The Most Embarrassing Thing I’ve Ever Done

by thethreepennyguignol

Sometimes I feel like writing analyses of the changing face of bisexual representation on television, sometimes I just want to lightly shitpost because it’s Saturday and it’s too hot to think and I have a crop top that I need to wear somewhere just to prove a point. Today is one of those times. Ergo! I will swap a story for a story: here is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me. I want to hear yours in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter or Tumblr and let me know there. I feel like I need the catharsis of absolving this awfulness out into the world, so here it is, hopefully for your reading amusement.

Let me set the scene for you: Paris, France. I’m on holiday with my family; I’m in my early teens, and I spend a lot of time wearing a slightly battered, droopy trilby, that I am convinced turns me into some quirky hipster butch dreamboat. It does not. I look awful. I continue to look awful for several more years after that, and not one person intervenes, violating several human rights clauses in the process.

Anyway. We’re at a restaurant, that we have finally agreed upon, because my brother and I were insanely picky eaters right up until the moment we both discovered that curry and pizza and Thai food was great, actually, and ate everything in existence. It’s this little rustic place, full of small, smiley waiters and tourists, and I am excited to try out some of the French that I have been learning at high school. I feel very sophistimicated, even if my mother asks me to remove my extremely cool hat before we sit down.

The waiter dealing with our table is sweet and friendly and short and round and I develop an insta-crush on him, because I’m at that age were the merest ounce of attention from anyone at all is enough to dazzle me into full-blown love. He must think my hat is great. Maybe I’ll let him wear it…later. If you know what I’m saying.

Anyway, I am fluttery and a little flustered to begin with, so perhaps what happens next is inevitable. It is worth noting here that, despite my immensely cool and confident contemporary visage, I was, as the French say, La Losér Giante, and had about as many social skills as my cat when she hears a bag rustling next door. Once we had ordered, I went to head to the bathrooms, which were down a set of stairs near the kitchen.

By some twist of Cupid’s bow, there stands, at the top of the stairs, my waiter – yes, the very same one who thinks my hat is really cool, probably. He notices that he is in my way, and he steps aside and holds both his hands up to indicate that I should move past – palms facing me, both at about chest height. A universal gesture. You would have thought.

I’m not sure what passed through my mind in that moment, but God knows I have tried to figure it out in the years since. Seeing him, standing there, his hands raised, waiting for me to move by him so I can get to the bathroom, my brain takes a flustered second to decode the situation. Aha! I think, suddenly. It makes sense now. He’s asking for a double high-five!

And so, I lift my hands and clap them enthusiastically against his. The moment my skin touches his, I realize the mistake I have made. The world stops for a moment. I long for death like an old friend. My hands hover in the air for a moment longer, an awful, crystal-glass moment waiting to shatter into a cavalcade of shame.

He smiles at me politely and swiftly walks away, and I can’t even blame him; I practically cartwheel down the stairs in horror at my unrelenting ability to Make Everything Terrible. I consider booking tickets to fly home as I wash my hands in the bathroom. Even my Very Cool Hat won’t be enough to save me from this social faux pas. The horror. The horror. To this day, it haunts me. Nothing will cleanse me of the shame. This post is nought but a tempt to foist some of the horror on to you, dear reader, and for that, I am sorry. But not as sorry as I am to that poor waiter.

So, there’s my most Awful Embarrassing Thing Ever. I would love to hear your most amusing and ridiculous stories of public self-shaming, so share ’em up on Tumblr, Twitter, or in the comments below. If you enjoy nonsense like this, consider supporting me on Patreon!

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