As perfect as we’d love our lives to be, some instances can have a lasting impact on us (for better or worse). Have you ever had your crush reject your confession? Have you ever let one rip in the middle of an auditorium with hundreds of students? These and other damaging moments are enough to make us wish we could disappear.
#1 Middle School
I remember this one time I was holding in a huge fart while hanging out with this girl I liked in middle school. We were laughing and joking around, so I tried to hold it in as best as I could. At one point, she jokingly punched me in the stomach. That was the end. I ripped out a huge one, hard . I was so embarrassed.
#2 Lilac Scarf
I crochet and my old boss at work asked me for a scarf. He requested lilac, which I thought was odd, but he was super insistent and even sent me a color chart pointing out the exact shade he wanted. I bought the yarn and made him a scarf, but then ran into him and mentioned the scarf again. He started cracking up, saying he was joking. Definitely embarrassing, but I’m glad I didn’t actually bring it with me and give him the scarf only to find out he was being dumb. I wound up giving it to another coworker who was watching the whole thing play out and she was super appreciative!
#3 Toilet Paper
This happened to me back when I was attending university. It was a normal day and I went to the washroom before class, no big deal. I was halfway across the campus before a random dude let me know that I had a string of toilet paper hanging out of the back of my pants. The toilet paper was… soiled. Just end my life.
#4 Wrong Car
There was this one time that I left school while chatting with friends. I spotted my mom’s car, got in said car and uttered the usual, "Thanks for picking me up, mom." Right after I said that, I realized that it was not, in fact, my mom's car, but a complete stranger and their family. I sat there for a minute while my brain came to the decision that yes, that was indeed the wrong car. The dad just said, "wrong car." I left and pretended that nobody saw my horrifying mistake.
#5 Friend Zone
My girlfriend up and decided that she liked my best friend more than she ever liked me. So, she broke up with me and tried to get with him instead. But, he friend-zoned her right off the bat. Naturally, I was sad about the entire situation for a pretty long time. However, looking back on it now, I think it’s hilarious.
#6 Soccer Team
I was supposed to fill in for the coach of my son’s soccer team this weekend but plans unexpectedly changed. This morning, I told my son that I wouldn’t be coaching his team on Saturday. He said, “Good.” I curled up inside. Though, I guess I don’t know what I was expecting. He’s 13 years old and all parents are embarrassing.
#7 Expensive Item
I had a customer who was holding and examining an awkward, fragile, and expensive item with one hand. I didn’t want there to be any accidents since I would probably have to answer for it. So, I went over and kindly asked her to please hold it with two hands instead. She turned to look at me. She only had one arm.
#8 Random Field Trip Dad
I was in the sixth grade on an all-day field trip to SeaWorld Orlando. I had a surprise period through my white shorts. All the moms who wanted to help only had tampons, but I was 11 and had no idea how to use them. There ensued an embarrassing crash course. I was devastated until a random dad saved the day by giving me his windbreaker to tie around my waist. He then told me to " go have fun." Thanks, random field trip dad. You saved the day!
#9 Brother’s Achievements
When I was about 13, my dad took me aside one night and apologized for putting so much effort into supporting my twin brother and so little into supporting me. I always assumed he was just smarter and physically more gifted. Turns out, he and my mother had actively and knowingly neglected me in order to encourage my brother’s achievements. It happened all through my schooling. They paid thousands for his sporting trips and when I had the same opportunities they just didn’t have the money. It still hurts me now.
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#10 Just Kind of There
When you're having a conversation with your friends and you keep getting talked over like you never said anything. By the time someone does acknowledge you, the subject has changed, so they all give you a weird look for being so behind and it keeps happening. Then you realize that these people aren't really your friends you're just kind of there.
#11 Almost Famous
I worked with this guy for three years and one day he had this huge cut all the way up his arm. I asked him what happened. He looked down and awkwardly told me he had psoriasis and was having a flair up. All I could say was, "No way, so does Kim Kardashian. You could be famous.” It made almost zero sense and I felt so bad. He was cool about it, though. I'm sure that kid wasn't too upset, he knows what's up.
#12 Parlez-vous Français?
