FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Has Your Diva Cup Ever Rolled Down The Aisle On A Bus Full Of People Or Was That Just Me?

Welcome to my FIRST FRIDAY OPEN THREAD! I’m pumped to be here! I’m less pumped about the long list of embarrassing things that have happened to me (with me? On me?) in the past year! 

I work in the service industry, and if you do as well then you know that interacting directly with people will up the chances of something awkward or embarrassing happen, just for the sole reason that you’re talking to people for 6-8 hours a day. It’s science.

When I was serving, I once asked a table of grown men if they’d “like a cup of milk.” If this doesn’t seem embarrassing to you, imagine being a grown adult at a bar and your server asking you this question. It was…awkward for everyone. 
Another time I was serving a group of folks and one of them came up behind me and I – having partial self-diagnosed facial blindness – said “Oh hey!” And they said “Hi!” AND ME, WITH MY GIANT EGO, ASSUMED IT WAS SOMEONE WHO HAD ONCE MET ME BUT I HAD FORGOTTEN. So we went back and forth literally just saying hello until I HUGGED THEM and said it was good to see her. She laughed nervously and stuttered, “I just came to ask for a re-fill of Pepsi!”

Every year I embarrass myself in new and surprising ways.

Once my diva cup fell outta my bag and rolled down the aisle on a bus full of people. Once I full-on sneezed on a stranger. Once I cried watching an old man selling Beanie Babies at a mall. Once I entered an unlocked car full of people thinking it was my car. THE LIST GOES ON.

So tell me, am I alone in this? Is everyone else just cool calm and collected all the time? Having perfectly normal conversations without little bits of spit accidentally flying out of their mouths that both members try to ignore? Flirting with a hunk without spilling their beer on themselves? Never – NOT ONCE – publicly crying at the gay bar? You’ve never gotten an order wrong for a table THREE TIMES IN A ROW? Are you somehow keeping your personal drama at home within the safe confines of privacy or have you had partners bring A LOT of people into an argument in some terrible loud public display? Am I a magnet for these sort of things or (please for the love of gawd) is it everybody?

I want to hear about an embarrassing moment in public you’ve had! And then I want to hear how you SURVIVED it! Does it still haunt you to this day? Do you still go down a panic spiral at night when you think about it?

 Or are you like me – Life’s a joke! You’re hilarious! Why be anxious when you could be self-deprecating! Who gives a shit when embarrassing things happen because you know you’re just going to keep topping yourself with worse and more intense embarrassing things until you die! And you’ll probably die in some embarrassing weird way anyway!

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I'm a cartoonist living in Minneapolis. Co-Author and artist of A Quick And Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns. Author of Grease Bats, coming out Fall 2019 with Boom! Studios! If I'm not working I'm socializing. If I'm not out with friends I'm drawing. If I'm not doing any of those things I'm probably depressed. Support me using Patreon.

Archie has written 117 articles for us.


  1. The first thing that comes to mind was when a chia kombucha exploded all over me and the empty seat next to me on a bus in Manhattan. I wanted to die, and at that point in my life I had no spine so I fled the scene in a panic and then skipped my first class of the day to change my clothes.

    • This has happened to me but with a soft drink in a styrofoam cup. Somehow-with my superhuman strength-I pierced right through the styrofoam with my fingers and it exploded.

      • Note to self: do not mess with Archie. Superhuman strength and immune to ordinary levels of embarrassment. When beginning superhero life, choose another nemesis.

  2. At least is wasn’t a full diva cup presumably??? Is that a bright side?

    I’m torn between the time I unexpectedly threw up on four people AT A FUNERAL or the time my mother informed me the open skylight reflected my bedroom to her party in the garden. Reader, I had skipped the party to have sex there…

    • I have lots of questions about this skylight situation. How hi-def was the reflection? Who was in attendance at the party? How long did it take your mother to inform you?

      • It was probably pretty clear..and a whole bunch of my mum’s friends were there. She told me maybe a half hour later? Many many years later I still inwardly cringe a little.

        And the upchucking? Inside the temple during the funeral service. With my grandmother there, who told me how mortified she was 😒

    • Wow, I would have moved countries and adopted a different name if the Skylight thing had happened to me.
      My flatmate came home early one day when I was with my very loud gf and I didn‘t speak to said flatmate or leave my room for several days.
      There was even some gentle talking through closed doors involved.

  3. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS WEEK TO BE OVER! I’m moved in, my room is pretty much livable at this point and looking Pinterest goals. I got a new undershave and I’m feeling pretty cute, if I’m honest. I’m also exhausted.

    As for embarrassing moments in public? I¡m very clumsy so I trip and fall all the time, but the only thing that comes to mind right now is that time I left home with a (thankfully unused) panty liner stuck to the outside of my jeans.

