We’ve probably all been there… You say something totally inappropriate without noticing. Or you do something, mostly inadvertently, and then you want the earth to open up and swallow you. Well, I guess I don’t need to explain.
Personally, I feel surprisingly little shame. [I shamelessly blame my parents for that.] But even I have had these moments… Mostly I can laugh about them. And since I’m a kind and giving person, I will share these laughs with you.
Also, L. suggested that I do this Top 10 list.
10. Smoked a cigarette that wasn’t lit
Okay, admittedly, this wouldn’t be very awkward if I just lit a cigarette that didn’t really catch on fire and took a drag and noticed it and lit it again. But what I did was this: I thought I lit the cigarette. I talked to some friends. I smoked the [still unlit] cigarette for 15 minutes straight without wondering why it a) was so light, b) didn’t get smaller and c) didn’t produce any ashes whatsover. For. Fifteen. Minutes. When one of my friends finally told me, only then did I wonder. And then it was awkward.
9. Talked a lot of nonsense during the graduation party
My graduation… what a joyous event… Unfortunately, I was so busy with writing our graduation remembrance year book thingy (not alone, of course, but me and deadra and * where the editors) and preparing the graduation party and couldn’t be assed with learning, so that in the end, I had to take two exams in autumn because I failed them on the first go… Oh well.
Anyways, I was one of the people who prepared the official graduation party because I volunteered for everything at the time. [Well, my thinking was that it probably wouldn’t really happen if I didn’t which even was partly true.] And then I got stuck with the moderation. And I really don’t mind talking to people, on or off stage. [In fact, I’m a little bit of what Austrians call a “Rampensau”, a limelight hog. But psssst, don’t tell anybody.] But at some point between the stress of knowing to be the only who failed the graduation exams and selling the year book and all other stuff going on in my life, I blacked out. Which means that my brain went on vacation while my mouth kept on going.
People later told me that I said things like, “I want to thank [Name] for his advice and support because he advised and supported us.” *headdesk* [I wish they hadn’t told me because I couldn’t remember a thing of what I was saying.]
8. Entered class when my phone started to ring
Ahhh yes, the joyous times when I had just started to study Comparative Literature (attempt to finish uni #3). Comparative Literature is – as you might imagine – a really small faculty. The biggest auditorium is built for 35 people or so. And I was in the first courses there, it was still October and I didn’t know anybody and was a little nervous and – well you can probably imagine it.
So, I was heading towards class, I was already a little late and I tried to open the door as quietly as possible, hoping against reason that I hadn’t already destroyed my reputation… And in exactly that moment, my phone started to ring.
Oh, and had it only been a classic “ring ring”. But instead it was a very dramatic female voice singing an opera tune (don’t ask me why I had this ringtone, I just liked it at the time). The whole effect was like I had brought my own choir to announce my entry…
Soon after that, I changed my ringtone. A little later, I quit uni (to go on to attempt to finish uni #4).
7. Couldn’t find the door to my application interview
Oh yes, applications, interviews, I had legions of them (and I still don’t have a job…). But this one was special. The company had their offices in a house that had a garage on the left side and the entrance door on the right side. But the door looked like it was barred and never used, it was locked and there were no doorbell or knockers or anything. So I went round the house a couple of times, but there was no other entry. Finally I called my contact and asked him about it.
“Yeah hi, I’m standing in your garden and I can’t find the entrance into the house…?”
Turns out it was the barred door, which wasn’t barred at all but open and just a little jammed so you had to push harder.
Not surprisingly, I didn’t get the job.
6. Failed to remove my piercing for my application interview
Staying on topic of application interviews: I had this one were they asked me whether I was willing to remove my piercings (I have one in my lower lip and one in my eyebrow). Doubting that I would fit into the company but willing to try it, I said yes. The morning of the interview came and I took out my lip piercing, no problem. And then I stood there and struggled with my eyebrow piercing for a good 15 minutes, but I couldn’t get it out. It seemed like it was far more likely that I’d rip the piercing out than getting it opened, so I decided it wasn’t worth the risk and went to the job interview with one piercing removed, one not.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that I can’t remove my own jewellery, I had to tell my interviewer that it wasn’t a sign of rebellion or that I say I’d do something even if I didn’t want to, but that I’m just a clumsy idiot [paraphrasing here ;)] who’s unable to remove her own jewellery.
Yeah, I didn’t get that job either.