I went to an interview once where one of the two people interviewing me asked if I knew French. I said I knew core French, so they decided to conduct the interview completely in French. I can understand when someone speaks French to me, I can read and write fluently in French, but I can't for the life of me speak French. It was so bad that one of the interviewers got up halfway through and didn’t come back. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.
#13 Social Gatherings
I am constantly forgotten about at work social gatherings and among my friends group. Once, my co-workers invited me to lunch with them. I said great, let me know when you're leaving. 2:00 p.m. rolled around and I was hungry, so I asked when we were going to lunch. Oh, we already ate. I've had a friend ask me why I wasn't at a party before, only to find out that no one remembered to tell me about it or notice or text me during it. It sucks.
#14 Take Our Picture
Last year, a work friend of mine passed away. After his funeral, a large group of us went to a pub in remembrance of him. Someone suggested that we should take a group photo of everyone there. I was the person they asked to take the photograph. It probably shouldn't have bothered me as much as it did, but it did.
#15 Getting Packages
I received a set of boxes in the mail with no return address when I was in college. When I opened the boxes, I started noticing stuff that’s my mom’s (her handwriting on notes). It seemed to be some sort of care package from my mom! As I opened more, there were all these documents. I was confused and then I found the note. My mom took her life but planned it all out. She sent me a list of “things to take care of now that she’s gone.” Now I hate getting packages.
#16 Oozing Insecurities
For me, it was easily the time when my mother told me on my wedding day not to lose my husband because no one could ever love me. On the same day, she told me when I was in my wedding dress that I shouldn’t gain any more weight. She told me that if I decided to have a baby down the road, I’d basically be fat forever.
When I was 14 and super sick one summer, I couldn’t eat. I was down below 100 lbs. My mom told me I should go put a bikini on so she could take photos because I’d never be that skinny again. I had just fainted a couple of hours earlier because I hadn’t been able to eat. She just oozed all of her insecurities on me my whole life. My husband and I have been married for almost 16 years now. He has spent our entire marriage undoing all of the damage that my mother has done over the course of my life. He’s a saint.
#17 Down the Drain
There was a time when I knew I was coming down with an absolutely terrible cold. Already beginning to feel a little fuzzy in the brain, I decided to make myself some chicken soup in advance to get me through the worst of it. I chopped up some carrots, chopped up some onions, and threw in a whole chicken carcass.
Over the course of about four hours, I made the best stock you could imagine. Then my idiot self poured it through a colander directly into the sink. It took me a good thirty seconds before I realized what I'd done. Then I just sat on the kitchen floor for about 10 minutes, gazing at the opposite wall and wishing real life had a CTRL-Z function.
#18 Switching Houses
I go back and forth between my mom’s and dad’s houses and have for years. I switch houses every Sunday at about 7:00 p.m. I was playing in the yard with my dog, waiting for my mom to get there. When she did, we drove home. I had just gotten out of the car and walked inside of my mom's house when she got a call. She handed me the phone, and apparently, seconds after we drove away, my dog passed away. They rushed him to the vet, but they couldn't save him. I never got to say goodbye.
#19 Let Me Get That
I was walking out of the school bathroom in junior high. I noticed, after a bit, that the popular girl in school was watching me, giving me a strange look. She then approached me and wordlessly pulled my skirt out of my underwear that I’d just tidily tucked in with the rest of my uniform. Then, I just walked away to avoid my shame.
#20 Pretty Cool Dude
I found a resident at my work was crying and when I asked what was wrong he responded, "I have baby brains." I work at a traumatic brain injury center. For these types of people, this is their permanent home. And coming from someone who is usually caught in a three-sentence loop, the self-realization was something I didn't think he was capable of. I replied with something like, "Hey, that's not the case. You're a full-grown man." I proceeded to breathe with him to calm him down. It ended with us laughing and him calling me "a pretty cool dude, dude."
#21 Mustard Man
In the seventh grade, I got my back to school clothes. For some reason, I thought yellow pants and a yellow Hawaiian shirt looked awesome . I was excited to wear this new outfit. We weren’t wealthy, so having new clothes like this was a big deal for me. Sitting in my English class, I received a note. It said "Are you the mustard man?" and was signed by every person in the class. As I read it, they all burst out in laughter. All of them. It's a moment in life where you have to laugh or cry and either way you shrivel inside. I chose to laugh. Kids are cruel.