    In other news, I’m super pumped about Nyla Rose signing with All Elite Wrestling and becoming the first trans woman in their permanent roster. I think it’s huge and I’m always up for queer wrestling spaces. I was planning to watch because of The Golden Lovers and this just cemented my interest in the league.

    Valentine’s is coming and I’m in the process of closing my Easy shop, so I wanted to gift y’all with my printable Janis Ian card. I’ll leave it in a reply to this comment so it doesn’t clog the thread. Just save it and print it, cut and fold instructions are on it.

  4. I also have self-diagnosed possible face-blindness and boy, does it ever make my life a fun choose your own adventure!
    Once I dropped a glass travel mug in a veterinary exam room at 8 in the morning with four 6 week-old kittens loose in the room and the vet came running in thinking a bulb had exploded!
    Once I got sudden gastro distress at 6:30 in the morning in the walk in fridge at work and had to spill chai syrup concentrate all over myself as an excuse to go home to change and take some gravol!
    Once I ran into a friend of a friend in a cafe who was standing next to an older woman and I assumed she was her mother but she was just a stranger!

    My personal motto is “Quand on est jusqu’au coup dans la merde, il ne reste qu’à chanter!” (When you’re up to your neck in shit, there’s nothing left to do but sing).

    • “(When you’re up to your neck in shit, there’s nothing left to do but sing).”

      I work in a job where there is taken very literally. Many a shift has had me bellowing 4 Non Blondes What’s Up whilst cleaning up unspeakably awful literal shit. It being your motto is hilarious.

  5. I once introduced a new friend to a someone I had known for 15 years like so: “Jen, this is…. uh…”


    I somehow didn’t register that they had the same name, since the spelling is different! I truly feel that the spelling communicates a vast personality difference in the Jennifers, but that excuse didn’t save me at the time.

    • So then we are totally ignoring that little detail about Red Alice being Elizabeth Kane (yeah, Kate Kane’s identical twin sister)?

  6. I’m never NOT embarrassing myself as a server. Honestly, the most mortifying bits are when I’m socially overloaded and my brain can’t string together a basic sentence anymore. So I’m just TRYING to exchange pleasantries and everything spills out in the wrong order, no rhyme or reason, just gibberish. I end up leaving the table and internally facepalming until the next time it inevitably happens hahaha.

    • the goofiest part about serving is once you’ve said a bunch of gibberish to the table or messed up an order or anything, ya gotta go BACK to that table and continue serving them until they leave.

    • My least favorite part about also doing this all the time is when the customer either repeats the thing I said all out of order or otherwise draws attention to it. Like, can i just be internally mortified about both saying good evening at 11am and stuttering through three different, carefully practiced greetings until one word of each of them has tumbled out of my mouth in a random order? Must you remind me that you heard it, too?

  7. One time I was stocking at my old job and dropped a 24 pack of friskies canned cat food on my face.

    Cue the huge nosebleed that lasted 20 minutes. A woman walked in on me, bleeding profusely into our tiny trash can, and stormed off to yell at my boss in front of all my coworkers.

    So he finally had to come find me in the bathroom, help me lay down and get the bleeding to stop. Then I had to go home because I bled on the shirt.

    I just had to own up that I dropped the shittiest cat food ever on my face for a couple weeks. My coworkers teased me about picking a shit brand, but we moved on lol.

  8. I look very very similar to my mom, to where Facebook regularly tags photos of me as her instead. Once when I was in high school I had a bunch of friends over, and my step dad, thinking I was my mom, slapped my ass in front of all of them. I was so mortified I couldn’t say anything, so my friends watching just thought our family had some serious issues!

  9. My digestive system is A Mess and it used to be even worse when I was in high school because I was an anxious mess; so there were lots of embarrassing moments of vomiting on public transport. But because of that I basically got over myself fairly quickly and now just…do not give a single f*ck.

    However, yesterday on my walk home I slipped and landed flat on my ass in a patch of mud and I was VERY grateful that my walk takes me through a residential neighborhood that’s almost deserted at that time of day because I could not have dealt with anyone seeing that and trying to be nice.

    • Have you read Samantha Irby? I think her writing is amazing and a great reminder we all just need to get over ourselves and our digestive issues!

      ALSO: Slipping is probably a universal embarrassment!

      • My digestive issues have gotten a lot better since I…stopped eating things I was allergic to (in my defense I didn’t know I was allergic! I thought everyone felt like that after eating eggs or dairy!).

        And the slip was like…really WEIRD because I didn’t even know it was coming and it didn’t register until I was sitting on my ass in the mud blinking like “what in the HELL just happened to me?” (And this entire week has been such a mess that honestly slipping wasn’t the worst thing that happened to me.)