5. Showed my boobs to my interviewer
One last application interview story [hmmm… maybe there is a reason I’m still unemployed…]: I have rather big boobs and I always have trouble finding blouses [blice? ;)] that fit me around my belly and that I can still close around my boobs or vice versa, blouses that fit around my boobs and do not look like a complete sack. Not that easy. Anyway, I was wearing a blouse to the interview and I hadn’t noticed that the first two buttons had opened themselves under my jacket. I removed the jacket and basically stood there in my bra – and I still didn’t notice. At all. Not until after the interview when I put my jacket back on and went to button it, did I notice that I was standing at a job interview in my freaking bra.
And I couldn’t even use that to my advantage since my interviewer was female. Although honestly, I don’t think a male interviewer would have been impressed either, and if they were, I really wouldn’t want to work there… but it would have been nice to get a job offer anyway.
4. Wrongly translated my own permission slip
I spent my penultimate school year in Brasil as an exchange student. It was completely awesome, even though I didn’t have the easiest relationship with my host family and I wanted to have something to remember it by, something permanent. Since I was much too chicken to get a tattoo (yet), I decided that I would get myself a second piercing. But the laws in Brasil state that people under 18 need the written permission of their parents to get a piercing. I talked to the piercer and we decided that an email sent by my parents would be enough. So I wrote my parents, sent them the German text, then a translation of the permission slip to Portuguese. Keep in mind that I had already spent 9 months in Brasil and my Portuguese was near perfect. [Honestly, people kept telling me that I sounded like a native and I wrote good grades on the normal Portuguese exams in school.]
And here’s how the letter started: “Nos sabemos e proibimos…” which means “we know and prohibit…” Everything else was perfectly translated, but the most important word of course wasn’t…
After some whining, the piercer pierced me anyway. Especially since I could point to the German version and tell him that everything’s alright there.
3. The “break-up” with my first “boyfriend”
Okay, so I was kinda dating this guy when I was 15 and it was kinda my first boyfriend. And it was all a little bit “kinda” because here’s how things went down: he was a friend of a friend. He said he liked me, I had never really kissed a guy, so we got together a few times and made out. Then this one time, he called me and asked me to come to his place and I told him that I couldn’t because I had a test (which was even true, btw) and he freaked out and told me that I don’t need to come at all then, ever. And because I a) don’t like to play games, b) don’t like to be told what to do, not even by emotional manipulation and c) was a little tired of him anyway, didn’t go there and didn’t do anything anymore with him.
He pretty much ignored me from then on. But because I was young and naive and wanted to do the right thing, I caught him about three weeks or a month after the whole thing and officially “broke up” with him. And that was a damn awkward conversation. “I know we haven’t talked to each other in a month and, actually, never really talked to each other before, but I just wanted to make clear that we’re not dating anymore.”
2. Walked out of the bathroom with my skirt inside my panty hose
Until I was fourteen, I had a pretty shitty time in school. Today I can say that I was being mobbed (and not only me, but my whole family, though my brother and me got the worst of it), at the time I didn’t have the vocabulary nor the understanding of my situation. I just knew that I was slowly breaking… [That’s why I changed school and started over in Vienna.]
Anyways, that’s why this is so high up on the list: one time I walked out of the bathroom and my skirt got caught in my panty hose and I didn’t notice (and nobody of the girls in the bathroom with me bothered telling me) and I walked out and saw the confused look on that one guy’s face, who used to pick on me a lot and then I looked down and went blood red and saw my skirt and went even redder and then I pulled it out and looked for a hole to die in.
While this is awkward, it’s not that bad. But in that particular surrounding it was a catastrophe. Every single thing was used against me (or that’s at least how I felt) and an awkward thing like that how could that not become cannon fodder. [I was really surprised when I never heard anything about that directly.]
Well, now that I’ve turned to a heavy topic for a moment, let’s return to the funny stuff:
1. Flashed my chimney sweep
You know how handymen seemingly can never pinpoint the time they’ll show up at your house? So you get a time period (Thursday, between 3 and 5 or something). Well, my chimney sweep does the same. His yearly obligatory inspections are always at some time between 7.00 and 10.00 am [What the hell time is that anyway?], and usually he comes around 8.00. So, when the day comes, I get up at 7.30 and take a shower and then I’m all proper and ready when he’s around at 8.00. Except for this one day, where he was early and I was just taking my shower when he knocked and I jumped out of the shower, grabbed a towel, wrapped myself in it and opened the door. I showed him into the living room and when I went to point out the flue, my towel decided that it would be an awesome idea to unravel.
I stopped what I was saying, the chimney sweep went red and murmured something about coming back in a few minutes and left the flat (which I thought was a little exaggerated, but there you go…). Anyway, he gave me enough time to finish my shower and get dressed before he returned and did his job.
He comes to my flat every year. We never talk about it.
[Just to be clear: this would be in no way funny had I consciously chosen to flash him. That would have been sexual assault.]