#22 New Nickname
So, my nephew is called Dominic. I have a bunch of nicknames for him like Dom, Dommy, Domatron Dommysours… and Dominatrix. For ages, no one told me what it meant. My husband explained it to me when I was talking about him. Like, I used that name in front of people and no one told me. I feel so stupid now since I know what it means, but wow.
#23 Keep On Smiling
I was 15 and someone was taking a photo of my girlfriend and I. Then she went, “Make sure you don’t smile, you’re ugly when you smile. You look much better when you’re serious. I don’t want you ruining another photo.” It wasn’t a joke. That hurt me so bad. I’m 34 and I still struggle to smile in front of people.
#24 He’s Right There
I help coordinate Medicaid transportation to appointments. I had a really rude client on the phone, yelling that his ride wasn't there. I put him on hold and called the driver. He was sitting out front. I switched back over and the client was still yelling. I said, " Sir . Just look outside, he's right there ." (It had been a bad day, and I learned my lesson from this, please keep that in mind.) He went, "I can't, I’m blind ." Sure enough, his file says "Blind.” Now, I don't lose my temper on the phone.
#25 Is It Cold in Here?
When I was in high school, I used to swim competitively. Think speedos, hats, etc. One morning session, I was running a bit late and got changed quickly. I went out to the poolside with my gear, getting ready for the training session. One of the girls (who I happened to like at the time) informed me that I was hanging out the side of my speedos. I thought it felt a bit breezy as I ran out of the changing room, but it never crossed my mind what had happened. I look back and laugh about it now, but the embarrassment at the time. I still wonder how many others saw and didn't say anything.
#26 Holding On
When our beloved cat had to be put to sleep. The vet asked if I'd like to hold him as he was euthanized. Foolishly, I said that I would (wanting to be with him until the last second of his life), not realizing the emotional impact it would have. I know it sounds overly sentimental, but it felt as though part of me left with him that moment.
#27 Amplify the Sound
When I was about nine years old, I was in a school assembly (all 400 students and all teachers). At our school assemblies, the students sat cross-legged on the wooden floor in the sports hall. Well, I had to fart and I assumed it would be quiet. It was not. It ended up being extremely loud and was amplified by the wooden floor.
#28 Ladybug Ring
When I was eight years old, we took a field trip to the Field Museum here in Chicago. During our lunch break, I decided to wander off to a gift shop and see what they had. I had a huge crush on this girl named Victoria in my class and I saw this ladybug ring on sale for a couple of dollars. I knew she liked ladybugs and I had money my parents gave me to buy something at the shop, so I decided to buy the ring and give it to her.
I was really nervous and kept waiting for the right time to do it. I eventually decided to just go for it and walked up to her near the end of the trip. She was with some of her friends, which made me more nervous, but I finally found the courage to do it. She looked at the ring and laughed. Her friends joined her and she then tossed the ring in the trash.
I was completely devastated and tried hard to hold back my tears. Even though I'm over it now, that completely messed my confidence with girls for a long time. Looking back, I may have embarrassed her too by giving it to her in front of her friends, which is why she reacted that way. But whatever the case, it's probably the most embarrassed I have been in my life.
#29 Silent Compassion
My cousin (almost brother) passed away. All our family members who'd watched us grow up together would look at me with pity and silent compassion. It just made me feel worse every time. They still do it every now and then, even though tomorrow will be three years since he passed. It still makes me feel awful.
#30 You Told Them Then?
When we were about 18, my friend told me that his mom had just been caught going behind his dad’s back and how it was going to tear the family apart. I remember him even saying "I hate my mom for this, she's just disgusting." Later that evening, a few of us went out. I arrived late but caught up to my friends. As I sat down, the same guy was telling the group, "I hate her, she's just disgusting."
So, I said, "Oh, I see you've told them about your mom then? It's so bad that she could do something like that to your dad." He was talking to them about this other girl that we all know. But now everyone realized I had slipped up about something big and he ended up having to tell everyone what happened to his parents.