        • I can really identify with the “what the hell just happened” thing. I rolled over in bed around 4am the other morning and started to wake up sliding down the side of the bed.
          Sort of woke fully sitting on my bum on the floor wondering “what the…”

          Worse was that I couldn’t coordinate enough to get up without waking my partner. We both nearly ended up on the floor with her trying to help me.

          Getting old is definitely not for sissy’s.

  10. ok so i’m basically a magnet for bizarre life experiences so there are many paths my answer could take here! that being said i’m gonna go with…

    one time i was walking across times square and a pigeon flew into my head and like any reasonable person i reacted by screaming and dropping into a crouch with my hands over my head, at which point knockoff elmo asked if i was ok

    • solidarity- i have a legit phobia of pigeons & was once walking in NYC trying to dodge a pigeon that I thought was going one way around me & it ended up going the other way & i tripped over my own feet & fell on my ass in the middle of the sidewalk & laughed at myself for like the next 10 blocks

      • this incident led to one of my favorite snapchats i’ve ever sent, in which i’m decked out in my winter gear, making a face at the camera, captioned ‘pigeon just flew into my head’ with a times square filter

    • one time when i was about 13 a pigeon took a dump on me in the park and somehow managed to hit the *inside pocket* of my unbuttoned jacket. i was torn between being upset and impressed cause like…that takes serious aim.

  11. So many embarrassing things! A few years ago, right before moving away I was hanging out with one of my bestest friends, we hugged goodbye and then I had to step away and puke. I was having soooo many feelings I couldn’t hold them in. They were understanding and perfect and that almost made it worst.

    • oh I have been there and it’s always so awkward!! especially when people are nice/concerned afterwards like the worst feeling in the world for me is making other people worry.

      (also I developed a neat party trick in college where I could stop mid-conversation, puke in the bathroom or the kitchen sink or out the window or whatever was convenient, then wipe my mouth and finish making my point. it was a hit every time and a guaranteed argument-winner.)

  12. I was pulling a rack of dirty glassware down from above the dish station to push it through the dishwasher and apparently wasn’t braced well for the effort…the floor was wet, and my feet went out from under me. I fell backwards, dropping the entire rack on myself and screamed at the top of my lungs. The GM of the restaurant and three servers came sprinting into the kitchen because I’m sure it sounded like I had died. I was in no way injured, which was incredibly lucky, but made it more embarrassing. Patrons kept asking me what had happened and if “the girl who screamed earlier” was ok.

    I think about that a lot.

    • SO MANY things like this have happened at the various restaurants I’ve worked at! There’s just such a high potential for shit to fall!

  13. Uhhh asking men if they want a cup of milk actually sounds like a fantastic way to get men to leave you alone

    • I’ve never had the guts to replicate this but I’m gonna put that suggestion in my brain space to use later

  14. I once was on a walk through the neighborhood i’d lived in for YEARS when i was about 19. It was a warm summer evening! I had some cute shorts on! I was listening to music! But i got a weird look from a neighbor and realized, in classic Spongebob fashion, that my pants were ripped all the way open. My target underwear was on display and i took my hoodie and wrapped it around my waist.

  15. I went bowling with a friend, took a step beyond the lane line, and completely wiped out in front of the whole bowling alley. Luckily I hurt my pride more than my body, so I stood up and curtsied.

  16. I’m also faceblind, and I’ve had experiences exactly that awkward. Hey, there are some scientists studying us, which is fun. It’s been online tests every couple months, testing various aspects of faceblindness to try to learn more about it.

    You can sign up at, which has a screening test. If you register there they can add you to their database. They’re aiming to screen people from that database about twice a year, so you may not hear from them for up to 6 months, but we will get there eventually. You can do the screening part now if you like though.

    • OOHHH YES COOL thank you! Sometimes I table at conventions and I hate it because I can never (physically) remember the awesome people I met the year before and feel like such a jerk !

  17. Partial face blindness here too, which has done a lot to enhance my reputation for bizarre and spectacular rudeness. I have sailed past members of my own family with nary a second glance. Co-workers? Bosses? You didn’t stand a chance.

    The six years I spent teaching freshmen comp are their own cornucopia of tender embarrassments. The time I ducked in from a downpour, minutes before class, to discover that the gray blouse I was wearing, now mercilessly suctioned to my body, had gone translucent. Did I have a change of clothes? A blazer? Reader, I did not. The time the front tab on my dress pants wagged free of its metal enclosure to flip-flap back and forth. The countless times I performed squats in front of the room in an ill-fated attempt to wrestle down the projection screen. Chalk prints on my butt? Hello. Papers cascading to the floor? The universe loves me.

