On Friday, I accidentally tried to break the ice at a party by telling everyone about the time I shit my pants.
So if you ever think that you are awkward or embarrassing, remember that you are not alone. Also remember that I am still cringing.
Why I chose this moment, surrounded by work colleagues I only know vaguely, to drop—pardon the pun—this bomb as an icebreaker will forever make me wonder. Now, it’s not that I’m embarrassed of the story. It’s actually one of my favorites to tell. Maybe one day I’ll be confident enough to write it for my blog, where it will live on the Internet forever until our world is sucked into a black hole.
Side bar, I’ve been reading a lot about black holes lately and despite no real evidence of its reverse, the white hole, I firmly believe that these two together create a wormhole that will transport us across the galaxy and are the key to spacefaring. So in other words, I have a lot of time on my hands.
Now, I’m sure that there are a lot of questions, like, “You went to a party?” and “What was your fragrance story?” and “Were there snacks?”
And the answers to those questions are, “Yes, can you believe it?” and “My Body Shop white tea musk cologne mixed with sandalwood bathroom spray (semi-accidentally)” and “No. Not even an onion dip.”
I rarely go to parties during the school year, mostly preferring to stay in with my friends, watch bad comedies and going to 7-Eleven for midnight Slurpees and corndogs. So my party muscles were stiff and atrophied, but my real muscles were looking amazing, and I was wearing this slim-fitting, black tee shirt, so everything was going well aesthetics-wise.
Anyway, I was standing in a rough circle of people when I decided to engage in verbal diarrhea.
Side bar, the poop puns will not end. They’ll give me the runs for my money. OOOOH.
“So, why don’t we all talk about the last time we shit ourselves?” I ask loudly, clapping my hands together.
The silence lays thick and slow as molasses over our small group as what I just said registered. When I say something that I instantly regret, the seconds drop like an IV drip: slow and uncomfortable. Awkwardly, I try to cover my tracks.
“Um, um, um.”
It doesn’t really go over like it should.
“I feel like this was just a way for you to talk about the time you shit yourself,” someone in the circle says.
I laugh—that high-pitched cackle of terror—and say, “Come on, it’s not like we all haven’t done it.”
I can feel my intestines coil around my esophagus and disconnectedly think that seppuku—the Japanese ritualistic honor suicide of samurais—seems like a solid option right now, as I look out at the halo of alarmed faces around me.
One guy offers, “I mean, the last time was like when I was six.”
“When was yours?” someone asks me.
Fuck. The last time I did it, I was sixteen.
“HA HA HA,” I shriek. I briefly tell them the SparkNotes version of the story—again, maybe one day I will divulge the entire SAGA—and then change the subject with all the grace of a MMA wrestler.
The incident of my fuck-uppery lingers in our conversation like a malodorous fume, and not even sandalwood bathroom spray can disperse the nefarious tendrils.
I don’t think it was even the story that made me embarrassed. Like I mentioned earlier, that story is one of my best anecdotes. I broke it out in the first dinner with my now-good friend Nina. I read somewhere that Lena Dunham hates “bathroom humor,” and that’s when I realized that I had a distinctly different style of comedy than Lena. I mean, there were obviously other markers, but I chose that one.
I think what embarrassed me more was the complete misreading of my audience. I’m generally pretty intuitive when it comes to telling certain people certain anecdotes. I can discern which comfort level I am willing to broach with certain people. With Nina, I knew I could tell the story. And I’ve been used to the presence of her and my other friends, along with my sisters, all of whom I’ve told the story to. So like a deer skittering across an iced-over pond, I went from coasting to slamming face-first into a wall.
Later that night, I texted Nina and told her about the misadventure.
She was—obviously—shocked that I had fucked up so badly, but joined me in commiseration about being socially inept.
It was brought up only once the next day at work, so I guess that’s a blessing. But I’m waiting for it to rear its ugly head at the most inopportune time, which will probably be at my wedding or—more likely—a court hearing.
There’s no real way to end an incident like this, so in other news:
Pro of the Week: Eating waffles with peanut butter and raspberry jam
Con of the Week: severe farmer’s tan
Neither here nor there: Someone telling me that they read my blog but “not to tell anybody.” Because there’s nothing quite like receiving a backhanded compliment.
If there’s any takeaway from this occasion, it’s that I better believe in karma, because obviously I’m doing something to piss Someone Upstairs off.