to yourself. Believe me, you’re not helping anyone and the embarrassment eventually subsides… unless you follow in my footsteps.