    But the highlight of my public mortification (to date) happened at a poetry reading, and I’m not sure I can adequately set the scene. The room was very small and crowded, and I was crammed in the back in such a way that escape was impossible without scaling human bodies. What happened is I was struck, as one is struck by holy terror, with an intractable and highly conspicuous fit of The Giggles. The poet had said something funny; everyone laughed. I laughed. Everyone stopped laughing. I did not. I could not.

    These were not ordinary giggles. The whole thing was more like an eruption. My body was erupting in full and brazen defiance of my very desperate wishes to shut the hell up. The harder I tried to clamp down on it, the worse it got! I rocked back and forth. I swayed from side to side. I may have done the hokey pokey. And I could not get out of the room! I could not get out of the room. People were twisting around to stare. My face was scrunching itself up as it were having contractions. Hello, people twisting around to stare! Yes, I am in fact aware that I am doing something socially inappropriate in front of you! And you! And you! Isn’t this a gas.

    To his credit, the poet plowed gamely on with his poem. And I survived.

    • I gotta say this entire list of mishaps made me laugh. So many embarrassing moments involving clothing!?

      • OK ALSO this reminds me of a time when I was with a pal who got the giggles-BAD-over a very funny looking snail puppet we found in a store and he couldn’t stop laughing and at first it was SO CHARMING but then it was like “can u breath? should we sit down” and ended up having to leave the store and I gotta say, one of my top-five memories of him.

  18. omg okay so:
    My ex and her friend love to go shopping, so my butch ass in a white t-shirt and jeans got dragged along. So I’m just kind of aimlessly wandering around a forever 21, when I discover that when my ex and her friend can’t find each other, they PLAY MARCO POLO. they are SHOUTING MARCO POLO IN THE MALL. I’m just trying to hide behind a rack of crop tops. Later in that trip my ex broke a bag of body glitter at Sephora and, having spread it all over my face, panicked and ran out of the store. Most of mine are pretty tame missteps but this is by far the worst I’ve been associated with, lol.

  19. In early high school my family hosted some Up With People cast members. At their extremely well-attended show (like, a few thousand people I guess?), host family kids got invited up onstage to join them in a dance. I went up. I danced. I fell. Like, entirely off the stage. The entire audience gasped. Fortunately I was not hurt, except in the dignity, which suffered a compound fracture.

      • I did immediately get back up on the stage and wave to let everyone know I was ok. So, like, Up With Person. (Had to get that out there before some one of the rest of y’all smartasses did. Looking at you, Snaelle. :) )

  20. i went to the barber but between two language barriers (their struggle with English, my struggle with Barber) couldn’t explain that i don’t actually want to look like a narc and so i said

    “hey I’m gonna go home, find pictures of what i want, and then come back”

    and i stood up

    and THREE DIFFERENT BARBERS tried to stop me

    “you want usual, yes?”

    “no it’s – i don’t – i’m sorry, you’re all great, i just can’t explain-”

    every single person getting their haircut – about seven – turned to look at me as i stammered and backed out of the store

    i’m growing my hair out now

  21. The car one reminds me of the time my mum was picking me up and I opened the passenger door to find a man who was quite startled to see a 13 year old girl standing there going “You’re NOT my mum.” And that is how I learned to double check the car before trying to get in.

    I don’t really do embarrassment though. I’m good at laughing things off so the only times I get embarrassed are when I accidentally insult people, which happened a lot coming off my I’d meds or happens when I’m ill. I’ve had to do a lot of digging myself out of those situations when my mouth happens before my brain.

    • Actually, I tell a lie. The one time I get really embarrassed is failing to park a car properly. I can do my own Ka in my sleep but I drive a Zafira for work and it’s twice the size and I can’t park it to save my life. I spent a good five minutes at the hospital with a client’s mum sat next to me while I screwed up my angle and went back and forth twenty times trying to get into a ridiculously tight space because it was the only one there and we were going to be late. And the bastards kept us waiting half an hour anyway. Doesn’t help that I look like a twelve year old so I looked like the car equivalent of a child trying to wear her dad’s clothes. It was horrifying. I’ve never been happier to get back to my own tiny car.

    • Yes! I feel like there’s multiple types of embarrassment. Like the kind where you enter a stranger’s car (been there, done that) and then the kind where you kinda say something too callous or hurtful or mean and you’re like “…wait fuck”.

  22. I once went up to the Brad Wilks, drummer of Rage Against the Machine, after charity event and asked him if he remembers that time I met him at the mall and ask him to autograph the Metalica shirt I was wearing(he didn’t have a pen on him). He did not, and I looked like a werido fan to him, I think. Still shook my hand though. Speaking of celebs, Andy Dick came to my store Tuesday asked me if I carried an item and then left. I almost wanted to shout wait your Andy Dick, I didn’t. I mentioned it online, and one person reminded that he’s(Andy) is the reason why Phil Hartman is dead as he’s sold the drugs Brynn(Phil’s wife) was on the night it all went down.

