UPDATE: Share your most embarrassing moment in the comments. I’ll pick the best one to win this extra Dunkin’ Donuts mug I grabbed today. They’re hard to find!
It all started on Monday when I fell off the sidewalk.
I wasn’t wearing particularly high heels or new shoes whose inner workings and bad habits I hadn’t yet learned. It wasn’t raining or slippery. I wasn’t walking through a slick of oil. I was walking with purpose to a meeting, heading from Market Square to Warner Center via Forbes Avenue when I had to step off of the sidewalk to get around a construction zone.
And instead of stepping off the sidewalk, I tripped off of it. Surrounded by other pedestrians, I did my best to stop what I knew was happening. I tightened my grip on my MacBook. I clutched my coffee desperately. I tried to use the Force. I yelped.
And I landed on one knee and one elbow right there on Forbes Avenue.
Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than your grandma’s lipstick. I picked myself up and hurried the rest of the way up to the Warner Center praying that no one saw me fall. That every single person was simultaneously looking up at the sky the moment the girl in jeans and heels biffed it on Forbes right in front of some construction workers.
I assume they catcalled to me things like, “[wolf whistle] Hey baby, you want some pumpkin spice coffee with that fall?”
Then on Tuesday I was again heading up Forbes from Market Square to the Warner Center for another meeting when a yinzer approached me. Not a nutty yinzer. Not a homeless yinzer. Just a normal Pittsburgh guy sporting a Zoltan shirt. He looked at me, dressed in jeans and a black and white striped shirt, and he did a double take before approaching me very excitedly.
“EXCUSE ME, MA’AM! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE KHLOE KARDASHIAN! People must tell you that all the time!”
Not the Kim. Not Kourtney, Kendall or Kylie. Or Kstacey.
But Khloe, the one who, for lack of a better word, looks like a wildebeest. Like a female Sasquatch with mannish features.
I worked my mouth trying to find a response to being told I looked like the baby of Chewbacca and Bigfoot. Then I gave up and walked away.
Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than the cherry in your Sonic diet cherry limeade.
Then on Tuesday late afternoon I was standing on the corner workin’ my tricks —
HAH! The look on my father’s face.
I was standing on the corner near my house waiting for my kids’ bus to arrive. I was wearing new jeans. Jeans that I bought because they were comfy and would be perfect for the Pirates game I was heading to an hour later. I arrived at the stop. Said hello to the other parents. And I stood there and waited as car after car stopped at the stop sign right beside me.
Five minutes later, still waiting, I hear, “Excuse me, ma’am? Ma’am?”
I turn around to see a woman calling to me from her car window.
“Yes?” I asked with a smile. She probably needed directions.
“You have a size sticker stuck to the back of your jeans.”
Not just a sticker. One of those gosh darn sticker strips they put on clothing these days.
Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than Conan’s hair. I reached behind myself to rip the foot-long white sticker from my pants, rolled it into a ball and shoved it in my pocket.
Fast forward to two hours later. I’ve parked my car at the lot near Forbes. I’ve walked through crowded Market Square to get cash from the ATM. I’ve walked all the way to the Roberto Clemente bridge. There I waited for the signal to cross the street when I hear from behind me, “Ma’am? Excuse me, ma’am?”
WHAT IN THE HELL CAN IT POSSIBLY BE NOW? IS THERE A PIGEON ON MY HEAD? DID I PUT MY UNDERWEAR ON OUTSIDE OF MY JEANS? WHAT, LADY?! WHAT?!?!?
“You’ve got a size sticker stuck to the back of your jeans.”
Yeah. Apparently I ripped a foot of the sticker off, but those tricky bastards made the sticker a foot and a half long.
She reached down for me and pulled another six inches of sticker from the back of my jeans and handed it to me.
Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than the incline, I took it from her, thanked her, and gave up.
I give up, Universe.
I’m a dork. A big dork. I’ll always be that dork. I’ll never stop being that dork as long as you’re there constantly kicking me in the ass like this.
So take note, Internet. The next time you see me, I’ll probably have a booger the size of a nickel hanging from my nose, a live cricket lodged in my teeth, half a donut in my hair, Kennywood will be WIDE open, and there’s a good chance I’ll have completely forgotten to put a shirt on.
I just ask one thing. When you’re telling me what stupid dorky thing I’ve done now, just please don’t start your sentence with, “Ma’am? Excuse me, ma’am?”
And if you’re going to tell me I look like a Kardashian, please be wearing running shoes.
Because I will beat the shit out of you.