Recently, whilst washing my dog, I paused to absorb just how ashamed he looked at finding himself immersed in suds. (Then I took a picture, obvs.)
His embarrassment (and probably the water) stripped him down to his most basic self. I like to think that day he discovered new inner strength, once his remarkable fluff and exclaim-worthy cuteness was reduced to nothing more than the smell of wet dog. He had no exterior shell to protect him. He had to face reality.
It is good to be embarrassed, to know you are a mistake-making machine. In my experience, moments of awkwardness, cringe-worthy decisions and so on, make for the best stories and probably someone would say they create the space to learn and grow (or something). And so, because I wanted to share a photo of my dog looking ashamed and because of what I just said, I will list some of my most shameful moments. Maybe we'll all learn something, at the very least, you'll find them funny.
1. Once, when I was crossing Spadina - an insanely busy street in Toronto - en route to work - my skirt, which was a tad too loose, fell down around my ankles. I had to shimmy it back up and resume crossing the street.
2. I had the good fortune of covering the Toronto International Film Festival one year and found myself at an intimate round-table with Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts and David Cronenberg, along with about three other reporters. I'd been wowed by their film outing and was eager to ask thoughtful questions that proved just how much thinking and intelligence I'd brought with me to this discussion. Here's what I asked: nothing. I was too intimidated to open my mouth. Cronenberg and Mortensen kept glancing at me like "who is this mute and is she going to ask us something?" but I didn't.
3. My boss at MSN once spent an hour teaching me basic fractions (apparently I missed a lot in school) so I could complete a quarterly budget. I still don't really know how they work. Recently I actually uttered: "a million has six zeroes, right?".
4. It was the first day of my journalism internship and I was working in a lovely little newsroom in Ireland. I was ALL READY for my first assignment. I took a press release I'd been handed and quickly wrote up a little news brief. "Excuse me," said another reporter, who was intimidatingly frosty and seemed to hate me on sight, "in the future, it's good to remember the difference between its and it's." That is right, friends I MADE THE MOST EMBARRASSING OF ALL GRAMMAR MISTAKES ON MY FIRST DAY IN A NEWSROOM. It's/its. Shudder.
5. I once thought a long, flowy, floral-print shirt would look snazzy paired under a fitted sweater vest. It did not. I looked like a deranged Anthropologie pirate.
6. I don't have a tramp stamp but I DO have a two-inch fairy on my hip done in green, blue and yellow and maybe that's worse.
7. Pretty much every final interaction I've ever had with a significant other with whom things did not work out. This includes final texts.