    How’s everyone’s week going? I spent a nice Sunday at cuties coffee with friends and in a tea and herbal haze I sat down at the art table and decorated the valentine’s day heart for my best friend. I had fun doing it. Then later in the week I bought a basic water color pain starter kit to give to her. I gave it last night to her and she really liked it, because I pay attention. Sadly we weren’t able to hang long as she forgot we made plans earlier in the week(3rd time this year). So, instead I went to Carl’s Jr to see try out the Beyond Meat burger and have a cry in my car. I have the burger at least once a month at home, but they made it better. Will have it again at Carl’s Jr, despite the fact I can get two of those patties for the same cost at the supermarket. But it did go well with a cry.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend.

  23. In retrospect, it was most likely anxiety-related, but I used to get a weird virus-y bug thing about twice a year (right around midterms/final’s week) and just vomit straight bile every few hours for like 36 a day in a half. The first time it happened, I was halfway through senior year and in the middle of a really important skills testing week for my CNA class and couldn’t afford to get behind.

    Even though I’d vomited within minutes of waking up, I figured that I could settle my stomach by not eating and went to class anyway. It worked for about an hour, then I got a hall pass to puke. And again the next hour, very calmly leaving to heave straight up neon yellow liquid in the bathroom. By the time I got to the CNA class on our career center campus I low key longed for death. I puked in a trash can when our nurse/teachers were all in other rooms with students. My classmates were grossed out and uncomfortable, and I definitely shouldn’t have been there, but I passed my skills and thought the mortification wouldn’t be that bad as long as I was in good standing at the end of the day.

    The real trouble started on the bus back to school, which we quickly realized had just gone into lockdown. Instead of taking us back to career center, our driver idled in the school parking lot, refusing to let anyone off, unable to get us into the school until lockdown ended. I was maybe at the forty-five minute mark, but could feel my stomach still turning, the bile rearing back up. Nobody on the bus would sit beside me since they knew I was a ticking time bomb, and I remember rubbing my sweaty, miserable face on the cold condensation of the dirty bus window and feeling my mouth water.

    It probably took them twenty minutes to get us off that bus, and the second the doors opened, I pushed my way to the front, sprinted into school and to the nearest bathroom. Projectile vomiting seems really dramatic and Exorcist-esque, but I managed it, I think. I had covered my mouth with my hand in a futile attempt to slow the inevitable, but ended up shooting that bile between my fingers and down my coat sleeve and hoodie, then all over the big trash can just inside the bathroom door and the wall behind it. There were other girls already in there, witnesses to my great shame, but they were nice enough to just leave me alone. I’d missed half my class just cleaning myself up.

    I was too embarrassed to tell a teacher. I think I got in one more puke break before I went to drama club. I couldn’t eat anything but saltines for days and I don’t think any of the career center kids ever looked at me the same.

    • 1. Bodies are exhausting! WHY!?!
      2. The second part of this story is just like…bad timing?
      3. Congrats on passing!

    • Oh god I was like that for a couple days when I went on the pill!! For me it was the estrogen, but I’m no stranger to anxiety induced stuff either.😬

  24. Face blindness high five! I’ve been at my current job a year and it’s taken THIS LONG to remember/recognise half of my co-workers.

    My personal highlights:

    -In the middle of a ballet performance, on the one night it was being filmed, in front of ~200 people, I felt something brush against my calf. it was my skirt, gliding serenely down to the floor, where it puddled around my feet and caused a trip hazard for the remaining three minutes of the dance and nearly breaking a fellow dancer’s ankle.

    -Passing out in the middle of the HUGE END OF YEAR FINALE CONCERT, in the finale, in the final crescendo, and landing on the girl in front of me.

    -Teaching. Teaching was a general two year run of embarrassment, but the highlight was the time I was teaching ~100 first year university students. I was standing on a raised dais in front of the blackboard, and concentrating on writing up what a student was saying, so much so that I failed to realise I was approaching the end of the dais and fell off it to land on the floor with my foot in a waste paper basket.

    -The time right before Christmas when I went to the kitchen at work and my pants split right down the thigh, and I had to walk all the way back past everyone to my desk to pick up my things, then all the way back + take a twenty minute bus ride to the nearest clothes shop, trying and failing to cover myself with a scarf.

    • Oh dear! I split my pants at work last semester on the one day of the week I didn’t have my car, but luckily I was hiding in my office and was able to get ahold of a friend to come rescue me.

      • I feel like it’s a good idea for folks to just have a hoodie around to tie around their waist/their pals waist for any pant-splitting accidents.