#31 The Typist
I was once on a Skype call for work with about 25 other employees. I had the microphone on my computer turned all the way up and was typing on my computer almost continuously. About 15 minutes into the meeting, someone finally messaged me to turn off my microphone because nobody could hear what was being said.
#32 Group Presentation
I had a group presentation and none of my group had read the book we were presenting. So I had to frantically write index cards for them to read off of before our presentation. But our teacher sniffed it out and started asking them questions. I tried to whisper the answers to them, but we didn’t do well. I also realized my friends were idiots.
#33 Going Commando
I was in a busy post office with my daughter, who was three years old at the time. I was wearing track pants and going commando. I was talking to the clerk and my daughter pulled my pants down right to my ankles. I thought I was going to wither away from the embarrassment. The entire lineup of people behind me saw my butt.
#34 I Very Much Mind
I was 18 and at a carnival with a group of people I knew from school, including my long-time crush. At some point, people started dropping off from the group, going on rides, getting food, that kind of stuff. Eventually, it was only me, my crush and my little sister (she was almost 16). I kept waiting for her to leave, too, to go find some of her friends or whatever.
After hanging out together for another 15 or so minutes, it slowly dawned on me that it wasn't him and me waiting for her to leave, but them waiting for me to leave. They shortly after became a couple for a few months. It later turned out that they got to know each other at my 18th birthday party two months prior (they never met before). When my sister got back later that evening, she told me that and said "You don't mind, do you?" I did mind, very much.
#35 Ms. Ellen’s Dream
This happened in my high school theater class. As a final project, we (and a partner, if we wanted), were to choose something to perform. I had a dear friend Emma, with a brave heart. She chose the song “All That Jazz” from Chicago . It’s a hard song, even for seasoned performers. In Emma's 16 years of life, no one had told her she was tone-deaf, nor had she figured it out for herself.
You could feel how uncomfortable everyone was when Emma started to sing. Luckily, we weren't a bunch of jerks and politely tried to sit through it. We were quite close-knit and mainly just proud to see our friends perform. Everyone had chosen their favorites and were so excited. So, we were painfully letting Emma sing her way through the song.
Cue Ms. Ellen. She was hired as a front office person. It was her dream, however, to be in the performing arts. So, stupidly, our theater teacher took on Ms. Ellen as an assistant director. After the first verse, Ms. Ellen began to sing the correct(-ish) pitch over Emma. I was horrified. She immediately lost all confidence she had and hurried her way through the rest of the song. The second-hand embarrassment was so tangible, it was heartbreaking.
#36 Pranked You
As a neurotic and anxious middle schooler, I once decided to ask a girl to a dance, but through MSN messenger. She said yes and the majority of the class somehow ended up finding out. I thought everything was going pretty well until I got a phone call from somebody else telling me that it was all just a joke.
#37 So Close
You know in school where you took turns reading out loud and practiced your paragraph silently before it was your turn? We were reading a book on Indian burial grounds. With my luck, I had a paragraph describing what they look like. “There were large mounds shaped like breasts.” I practiced it over and over in my head. Just power through it, don’t laugh, etc. It said “beasts.”
#38 Chance of Meatballs
I tend to talk to myself when alone, just a habit I've always had. Last month, as I was walking out of the post office, I rounded a corner and almost ran into a tiny old woman. I was muttering to myself at the time and as I stepped into her face, I exclaimed "Have all I eaten today are meatballs?" What followed was the silent awkward dance of trying to step around each other while avoiding eye contact, followed by me slinking to my car.
#39 Yelling in Greek
I was in Greece, walking back to the hotel at night with this other girl. Some dude drove past, leaned out the window and yelled at us in Greek with a smile on his face. The other girl said they were probably checking us out, but I just brushed it off. We walked for another few minutes when I realized I was having a wardrobe malfunction. My long skirt, which had a slit at the side, had ridden up and my undies were on display. Also, they were pretty see-through, so when the car's lights shined on us, they must have seen a lot.
#40 Happy Valentine’s Day
In fourth grade, my school had a fundraiser around Valentine’s Day where you could buy a carnation for one dollar or a rose for two. It would then be delivered with a message to the person of your choosing. I liked this one boy in my class, so I decided to buy him a rose and write a note from his “secret admirer.”
