Saturday, June 13, 2015

Embarrassment || A Story and How to Deal

I have been traumatized. Not your ordinary start to a blog post, now is it? Let me explain...

Today is Saturday and 13th of June. I am sitting on my dad's musty old recliner with The Hobbit playing in the background and my mom prepping for our camping trip in the kitchen. Sounds pretty relaxed, right? Wrong. My stomach feels like the 4th of July and my head is reminiscent of a child's coloring book after they have been given a new pack of crayons. I am a mess inside, blank face outside. All this because of what happened today. 
Earlier this week (around Tuesday I believe) my friend invited me to her 16th birthday party/sleepover via Facebook. I saw that is was planned for a Saturday, and I realized that would not work for me because this Sunday we are heading out of town. I worked out a plan with her that I would stay until 10 on Saturday night and then have my mom pick me up so I would be home on Sunday morning. So far so good, right? Easy breezy lemon squeezy. I can go to her party and still be home on Sunday morning. Perfect. 
With this fantastic plan in mind, I asked my mom to take me to the store so I could pick up a present to give to her on Saturday. I picked up some okay-ish presents because we were kind of in a rush, and  I made a mental note to tell my friend that we were just short on time hence the lame present. I came home and wrote in the card and wrapped up her gift and set it all on the table. Ready for Saturday.
When Saturday came around, I spent the entire day working in my garden for my friends party wasn't until 6. By 5:30 I was showered and ready to leave, so I began pestering my dad to hurry. He obliged, and we left the house at around 6:10. My friend does not live far at all, so I asked my dad to drive slowly because I did not want to be the first to arrive. Who want to be the first at a party?! Awks. 
We got there at the perfect time, and I saw another car pull up to her house which greatly reassured me. We pulled up to her yard, and I got out right after asking my dad to wait until I was inside. Lucky I did that. 
I walked up her lawn and looked over to my left. There I saw her, sitting at a long picnic table with a bunch of other people who looked like her family. I figured they were just there for the party, so I walked over to greet my friend, thinking nothing of it. But when I reached the table, I realized something was wrong. They all had this extremely confused expression on their face, like "Who's this girl and what is she doing here?" I just figured I was really early so I flat out asked her, "Am I the first one here?" She kinda stared at me ,and we started walking toward the door to go inside when I asked again, thinking she just didn't hear me right. She hesitated and with a small smile said, "Well, the party is next week."
 What. Whatwhatwhatwhatwhat. Cue the internal screaming, am I right? I stared at her for a minute and then realized the gravity of my mistake. I showed up to her house A WEEK early! I literally crashed her families dinner. No wonder there were so many of her family members there! SHE WAS HAVING A FAMILY GAME NIGHT. 
I immediately tried to correct her, like I could change the horrible thing that just happened, and said, "What? Are you sure? I swear it was this week!" and she just sadly smiled and said, "No, it's not until July." I felt SO dumb. I became so awkward and just started to leave like, "Oh this is weird. So much sad. Um, sorry." Over the deafening sound of failure ringing in my head, I heard her ever-so-lovely-mom say, "Oh, she can stay if she wants!" But I just needed to get out of there. I quickly hugged my friend, who looked at me with such pity and sadness, and I walked back over to my dad's car. He was still sitting in the drivers seat but my friends dad had came over to the window to talk to him. He told him it was next week (more like next month) and my dad apologized and said how embarrassed he was. I got in and we drove away, all the while my dad was low-key yelling at me for not communicating better and he could't stop saying, "How embarrassing." Thanks for reminding me, dad. 
So let me just sum that up: I showed up to my friends birthday party A MONTH early. I crashed her family game night. I extremely awkwardly left while my friend looked after me with pity in her eyes. I came all dressed up with my hair and makeup done, present at hand. I acted like I was just the first one there, and like I was ready to party. OH MY GOD. 
After I got home, I began my slow wallow in self-loathing. First I went onto her Facebook and checked the date the party was meant to be on. There it was, clear as a bell, July 11th. NOT JUNE 13th! Her actual birthday isn't even until July 9th, but I had just figured she wanted a really early birthday party for some reason. Why would she do that, Emily? I just saw that it was on a Saturday and assumed it would be the upcoming Saturday. I never actually looked at the date, I just checked the times and the day of the week. (My friend was super sweet about all this, may I add. She messaged me later on asking if I was doing okay:))
 The worst thing is, I even had the fear that it was the wrong day while we were driving to her house, but I just dismissed it as nervous jitters. I tried pulling up the event on my phone while we were driving to check, but my phone was being horribly slow.  Who would have known it was actually the wrong day?! This is like the stuff that happens in movies, but you never think it will actually happen to you. Proved that wrong, didn't I?
I think I also got all confused because I had 2 other birthday parties this week. I just clumped them all in the same week in my mind for some reason, even though they are a month apart. Also, on the day when her party actually is, I'm leaving to go camping that Sunday, too. It's the same exact circumstance as it would have been if it was tonight. UGH. 
I can try to justify my mistake all I want, but I still showed up to her party a month early. How bad is that? Very. Did I want to both cry and die at the moment? Yes. Do I still want to? Yes. 

As soon as I started to calm down (ice cream helped), I looked up ways to get over embarrassment. I found a few helpful things, and I'm basically just going to put the best ones here for an ultimate reference guide for anyone who needs help getting over embarrassment.

1. Keep the right tense. It happened in the past! After I told my mom and my sister about what happened (they laughed), I ended my horror story with "I can't do anything about it now," which, I believe, is very helpful to think about. You can't erase what happened. It happened, it's done, that's it.

2. Stop Apologizing. It's not going to make you feel any better. People make mistakes, and everyone is just going to have to deal with it. 

3. Think about other times you wanted to crawl in a corner and stay there for eternity. It will help put things in context. You got over that, and now you're even laughing about it, so it's not a huge deal. 

4. Own it. Go back to whoever you embarrassed yourself if front of and act like nothing happened. Or joke about it. Something. Don't ignore those people or that place forever, because then you'll never get over it; you'll just associate those awful memories with those not-so-awful people.

5. LAUGH ABOUT IT. This one is a biggie. Stories like these are great for parties, or for when you have your own children. Who would have guessed humiliating yourself would be such a great icebreaker? 

6. Talk to others and exchange stories. Comparing your trauma with others is guaranteed to make you feel better and laugh some of your worries away. 

7. Learn from it. In my case, I will definitely be quadruple checking times and dates. 

Do you have any humiliating stories you wish to get off your chest? We can laugh about them together! x

Emily x