Thursday, 27 March 2014

The embarrassment hot flush

This is exactly how I feel.  
Ever spent several days after an embarrassing moment writhing in agony every time your memory reminds you of it? I'm sure no one is immune to this nasty experience.

At least I don't think they are.  Actually I bet there are some totally brazen folk who never regret a word or an action.  Bastards.

When it happens to me, every time I remember my embarrassing moment I go red again and have a sort of a hot flush thing.

Is it just me? Surely not.

It happened the other day.  I was speaking to a new acquaintance, someone I respect and like but don't know very well.  They referred (a little obliquely and most unexpectedly) to a post I wrote on this blog and I didn't twig immediately to what they were talking about.  So instead of saying thank you, or making a suitable witty and intelligent comment, I said nothing and acted casual in the worst possible sense of the phrase.

In short, I just blanked them.  Changed the subject and walked off.  GAH!!!  You should see me now, I'm red as a beetroot just writing about it.

Later that day, I worked out which post they were referring to, and what an exciting thing it was that they had read it (although a bit daunting).  And I wanted to go back and explain my total hopelessness and thank them, and be clever and amusing and urbane.

But of course, it was far too late for that.  Instead I spent the next three days going red with shame every time I remembered my social ineptitude.

I wondered when in life this phenomena begins.  Based on a few early memories of embarrassment, I suspected it was early onset. So I checked with the kids and they said it happened to them all the time!

Issy said once she kept singing when everyone else in the class had stopped.  She said it was SO embarrassment.  So young and so vulnerable, bless them.  I do remember doing totally embarrassing things when I was little and feeling blushy for days.

And of course, back in my totally foolish youth I would regularly forget large parts of my evening, as part of my quest for being the stupidest, most inebriated, staying out latest university student or overseas backpacker I could be.

Oh yes, those nights certainly caused me some angst the next morning.  Luckily I spent them with people who also forgot large chunks of the evening.  And of course I NEVER behave like that anymore.

No, really, I don't.  Nights like those require some serious time and effort put into them.  You have to stay out past midnight for one thing, and I can tell you, that ain't happening.  I am a pumpkin by 10pm most nights, and very often before.

It barely happens at New Years.  This NYE just past, I was begging the kids to go home at 10:30 and they wouldn't let me.  I was asleep on my feet by the time the midnight fireworks were over, they had to push me up the hill to home.  Note: we were only 500m from home, if that.

So while I'm no stranger to that post embarrassing event, blushy feeling, it doesn't happen as often as it used to.  Partly due to the fact that I'm so very mature and confident now I'm in my 40's but mainly
because I just don't get out much.

But when I do meet someone new, who I want to make a good impression on (as I did with this person) I can easily become overwhelmed and do stupid things, like blank someone who's just trying to compliment me and be nice and make a connection.

So Mrs B if you are still reading my blog, I'm sorry.  You know who you are.  And to the rest of you embarrassment hot flushers out there, you have my sympathy, empathy and kindest regards.

Image by Stuart Miles, courtesy of