  25. I’ve had some pretty terrific/terrible bloopers as a second-language learner trying to do French at people – one time I ordered a “beaver’s ass” (instead of a beaver tail pastry); another time I accidentally asked a stranger in a pub who I was playing pool with if he had a hard-on; And then there was the time in a Paris bakery when I tried to order “French bread” and was scolded in quintessentially contemptuous Parisian fashion by the boulanger because “YOU ARE IN FRANCE, ALL OF THE BREAD IS FRENCH”

    • why ISN’T Beaver’s Ass a drink that I can un-ironically order at a bar!?! It feels like it def should be!

    • Oh my god, I’ve been there so many times. Once in a Russian cafe I went up to go and ask for some sugar for my partner’s coffee. I couldn’t remember the Russian word, so I used the Czech, which is ‘sukr’.

      So I said ‘sukr, please’, and the waitress stared at me like I’d just insulted her, but I was used to Russian wait staff glaring (they do it a lot) so I said it again, and again, with some shaky fist motions (think Buffy in the episode where they can’t speak and she’s trying to mime staking a vampire).

      After about five minutes, the increasingly apoplectic waitress seemed to have a lightbulb moment and went ‘ah! SAHAR!’ and gave me some sugar. I thanked her, and went back to my table, where my partner was /killing/ themself laughing.

      Apparently ‘suka’ in Russian means bitch. Who knew?

  26. My many awkward moments have a little less hold on me now, at age 49, than they used to. One of the hidden blessings of aging so far.

    Oh my friends. I just have to tell you how well I am doing! I had a 2 month temp job at the most functional office with the best boss of my working career and it was life changing! It lead to a mental health breakthrough – which so much more fun than the mental health break down I had 4 1/2 years ago when I was laid off. It hasn’t cured my anxiety and PTSD but it’s lessened their grip. And I HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY AND CONFIDENCE!!! It is amazing. Do other people feel like this al the time?

  27. Shout-out to all the people who identify as having faceblindness. I have low vision, so all the usual awkward social moments of trying to figure out who the hell I’m talking to if I haven’t learned their voice yet, and they don’t identify themselves even though they’ve been “suggested” to do so a few times. I know you know where I’m coming from, LOL!
    My super-embarrassing story though was when I was in first-grade, wearing a really frilly white dress. I guess at that age, I didn’t quite understand the importance of wearing underwear… until I tripped and fell, and the school folks wanted to send me home because I had none. They were surprised Oh yeah, and I sometimes had “digestive problems” in school, fortunately only involving gas, but it was still very bad…

    • oh noooooo! I can’t believe they sent you home? Instead of just…giving you shorts? I don’t know, I’m not a teacher and have no idea what the appropriate action is! I think I’d just ignore it and let a kid be a kid!

  28. I once had to explain to a group of health professionals why my girlfriend was having an allergic reaction in her vaginal region. It turns out that part of her body did not appreciate holding the champagne as much as she and I enjoyed me drinking it from that lovely vessel.

    • This made me giggle snort with glee. This is probably the best reason I’ve heard not to combine food with sex.

  29. My top two for this tear:

    Showing on Christmas Eve at a stranger’s house for dinner, only to realize I had come the wrong day. A friend had invited me to her stepdad’s house for Christmas DAY, but I got there a day early. He opened the door in PJ’s and I was like “…I think you invited me to dinner? Do you know a [friend’s name]”?

    The other one was when I forgot to lock the bathroom door at work and a client walked in on me peeing. A dude — and I was in the dude’s bathroom. He was very scandalized and I pretended to be cool but inside I was DYING.

  30. I‘m very relieved to not be the only one with face blindness.
    Last Friday I was at a friend’s party and gamely introduced myself to one of the guests, handshake and everything, when she promptly yelled,“DOREEN! WE KNOW EACH OTHER!“, mind you this was about ten minutes after I was greeted with an enthusiastic „Well, we haven’t seen each other in forever!“ by someone else whom I could finally piece together from context clues.
    Unfortunately I‘m bad with names,too.
    This was only last week.

    Things happen all the time, and I wasn’t even that embarrassed, but I feel like I need to insert the story of how my pants ripped during a Tai Chi performance and I was wearing little pink heart patterned underwear and had to ride my bike home through the city, for an hour, and the hole was so big, that my saddle kept ripping at its edges every time I got up at a traffic light.

