Everyone who knows me knows I light up like Christmas tree at the slightest thing, and not just smiling; I have an incurable case of extremely good circulation to my cheeks. Whether I'm embarrassed, upset, angry, awkward, whether I'm laughing or even just thinking too hard, my cheeks will turn rosy red in an instant. This is especially problematic when it comes to public embarrassment.
We've all had our moments -- those moments when we're in the public eye, when we're standing up in front of people, or when the room is dead silent, and something embarrassing happens to us. Our stomachs growl. We trip over nothing. We get the hiccups, we choke on our own spit, and then we get sudden urges to be anywhere but where we are.
Every once in a while I do something embarrassing publicly. I hit my hip on the edges of tables. I knock things over, spill things, and trip up the stairs. In middle school, my best friend declared that I had "the curse of the white shirt." Every time I wore a white shirt, the lunch ladies served something with red sauce, and I would manage to get at least a drop of it on my shirt. Luckily, my mother is a laundry wizard. Recently, another of my long-time friends told me that I have a signature noise, one that she never hears anyone else make, and therefore it is my number-one most defining noise.
It's the sound I make when I trip and want to play it off, or whenever I make a public mistake or blunder.
But sometimes we manage to get those embarrassing moments out of our systems when we are alone. Those are the moments I thank God for. If I have to do something awkward, I'd rather do it when no one's looking.
Anyone who knows me well also knows that I can be a little absent-minded. One of my most recent and most awkward moments occurred a few weeks ago. I had gone to take a shower. I've forgotten many things -- shampoo, conditioner, a razor, even clothes, but usually I either manage without or catch myself and run back for it before it's too late -- but this time I forgot a towel. And I didn't realize until I was already sopping wet. So I was forced to put on my pajamas and, sopping wet and cheeks burning, march back to my dorm room all the way down the hall, as far away from the bathrooms as possible.
But, as I told a friend later on, "God is real; no one saw me," and I was able to survive the incident with no one any the wiser.
And yet I told that friend, and here I am telling the Internet. As awkward and embarrassing and red-faced as I may be, I've learned by now that I'll probably never be any less so, and I might as well embrace it. Besides, it makes for good stories to tell my friends and try to make them laugh as hard and turn as red as I do.