I’ve been thinking about experiences that make me want to disappear through a trap door in the floor:
1. Seeing work colleagues at the pool. When I’m in a bathing suit. With my stomach showing. (I don’t remember this bothering me when I was 26, but at 46, it’s mortifying.) Although it is fun to see who has tattoos and piercings.
2. Forgetting someone’s name. Or worse, calling them by the wrong name. Or starting to call them by the wrong name, getting one syllable out, and then stopping and looking at the floor. I hate it when that happens. Why can I not remember the names of people I see on a daily basis?
3. When we’re at the supermarket and one of my children innocently points to someone and yells the (obvious) observation that “That person is really fat.”‘
4. Being on the elevator with someone you sort of know and running out of chit-chatty things to talk about so that you’re both looking at the floor, the ceiling or the door. (I find that looking at my Blackberry is a really good thing to do in this situation.) With some people, once we’ve covered the weather (always a good topic of conversation in Chicago), there really is nothing to talk about.
5. Realizing that I have a really big stain on my shirt. Or a rip in the seat of my pants. And realizing that it may have been there all day.
6. Realizing that I’m wearing one navy trouser sock and one black trouser sock.
7. Realizing at 5:00 that I have something stuck in my teeth. When the last time I ate anything was at lunch. And I’ve had three meetings since lunch.
8. Realizing in a meeting that someone else has something stuck in their teeth. Or that their fly is open. Or that their shirt is gaping and one of the girls is hanging out. (The last one happened to me in a meeting at some point in my career, but I’m not saying who or when.)
9. Tripping for absolutely no reason and going flying.
10. Being late for a meeting, trying to enter and sit down quietly, and then realizing that I’m in the WRONG meeting.
What are your mortifying moments?