Nothing’s better than a good embarrassing story… about someone else.

We love them, we hate them, and we’re forced to live with them. Embarrassing stories are no different than that picture your friend took of you while you were sleeping with your mouth open, or the one that was taken before you were ready, or the slew of baby pictures your mom holds onto like they were rations in an apocalypse. Just like those bad pictures, we all have our own embarrassing stories that keep being brought up no matter how much we try to forget them. To our friends, they’re priceless, to us they’re a burden.

And boy do I have a good one for you…

If you have ever flown Allegiant Airlines you would know that tickets are insanely cheap, but they have hidden fees for just about everything short of the air you breathe on the flight. A few weekends ago, I was flying Allegiant and figured that in order to save some money, I would pack everything in small backpack so I didn’t have to check or stow a bag. I was planning on traveling for about three days so it was no easy task getting everything in my bag. In fact, I decided to wear my basketball shorts under my jeans just so I wouldn’t need to pack them. Here’s where it gets good…

Later that day, after my fee-filled flight and a battle to resist a delicious looking can of $6 Pringles, I was trying to tell some friends of mine about my Allegiant experience, but I couldn’t settle for a plain old story about fees, I needed to spice it up a bit. I like to tell a good story with a few laughs and maybe a couple gasps. So here was my idea: I would tell the story and build up to the part about wearing shorts under my pants, but right before saying anything, I would throw my jeans to ground making it look like I was stripping down in front of everyone. I should note that my audience was a group of girls, half of whom just got back from a year and half long church mission, so the crowd was a perfect target for a shocking reveal. In my mind the plan was perfect. It would get some strange looks followed by light laughter and a few headshakes… but if that’s how it actually went down then this wouldn’t be an embarrassing story.

As I went for the big reveal, I mistakenly grabbed a little too much material around my waist and moments later I pulled a classic Janet Jackson. There I stood in the middle of the room, victim to a wardrobe malfunction at the hands of my own clumsiness. Pants and shorts were on the floor as I stood with a stupid grin on my face, and the whole room was finally able to answer the age old question: “What color underwear is Jake wearing?”

Well I definitely got the reactions I was looking for, and a bit more. The room erupted with laughed and the awkwardness was definitely palpable. What’s more, I had the honor of getting to retell this story a good 6 more times throughout the course of the weekend, and the embarrassment never really faded. Even as I write this story out I can’t help but still cringe as I replay the events in my mind and think about what would have happened if my underwear didn’t hold its ground securely around my waist.

I guess the real lesson I learned here is this:

Never fly Allegiant.

If you’re willing to do stupid stuff for laughs, prepare to look stupid… and maybe get some laughs.

The main take away is that embarrassment might be a little nauseating, but there’s nothing we can do to change it; our only real choice is to embrace and own it. We all do stupid things, it’s good to be humbled everything now and then, and there’s always a lesson to be learned.

And if you simply can’t embrace your embarrassment, then make new friends and make sure they never talk to your old ones.

Comments (4)

  1. Michael Kamin

    Reply

    This story couldn’t be more true. One of the many things I have learned throughout my life is that embarrassing moments happen to everyone; no matter who you are. Humility is just one of those things that all of us experience and can learn from in our lives. What it has really taught me over the years is that no matter how successful I become, I am only human and mistakes and embarrassing moments will always happen. Also, embarrassing moments have taught me how to act with a certain amount of compassion for others as well, in the same instances.

  2. Reply

    I really enjoyed this because I too also have many embarrassing or awkward moments. I’ve always been someone who values the opinion of others and sometimes cares too much about what people think of me, so it can be hard for me to let it go when I have an embarrassing moment. Often times I get caught up in thinking about who saw, what they think of me, and how I can somehow redeem myself. I really liked how the author says that embarrassing moments make us who we are, and we should embrace them, even if it can be difficult. It’s definitely something I need to work on in order to embrace who I am and what makes me who I am.

  3. Ruthie

    Reply

    I really enjoyed reaching this article on “embracing the embarrassing”, as the author accurately depicts that individuals have the option within themselves whether they will embrace moments of awkwardness or embarrassment, or feel ashamed. As the author points out, “it’s good to be humbled” and to recognize your mistakes or points of embarrassment, laugh about them, and learn from them.

  4. Reply

    This is very interesting embarrassing story. That I can see from this story is similar to the author’s thought. But I think that the acceptance of embarrassing experiences is important to our lives. From my own experience, I really don’t think there were many experiences but more funny stories and transparent information that could embarrass me. I usually share embarrassing stories with my friends and family because the embarrassing moment actually brings much fun and strengthen the relationship with friends and family. So the acceptance of some awkward, embarrassing, or even hard times can make us feel much comfortable and peaceful. If it was it, then it still is it, and let it will be it.

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