“Have you ever been asked to share something that embarrassed you?”
I was eating at a Mexican restaurant when I asked something my date didn’t seem too eager to answer. It was our first date and I thought it was a good way to get to know each other. She looked at me coyly and said: ”I’ll tell you one of mine if you tell me one of yours.”
I thought about it for a moment and then I told the story:
“After high school I went to college for a few months until I got drafted into the army for 2 years. One of those years I was as a medic in Vietnam.”
My date looked at me and nodded and seemed interested so I kept telling her the story.
“After the army I returned to college and it felt like a cakewalk. It was 1971 and I was walking down the hallway going to my favorite sociology class at Cal State LA and loving it. Life was good and I was enjoying myself very much after the army.
I was admiring the dozens of beautiful pictures someone had posted along the walls. I noticed one picture in particular that I couldn’t keep my eyes off every time I walked passed it. It was pinned to the long bulletin board on the wall by four push pins. I loved the colors.
Everyday while walking by the picture I stopped and gazed at it that was of two women sitting on the sand at the beach on a tropical island next to a palm tree. One woman was wearing red shorts and a black tank top. The other woman was wearing a green bathing suit and playing a beautiful brown guitar with the blue-green sea in front of them. They both seemed to be singing.
One day while walking down the hallway I noticed that a couple of the pictures were missing. As the days passed I noticed that some of the other pictures were also missing. I was glad to see that my favorite picture was still on the wall. But how much longer would it be before it too would be gone? I thought I’d better take the picture myself before somebody else took it.
Later that day upon leaving my favorite class I went up to the picture and noticed that no one else was in the hallway. I carefully pulled out one of the bottom pins that held my favorite picture to the wall and looked around to see if anyone saw me doing it. No one saw me. I pulled out the other bottom pin and still no one was around. I quickly pulled out the top two pins and surprisingly the picture was still stuck to the wall.
I was getting ready to pull the picture off the wall when I heard footsteps and suddenly a professor came up beside me and looked at the picture with me saying nothing and just enjoying my favorite picture.
A moment later another professor came up and joined us looking at the picture. Still the picture stuck to the wall.
Then the professor from my favorite class came up, nodded hi to me and he also joined us silently admiring the picture. No one spoke as we all looked at the picture.
At that moment the picture could no longer hold onto the wall and very quietly, as if magically by our gaze, the picture dropped to the floor by our feet.
After a moment of surprise all the professors slowly looked at me knowingly as I walked away as if nothing happened.”
My date looked at me and said: “Yes, I can see how that could be a little embarrassing.”
“A little embarrassing? It was very embarrassing. What about you? What embarrassed you?”
She sat there quietly eating and drinking her wine.
“Oh, you got a good one, huh?” I said.
Still she sat there and said nothing.
“This has got to be a real good one.” I said with wild anticipation.
She looked at me and said. “You gotta give me something better than that story before I tell you one of mine.”
I looked at her for a moment and I said, “Naturally that wasn’t the most embarrassing moment of my life but it was one I felt I could share on a first date. I have stuff much more embarrassing but I think I’ll have to save that for another time. So, what embarrassing time are you thinking of?.”
She looked at me, finished her wine and smiled. I could tell she was debating how much she wanted to tell me when she finally said, “I need a little time to think about it.”
“Alright. I understand. I’m glad I didn’t tell you my most embarrassing moment.”
She looked at me, ordered another glass of wine and said, ”This Saturday night I’ll pick you up and I’ll take you to dinner and I’ll have a good story to tell you at that time but you gotta tell me your most embarrassing moment then too.”
“Hey, I’m cool with that.” I answered.
“You better be.” she answered.
I’ll continue the story tomorrow with “You Call That Embarrassing? part 2 of 3.