  31. It’s funny, as someone who is currently getting diagnosed with ADHD-related rejection sensitive dysphoria, reading other people’s embarrassing stories makes me feel like not a whole lot of my embarrassing moments were that terrible because they’re so common? But I’m still terrified of humiliation on a neurological level ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Like, I recognize now–a full thirteen years later–that when I tried to tell an embarrassing story in an effort to “laugh about it later” like people always say, and the person I told it to STRAIGHT-UP LAUGHED AT ME IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, that was *her* problem and not mine. (This is the same girl I had a crush on before I knew I was gay, but SHE knew it and said a bunch of homophobic shit to me when I complimented her at my birthday party. A lot of my so-called embarrassing moments turned out to be me being treated terribly by other people and internalizing it, so now they just make me angry.)

    The really cringeworthy stuff for me is less “loss of control over bodily functions” because as I’m realizing, we all have those stories (and that’s the subject of the story the girl laughed at me for), and it’s more along the lines of “I didn’t know how to properly grow out a buzz cut and now there are photos of me with a terrible mullet for a good two year period during high school and the transition to college, and I can never change that.” This was no Tegan and Sara “lesbian mullet (TM)”, this was “every part of my hair is a different length and I chose to leave it in the most awkward stage ever instead of just getting it trimmed regularly, and then started college like that.”

    There was also the time in high school that the girl I wasn’t dating but was “talking to” dumped me at a Valentine’s dance that I had spent weeks planning. Oh! and there was the “misinterpreted a U-haul joke as a serial killer joke, played along, and accidentally implied that lesbians are murderers,” also from high school. That one still gets me. Basically anything that happened from 2005-10 is a solid “nope” moment for me. Some of the stuff I wrote at the age of 12 still exists on message boards somewhere on the internet, floating out there… one reason why I can never run for office. Please don’t find my pre-pubescent RPF of boyband members… 😫

    • Of course, having typed all this out and having pressed submit, I am terrified to have posted this?? Please don’t hate me for exposing my embarrassing moments to the internet where I can’t delete the comment. (Anybody else have RSD? this happens every time I submit a comment. My LIFE is an embarrassing moment, even if nothing’s happened yet.)

    • LIFE IS ONE BIG EMBARRASSMENT AFTER ANOTHER! You’re good my pal, I love the haircut story, I’m laughing with you! I had a very distinct “mushroom” hair cut for most of my adolescence and early adulthood.

      On the note of middle school dances-once a boy asked me to dance and I told him I “wasn’t ready for that big of a move” and cried in the bathroom until it was time to go home

    • Yeah, my internet fanfic is the main reason I’m not even considering ever getting into the public eye. No one needs to find that Supernatural smut except the people who are into that sort of thing.

      Also, ADHD/rejection sensitive dysphoria high five! I’m sorry you’ve had people be shitty/ableist/homophobic about stuff. And another high five- 2005-2010 had so many awkward moments. So many, my god.

  32. Oh, and I had my first kiss in a play, on stage, in front of my entire family and my best friend’s parents, and the guy broke the fourth wall and shrugged at the audience after I ran off stage (which was in the script).

  33. When I was a pre-med shaddowing rounds for the first time I was too nervous to eat breakfast so at the end of 5 hour rounds I was standing with my knees locked an wearing isolation gown in a warm room and straight up vasovagal-ed and PASSED OUT. In a patient room. While they were doing nothing more alarming than talking about fluids.

    Somehow I still got into medical school there and the doctor who I was shadowing that day became my advisor. So I guess he didn’t hold it against me…

  34. Where I went to college we had school busses that took us back and forth to the two different campuses in the city. Students had to show their school IDs to the bus driver to ride, and I kept my ID attached to my keys (because otherwise I would 100% forget one or the other all the time.) So I’m casually walking down the aisle with keys in hand, not really paying attention to anything because I had my headphones on, and suddenly my keys are stuck in an unsuspecting passenger’s hair. By the time I noticed what was going on, she was yelling in discomfort and I’m just profusely apologizing while trying to extract my keys from the tangled mess that was her hair and her big claw hair clip. We managed to separate my keys from her head but I felt so bad. Did I survive? Yes, but barely. The lesson I learned is that even if the jam you’re listening to is the sweetest jam you’ve ever listened to, you should really still pay attention to your surroundings.

  35. That time at a sleepover party where we did a fashion show and my Ariel costume reveal became a costume malfunction or the time my bottoms came off when swimming just don’t compare what I’m about to tell y’all.

    For complicated gender-y un-summerizable reasons I didn’t tell my mom about my first period instead stole her pantyliners which I would for my next period learn are so NOT the same thing as pads.

    I’ve before mentioned my menarchal anniversary is September 11th and it gave me kind of a complex about 1st periods and how people adapt to the experience of menstruation, like if I were anthropologist that would the focus of my life’s work. I’m talking multiple ethnographies.

    So my 2nd period was in October and unlike the 1st one it wasn’t a bunch of rusty spotting for days, it was regular real bloody mess of a period that pantyliners stood no chance of quenching. It started at school, thankfully the chairs were plastic and I had a thick dark sweater to cover my uniform khakis. I get home and I think I’m safe, I’m not.

