Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Most Embarassing Moment

Q. What’s your most embarrassing moment?

A. There are plenty of possible answers: the time I got on the wrong airplane, the time I wore two different shoes to a conference with my new boss, the time my 2-year old daughter left the house to wander around the neighborhood when I was asleep on the couch, or the time I ripped my pants when I was at a tradeshow with Eric Stromer. Here’s me and my friend Kelly with Eric Stromer on that day.

He was (is?) a semi-celebrity for being a DIY expert on some reality shows. The picture is from the waist up because my shirt is untucked in order to cover the huge tear in the side of my pants.

Of all my embarrassing moments, there is one tale of woe that stands out. It requires no exaggeration nor creative writing skills to make it sound funnier than it really was.

I was in my 20’s and had just gotten a nice promotion at work, which meant I was added to the invitation list for a dinner party at the president’s house. The president of our company, not the white house. It was a pretty big deal to me at the time. It was just getting dark when I headed out.

Mr. President's house was in an upscale, countryish neighborhood with windy roads, and acre-sized lots. I drove past the house and turned around so I could park along the road, like I saw other people were doing. I’m not a very good parker, especially when I’m nervous. I wanted to get my car really straight in line with everyone else. In doing that, my right tires went off the road and a little into the yard. Not a big deal, except the ground was saturated from rain. My tires got a bit stuck, and I couldn’t back up. I drove forward a little more to get some traction and tried to gun it to get back out. I guess I did this a few too many times and ended up stuck in the middle of the front yard. I mean, all the way in the yard.

Bob was the next guest to arrive. You couldn’t know a nicer guy than Bob. I got out of my car and said, “Bob?” He was flabbergasted and said, “Ann? WHAT are you doing??” Bob took control. He told me how to steer the car and pushed me out. I thanked him profusely as we walked into the party together. We agreed not to tell anyone what had happened. My car had been in a part of the yard that couldn't be seen from the house, so I was relieved that no one would know. 

Act II
Bob opened the door for me, and we walked in the house. Everyone looked right passed me with confused and concerned expressions. I turned around to look at Bob in the light, and he was covered in little brown specs of mud. It was even on his shiny noggin. Bob tried to downplay it, but we had to explain what I had done. Someone got him a towel and directed him to a wash room. That’s what you call a bathroom in a fancy house.

I was shaken up, but determined to stay under the radar for the rest of the evening. I listened more than I spoke. I chose a small glass of white wine with my dinner, even though I prefer red. White seemed like a safer choice. A confident guy sitting across from me at the dinner table chose red. He spilled his wine. But he was so graceful and quick with the spill and the return of his glass that no one even noticed him spill. I've never seen anything like it! What people did notice was a puddle of red wine on the white table cloth around my dinner plate. I didn’t even defend myself.

On my way out of the party, I apologized to Mr. President for getting my car stuck in his yard. I told him to let me know if there were any damages. I offered to pay to fix Mr. President's yard. I later found out that he had to do some resodding, but he politely never mentioned it to me.

The Encore
I realized I’d forgotten my purse at Mr. President's house when I was almost home. I had been one of the first guests to leave, so I went back, assuming there would still be people there. There were no lights on in the house. Obviously my purse was the last guest in there. I almost turned around and went home, but the thought of Mr. President carrying my purse into work was worse than ringing the doorbell. Holy schmoly, Mr. President was wearing a robe. 

When I got home, TJ asked me how my night was. Oh, fine. It was just fine. 

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