When you do something embarrassing, how do you react?
My reaction has always been to smile as widely as possible and begin laughing. Admittedly, I do turn red, however, I attempt to be the first person to laugh and smile at my faux pas.
I remember once walking down some stairs and I began falling in front of a crowd of like 30-40 people. I feel down six or seven stairs and badly twisted my ankle; it hurt like hell and people were looking on very concerned and my overreacting friend was by my side in an instant asking me if I was OK loudly and in a concerned voice; other people were cooming up to try to offer aid because I was now bleeding from an elbow. However, I distinctly remember laughing as I was falling, and laughing as I was rubbing my ankle, while no one else was really that entertained by it.
Another time while drunk an attractive woman was laying down, resting her head on my shoulder. She was resting a hand on my thigh and it seemed all the signals were right. She turned her head to me and my only reaction was to kiss her on the lips — she began pulling away suddenly like, “WTF?” and again, I just began laughing louder than anyone at the table. I’ve been asked by mutual friends if I was making a joke all along, and I had to admit that I was not, but again, good scenario.
Once, on the first day of class, a class that was 70% women, I was sitting in a row of about 5-6 women, and someone obviously in our section of the class farted kind of noisily and it did, indeed, smell bad. Even though it was not me, I did begin laughing loudly…
I noticed one of the girls on the right side turning bright red, and then a girl on the left side looked over at me with a look of disgust as if I was the one who farted due to my obnoxious laughter, and I suddenly realized… Everyone must think that I farted! But I didn’t!
During group discussion time I really wanted to just explain to these women in a matter of fact way that “Look, I did not fart. It was someone else. I just found it to be funny. However, in order to make it less embarrassing for the person who farted and to show that I am a gentleman that will even the playing ground,” (I pause dramatically and give a wink to the girl who turned red), “I will fart at the soonest possible opportunity in order to lessen the shame and guilt of the person who had farted.”
I never made this statement, nor did I ever purposefully pass gas in the class, yet it seemed that in a rational world such a proposal would have been met with approval as a fair and democratic method to ease the environment and clear my good name.
(I would like to note that after six years of military service I generally have no shame in the passing of gas. If you would ever like me to fart publicly or to urinate on your passport, these are two fields where I am well experienced and will gladly oblige you.)
Afterthought: Embarrassment is a necessary emotion but it is also useless if you do not revel in your moments of embarrassment. It helps teach you about guilt & honesty.
Honest people who fall down, honest people who accidentally kiss other people and honest farters are the true gentlemen of today’s world, and we should all endeavor to laugh every time these happen.
Never let a good fart get in the way of a good day.