Terri Kaiser

Actually, I mean I am rich in embarrassment. Get it? Yes, I have many riches in my life. So many, in fact, it could be an embarrassment. But I am also rich in embarrassing things I've done. There's a big difference between the two, and lucky me, I am filthy rich in the latter.

We've all had them, haven't we? Please say yes, so I'm not alone.

Most of my embarrassments have come thanks to my mouth. It seems there is a winding path between my brain and my mouth and sometimes, the flood of random thoughts washes out a gully or two so that nothing intelligent can navigate through when needed.

I am a mom, and part of that lofty occupation, or possibly a perk of, is embarrassing your children.

There was the time I misread a note from either scouts or the school regarding an event, and had my son dress up as a clown. No one else dressed in costume. The poor kid had to endure the day as a clown. He didn't really appreciate my mistake, but he was absolutely adorable.

Speaking of dressing up in costume, there was the time my husband and I dressed up in costumes to go out for Halloween. Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention as to when Halloween was going to be celebrated. And considering how hard it was to talk him into dressing up, and then to be the only ones in the place dressed up, well, not a great moment.

Then there was the time I … well, you get the picture. Too many to list.

Have you ever had a wonderful visit with someone only to look in the mirror later and see something disgusting hanging from your nose, food in your teeth, your shirt buttoned up wrong, a zipper not zipped? We all have. If it's the person you're visiting with, do you say something and risk embarrassing them, or do you pretend you didn't see it and hope they don't realize it until you're long gone?

Once, I was snowmobiling with friends. We struck out on the Tuscobia trail and veered off to stop and visit with some relatives. No one — I repeat no one — bothered to tell me my mascara had run down my cheeks, and that I looked like a cross between the Abominable and a winter-crazed raccoon. Now, I have to say, I would have loved to have been embarrassed and known what I looked like.

But sometimes, it's hard to interrupt someone to say, “hey, you got something going on there in the area of your nose.” Or worse, “better check down south.”

Yet, it can be a huge hit to your self-esteem to be embarrassed. This is where it's not how you get knocked down, but how you rise up and move on.

Once, many years ago, I was walking downtown wearing a wrap-around skirt. Now wouldn't you know, it came undone and I suddenly had my skirt down at my knees. Thankfully, I had worn a slip that day. I quickly backed up against the bank building, reached down, hiked it up, cinched it, and kept walking like nothing out of the ordinary had just happened. Sometimes, it's all you can do.

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