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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Embarrassment (01/12/12)

TITLE: It's Hard to Be Me
By Ed Arrington



I often can be a general klutz. I am not particularly coordinated with my hands, my feet, or my brain. My mother tells me that when I was a young boy, less than two years of age, I got accidently dropped on my head. If this did happen I don’t think it has made me unintelligent but it might contribute to what I call a “scattered mind syndrome.” In other words, I am interested in so many things at one time, all the time. This means that I often talk to myself, and most of the time I have profound answers for statements or questions that are part of my self-directed conversation; of course, the main recipient of any answer is me. That can cause humble embarrassment when I am taking a walk in my neighborhood, waving my hands in the air, expounding on the important issues of the day. My actions will draw a curious, puzzled, sometimes awkward glance from people I pass on the street. I rarely stop to explain myself, but rather just walk faster, hoping these folks will forget about that “crazy” guy they just saw.
I suffer distressing embarrassment when I stutter. Three million Americans stutter and scientists don’t know why. One of the worst things about stuttering as a youngster is that your peers may tease and laugh at you, leaving verbal scars that can last forever.
I will never forget the ultimate zenith of embarrassment in my life. I was in the United States Air Force, stationed in Texas. I was in my early thirties and worked as an administrative clerk. One of my jobs was to answer all incoming telephone calls. I received a routine call one day. The only other person in the office was an Army Major – he was a kind man; I liked him a lot. My telephone conversation that day was brief. I said hello, identified myself and then waited for the reply. I was requested to comment on a particular subject concerning my office. Sadly, I was unable to comply because I was in a state of psychological terror. I still had a bad stuttering problem. That day, believe it or not, in full view of that Army guy, I just hung up the phone, arbitrarily ending the call. I hung my head in absolute shame and probably cried, although I cannot remember.
Not all embarrassment in my life has been that negative. Fortunately, I have been blessed with an understanding wife and two compassionate daughters who love me primarily for who I am, period. Their congenial attitude reminds me of another time when we all got a big kick out of an embarrassing experience.
We were living in Denver, Colorado. We went out occasionally to a restaurant called ‘Just Plain Binky’s.” They served Mexican food and we loved it. One Saturday evening we had settled in at a table and I got up to use the restroom, which was past the front entrance on the other side of the room. When I was returning to the table, I bumped into an object. I looked to my left and saw a person. I stuck out my hand and said, “Oh, please forgive me, I’m sorry…”
That was all I said, however. I quickly discovered that I was talking to a mirror and apologizing to myself. I subsequently heard a great deal of laughter at my table and turned to see my family howling with unrestrained glee. With a red face, I returned to the table and sat down. We all enjoyed the rest of the night, eating fine food and talking about my embarrassing but humorous experience.

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This article has been read 330 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Tredway 01/19/12
The embarrassing incidents are fun to read about - after the fact. It would flow better if you could mix the information from the first part into the other sections. Tell what embarrassed you, with a little background on the reason for it.
annie keys01/19/12
Mercy, I can associate with your 'self'. I was born a klutz and it got worse from there. As long as you can laugh at yourself, you'll be fine. *)

Loved your story, your ability to step out of your situation and write about the humor of the moment is well stated. You need to work on paragraph structure.

Well done, enjoyed the read!
C D Swanson 01/20/12
Hahahahahaha...I certainly can relate to this. I was on line at a local fast food drive in. It seemed I waited an eternity, when I finally realized I was speaking into a "garbage pail" not the large black speaker!! So this hit home. Nicely done.

God Bless~
Dannie Hawley 01/21/12
I really enjoyed your article! So transparent and so much like all of us at some time... too many times for some of us, ha!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/22/12
This is a great story. You had me giggling with you.

Try to do more showing then telling. It's a hard concept to master. An example would be this sentence:
I rarely stop to explain myself, but rather just walk faster, hoping these folks will forget about that “crazy” guy they just saw.

You are telling me instead of showing. A way to show might be like this:
I halted in mid-sentence while waving my hands in the air. My eyes zeroed in on the man standing in the street, pointing his finger at me, with his other hand cupped over his mouth as he whispered to his wife.

That's a rough example during the middle of the night while I should be sleeping, but I hope it helps a bit. You get a picture in your mind with the example.

You have several great examples of embarrassment and you did a nice job of writing on topic. Sometimes with the word limit, it may be better to pick one example and expand on it. I liked the ending, it brought the story full circle. You did a nice job with this. Keep writing, you are a natural story-teller.