Embarrassing Moment too Good to Keep Quiet

Crystal Hohenthaner

Crystal Hohenthaner

I have noticed that compared to other people I don’t embarrass easily. I do, however, remember the last time I was thoroughly embarrassed.

Now as the music swells, the screen fades to a scene of me as a freshman in high school ….

Once upon a time, in a far away land, I had a crush on a boy. However, unlike most of these stories, this boy did actually know that I existed. In fact, he frequently flirted with me, though in retrospect I see how this may have been just to get me to fall all over him and gorge his ego.

It is unlikely that he really liked me because, in addition to a number of other factors, I was a freshman and the beautiful, blue-eyed, black-haired object of my affection was a junior named Paul Braddy. He was a trumpet player in the jazz band and the top tenor at our school.

One Tuesday early in November, I learned there was to be an awards assembly in the gym. That meant the jazz band would be playing. I was going to get to see Paul.

As fate would have it, there was a place in the bleachers where I was well in sight of Paul and I could see him too. As I sat down in the bleachers, Paul waved at me!

I smiled at Paul, and as I did I heard my name called.

The Knowledge Bowl team was being announced, and I was a member of the team, for which I have no excuse.

I quickly hopped over the three rows of bleacher-seat in front of me, trying to look cool because I knew Paul was watching me. My feet made contact with the gym floor, then my knees made contact with the gym floor, then my left side, and then my elbows and my shoulder.

Yes, it had happened to me – that thing that all insecure teenagers dread – I had fallen in front of the entire school. But I’m a good sport so, despite my shock and embarrassment, I stood right up and decided to make my way across the gym floor to the rest of my nerdy team.

But there was a reason beyond my simple clumsiness that had caused me to fall. Because I had been sitting with my legs crossed and slightly elevated, my right leg had fallen asleep. From hip to toe my leg was pure mush!

Somehow I managed to limp across the gym floor. By the time I had to walk back to my seat my leg was awake, but the damage had been done. Even my friends were laughing so hard they could barely breathe.

The final nail in the coffin holding my ego was what I found out later that day: Paul had laughed so hard that he almost fell off the riser the jazz band was seated on and his director had sent him out of the gym.

So, alas, no jazz band love for me, but at least I no longer embarrass easily.