I once recorded a rather rude message onto my Ex’s pda and set it as his morning alarm call.
That isn’t embarrassing in itself.
What is embarrassing, is it going off in a packed school assembly when you are a teacher as he’s left his phone in your handbag.
Here’s another short one:
After working a double shift at my part time care home job when I was at university, I came home exhausted. Got myself a into the bath for a long soak before having to head into Uni that afternoon for back to back lectures. I was really enjoying relaxing, eating chocolate buttons, eye gel mask on. When I took the mask off I could see the window cleaner at the window, he’d had a full eyeful! I was mortified.
Ten minutes later, he’d finished and… he knocked at the door to be paid!!!
I hid until he stopped knocking and shouting through the letterbox, it still makes me blush to think about it.
I saw these at Mumsnet.com – a chat room type website which covers serious and silly subjects, mainly for Mums. It also campaigns on occasion and wields some political influence in the UK. I used to work on a TV show that shamelessly plundered Mumsnet for discussion ideas, and which then insulted the website users when they pointed out where the ideas had originated. (To be fair, they were quite rude about the TV show in return.)
I’ve made the faux pas myself of offering my seat to a woman who – it turned out – was not pregnant after all. And I’ve tried to force an initially bewildered, then anxious and then cross old lady over a road she didn’t want to cross.
One of the worst was asking a woman I’d just met, all about a notoriously promiscuous and erratic girl and listing her reputed latest exploits for clarity. Only to get the reply: “Oh, that’s me.” To which I responded: “Oh, so how are you then?” I thought I had recovered seamlessly from a potential conversational disaster. None of the other witnesses agreed. They still bring it up to torment me years later.
What about you? Have you ever asked an ice cream seller for a lolly and a 69? (In case you’re wondering, a 99 is an ice cream cone with a chocolate flake stuck in it. A 69… well, I think that one transcends cultural boundaries.)
On the subject of ice cream-related misunderstandings – I enjoyed watching an attractive smiling northern Irish female friend ask an ice cream seller in London for a poke. The vendor couldn’t believe his luck – but also couldn’t quite believe it. He was right to doubt his sexual pulling power. A poke is a northern Irish colloquialism for ice cream cone. The blush on my friend’s face when she realised would have melted any ice cream that got near it.
There are two excellent embarrassing stories at the bottom. You may feel you can’t compete with them. Don’t worry. Here are some quickies (ooer Madam!) from the Mumsnet discussion to get you in the mood to share your own excruciating tales:
- My mum’s friend asked a young lad who worked at the garden centre if he knew where the clitoris’s were. She meant Clematis.
I was at work and discussing with my colleagues the kind of men I don’t like. I pointed to a man sitting in his car outside the office and went into a big rant about how he exemplified everything I despised in a man - reading The Sun, fake tan, dripping gold jewellery, all a bit Frank Butcher. One of my colleagues said ‘that’s my husband’. 20 years later I still feel physically sick when I think of it.
- Stood at the bus stop after work on my own in the dark. To pass the time I sang ‘Angels‘ and practiced my burping the alphabet skills (you know, as you do). Was mortified to hear a snigger behind me and as I turned round in slow motion, realised the guy I’d had a fling with a few months previously had joined me at the bus stop. God only knows how long he’d been standing there. I was so so so relieved to see the lights of the bus heading up the hill towards us, so I stepped to the kerb and held my hand out to stop it. It was a lorry. My cheeks are flaming red just remembering it!
- After a fairly few drinks meeting a family member’s new partner who happened to be blind, I bluntly and in all seriousness asked the pair… Who’s driving home?
- Signing the register at my wedding, I finally relaxed. And farted. Quite audibly. The priest smirked, I blushed, my husband giggled and my mother muttered “For pity’s sake” as everyone smirked.
- I was at a supermarket and the till assistant rang her bell and asked for an “age check” because I was buying alcohol. I practically beamed. I was so chuffed. I got all giggly and said “oooh, I’ve never been age checked before. I’m actually 34 you know”. The till assistant looked at me with a pitying stare and said “yeah, I know. I’m only 17. I have to get alcohol sales authorised because I’m under age.” I was mortified.
And two absolute crackers to end on. First this medical consultation:
When I was younger I had reoccurring thrush. Mainly caused by my stupidly using lots of bath oil and wearing tights everyday to work. I was referred to the hospital and after a legs up in stirrups investigation went in to see the Dr who had a nurse in with him.
Dr was a young coloured gentleman with a beautiful smile. He was young and I was embarrassed. He asked me questions about the thrush episodes and his English was tempered by a heavy accent. Possibly Nigerian. His nurse was an older white woman who stood quietly next to his desk.
He asked me where I had sex.
I was unsure if what he meant, so gave my address.
He beamed a huge smile and said, “No, WHERE do you have sex?”
Maybe it was the embarrassment but I was very confused and told him that my boyfriend and I had sex in our bedroom at the address I had just given.
He was trying not to laugh and nurse tried not to smile.
“Not where, WHERE do you have sex?” he asked again.
I didn’t know what to say and Dr turned to the nurse and she said to me, “Dr is asking if you have anal sex”.
I was so embarrassed but thankfully him being so lighthearted made it better than if he’d been stonefaced.
And finally. Make sure you’re not eating or drinking as you read this. I wouldn’t want it coming out your nose.
I’m not the smallest person, so after a christmas of excess I decided to join the gym at work. I figured that I could go at lunchtimes, burn off some excess flab and stress and invigorate myself for an afternoon of work. (yeah, I know, I know)
Sooo, I waddle off gymwards and all goes well for the first week. I go and do a light work out, grab a quick shower then wander back to eat lunch at my desk. The second week I am doing some (very) light cycling when one of my minions staff comes into the gym. Cue embarrassed conversation. She then starts on a full power vigorous gym work out that puts my half-hearted pedalling to shame. I decide to make my exit.
Swiftly, I collect my work clothes from the locker and head back to the empty communal changing rooms where I strip off, grab my towel and head into the shower. Just as I’m about to get out I head the door to the changing room open and I hear someone come in. Peeking out I see that its aforementioned minion and she has hung her clothes right next to mine.
I have to leave the shower. I need to get back to work. But I am twice her dress size and do not want to show what is under the suit to someone I manage. Luckily she heads to the loos and I use the opportunity to grab my stuff and head to the only private place left – the dry shower next to the one I’ve just been in and start to get dressed.
I’ve just got as far as getting my underwear on when she comes back into the changing room and heads into the shower next to where I am. When she turns on the water, it starts spraying under the partition onto my stuff. In my haste to get it out of the way, I back into the shower and turn it on, spraying all of my back with water. My knickers, bra and back of my head are soaked.
I go back into the changing room and start to fling clothes on as fast as I can. She comes out of the shower and starts chatting amicably with me when all I can think about is that my knickers are stuck to my ass and water is dripping down the back of my legs.
We’re both dressed and I fumble with my necklace so I can have an excuse not to walk out with her. Off she goes.
As soon as the door shuts, I head over the hand drier on the wall. It has this hose-like attachment that you can use to dry your hair. I undo my trousers and kind of bend over forwards with my legs akimbo so they don’t fall down. I then get the hair drier and shove it down my trousers to dry my bum.
and that is how she found me when she came back in for her gym shoes.
I’m sure all of you are far too sensible, coordinated and mature to have ever experienced anything like the stories above. But perhaps you have an embarrassing tale about a friend (wink wink) that you could share?