Well, I couldn’t wait for the rose to be delivered, so I wrote a note and slid it under his book when he got up to go to the bathroom. His friend saw because I’m about as stealthy as an elephant on roller skates. Friend took the note, read it out loud when the boy got back. The rose came not long after. The boy took it, looked at me, snapped the rose in half, and threw it in the trash.
#41 Public Speaking
Every time I have to do a presentation at school. I’m an introvert, so I don’t enjoy going in front of my whole classroom and talking, but I generally manage to do the job. Although, every time I fumble my words or just… stop talking. I cringe inside from the embarrassment and my heart beats super fast. Thankfully, everyone in my class and even the teachers are really understanding about it, especially because most of them have fear of public speaking too.
#42 Leaving Class
Me and two friends got stopped outside the school by a teacher looking for kids who were goofing off. We explained to him the reason we were allowed out during class was because we were walking to my friend's house to get gum out of my hair that someone had spit into it. I think he was embarrassed on my behalf and I felt so humiliated. When we got there, they tried to get it out with ice and eventually my friend's mom had to cut it out.
#43 Chats with Grandma
I went to an out-of-state summer program in high school and met a cute girl there who happened to be from my area. She asked for my number, so I gave it to her. Later that night, I got woken up by a call from her. Except she and her friends were giggling uncontrollably. She proceeded to tell me the "very funny" story of how she just got off the phone with my grandma, whose number I had given her in some nerve-induced mistake. She explained how they had a pleasant conversation before getting my number from her. She could probably feel how red my face was through the phone.
#44 Decisions, Decisions
I'm terrified that I've missed the boat on doing anything worthwhile with my life. Everyone around me has found something they're passionate about and worked for years and years to achieve. Meanwhile, I've been so paralyzed to make a decision on anything for fear of missing out on anything else that I've made no decisions about.
#45 I Think I Like You
I was with a guy in his car. I told him, "I think I like you" and he replied, "I like you too.” Everything's going to be great, right? Wrong. Knowing he’s a little squeamish when it comes to physical contact, I just gave him a kiss on the cheek. I then proceeded to wrap my arms around his neck, resting my head on his shoulder (to this day, I don't know what I hoped was going to happen).
I waited for him to reciprocate in some kind of way, but he was not moving a single muscle in his body. After about 45 seconds of pure agony I mumbled, "Am I the only one who’s feeling a bit awkward?" At that, he replied, "No, me too." We're still friends to this day, but thinking about it makes me want to gag.
#46 In the Garden
When I was 11 or so, my mom and dad were arguing. I ran outside to our garden crying, and some minutes later my dad went outside too. He was very sad. I went to him asking for a hug, but instead he looked at me with disgust. I was angry at him for some years. We have a good relationship now, but I still have no idea what crossed his mind at that moment.
#47 Fourth Best Friend
I was a shy kid but I had a handful of friends and one absolute best friend. We were at her house when she and her mom were planning her birthday party. She said, "Oh! And make sure to send a special card to my best friend Amanda!" I said I thought I was her best friend. She looked at me and said, "You're my third best friend! Actually, my fourth. There's Amanda and Riley and Kelsey, then you!" Soul crushed.
#48 Gotta Go Fast
Someone asked me how fast I could spin in middle school once. So, I began twirling as fast as I could and then my arms flew out to my sides as I began to pick up steam. And bam, the shy, antisocial girl that was never spoken to before came around the corner and I nailed her. It was one of the worst moments of my life.
#49 Reaching Out
I reached out to my best friend for help when I was depressed and she shut me down. I had been there for her countless times when she was struggling (I even spent one of my birthdays cheering her up). I thought the effort would be reciprocated. When it wasn't, I felt the worst I'd ever felt since becoming depressed. Since then, I've been terrified of reaching out to people, so I just struggle even more during depressive episodes. Please don't ignore your friends in times of need.
#50 Courage Crushed
Growing up, I was always a little short and chubby. I didn't have the greatest self-esteem. In eighth grade, I had a massive crush on this girl Emily. One day, I got the courage to ask her to be my girlfriend. She was with about six of her friends at lunch. She looked at me in disgust when I asked. After a painful few seconds, she responded, "Ew, no, no, no ." I have never really been able to approach women since, it was brutal.