    My mother want to take us to this Halloween thing at the local YMCA, she’s not taking no for answer even though I’m begged to be left at home, I can’t stem the flow and I just can’t tell her…so trembling and trying not to cry(she despises crying and whining) I put as many layers of underwear on with as much toilet as I could stuff in there, then I think 2 pairs of shorts and just “walked” on the door like that.
    How long did I walk bleeding thru my clothes in a gym full of people before someone noticed and my mother rushed me home I cannot say because time just had no meaning to me anymore at that point in time as I was just existing in a timeless cone of shame, but never again did she make me go anywhere when I expressed I did not want to go.
    How did I survive that? I really don’t know.

    Even though I’m a full grown adult with real pads and well over a decade of menstrual experience under my belt I still don’t like going out in public on my period and not only will I have spare pads but spare underwear in a ziplock bag with me. Also I won’t be wearing white or light colored pants, skirts anything until menopause or uterus removal.

  36. OMG! You’re diva cup story reminded me of a day a couple months ago when I was on BART (basically the bay area’s subway). It was right around 8 so there were lots of people commuting to work, and I was knitting with my yarn in the pocket of my sweatshirt and…it fell out and rolled THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE TRAIN CAR.

    • I had that happen to me when I was crocheting and this group of guys in their early twenties picked it up so I was waiting for them to laugh at me for being a granny. Turns out they were interested in it and asked me to show them how it works. Very odd experience.

  37. I had Norovirus on a 12 hour road trip with extended family. For those who don’t know, Norovirus involves explosive vomiting and diarrhea that can occur at least every 10 to 30 minutes. My mother would not turn around or let me out of the car for the first 4 hours. Eventually I blacked out in the grass of a rest stop that was quiet popular for foreign tourists. When I came to, I had become a spectator sport for the tourists.
    To this day if I feel at all nauseous or unwell, I refuse to go anywhere. I still cannot look my cousin in the eye after she witnessed this.
    I am also deathly afraid of gastroenteritis or a re-occurrence of the Norovirus. I got exposed at work once. I was so worried that I paid a co-worker 5 bucks to spray me down in the super cleaning spray. The spray has a warning that it causes cancer with direct exposure… Totally worth it.

    • Our whole group got Norovirus on a service trip to New Orleans once. The CDC even came to take samples. Those people were waaaay too happy to be collecting jars of explosive diarrhea from college kids.

  38. i once watched in horror as my friend struggled to unscrew a pen aka my mini vibrator.

    oh the buzzing. oh no.

  39. Last year I peed myself during a D&D-session. Thankfully, a) I was standing up, and b) the floor was wood, not carpet. It did involve me taking off my trousers in front of the group, and staying longer while waiting for said trousers to come out of the dryer.

    I am still with said group. They had nothing but sympathy for me, and we’ve never brought it up again.

  40. I routinely forget basic information about myself, like my age, date of birth, phone number etc. This often leads to long awkward pauses as I struggle to not unintentionally lie about my age or something stupid I should know offhand about myself when asked, or me giving the wrong answer and being too embarrassed to correct myself. Back when I had more social anxiety I would also frequently give the wrong response to a basic question, like calmly rattle off my phone number when asked for my address.

    My first semester of college there was this class that was held in a much too small room and so we were always packed tightly together. A ton of people dropped the class though, so a couple weeks into the semester this was no longer an issue. I came in a few minutes late one day, and forgetting that chairs were no longer hard to come by and trying not to draw attention to myself, just slipped in and sat on the floor against the wall. I got out my books and shit and looked up, only to realize that like half the seats were still available including an entire row right next to me and everyone was staring at me hiding on the floor. Some dude pointed out loudly but kindly that I didn’t have to sit on the floor and it was sooo awkward and I was embarrassed about it for the rest of the the semester.

    Oh, and the one and only time that I’ve had a woman ask me for my number was at work, and in my head I thought she was asking for the company’s number. So I went “Of course! It’s no trouble…we have business cards at the front desk”. To which she just stared at me for a second before muttering something akin to “not what I meant” and rushed off and I couldn’t tell if she thought I knew what she meant and was just intentionally being a jerk or if she was just as mortified as I was/still am. Sigh

  41. I once used one of those public restrooms that’s not in a building but is just a self-contained kiosk-y thing on a street corner, and it had a sliding door that (it claimed) would automatically open after you’d been in there for 20 minutes. However! I am confident that less than 20 minutes had passed when the door suddenly slid open WHILE I WAS STILL ON THE TOILET, revealing me to all the strangers waiting in line for the bathroom.

    FORTUNATELY it slid shut again after a moment and stayed shut until I was done.

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