Author - Nina Cordoba
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3/29/2011

My Most Embarrassing Moment

In my novel, Not Dreaming of You, Kiki must answer some standard questions for the dating service video. One of them is "What was your most embarrassing moment?"

Truth be told, I've had a lot of embarrassing moments in my life. I spent many years giving presentations and marketing trainings, and teaching classes. When you are in front of people that much, sooner or later, something's bound to happen.

However, whenever I think of my most embarrassing moment, my memory shoots straight back to something I did when I was living with my roommates Francia and Lizette in college.

Francia had met a guy--let's call him John--who was a lawyer. He came by one night to pick her up for a date. I spoke to him for several minutes while he was waiting for her and they left.

The next afternoon, the phone rang and I answered it.

"Hi Nina," I recognized John's voice. "Is F-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f Francia there?" he asked.

Wow, this guy sounded fun. He was already messing with me.

"Who-who-who-who-whom may I say is calling?" I replied as Francia walked into the kitchen.

I watched as the oddest look came over her face.

"John," he replied dryly.

Francia's mouth was open and her eyes were wider than usual. She looked...shocked?

I covered the phone. "John doesn't stutter does he?" I asked pleadingly. Her eyes got even wider. She nodded.

"Oh, no! I just stuttered back at him!"

This confirmed her obvious fears, so Francia did the same thing she'd done when we watched the scary part of the horror movie Texas Chain Saw Massacre III.

She burst out laughing.

I was horrified. I'd never been cruel to anyone with a handicap before. The phone suddenly became a hot potato I wanted to be rid of. I held it out to Francia but she waved me off. She had totally lost control of herself and was doubled over with a case of the incurable giggles, holding her hand over her mouth while she tried not to laugh out loud. I'd had a friend in high school who'd told me about getting the stress giggles at her piano teacher's funeral, but this was worse to me because I was there and couldn't get rid of the phone, which was burning a guilty hole in my hand.

I don't know how long it took for Francia to pull herself together, but it seemed like forever. Finally, she took the receiver, and I left the kitchen--mortified--and sat on the couch with a stomach ache.

When Francia finally hung up, I said, "Does he really stutter? But he's a lawyer..."

She explained that he only stuttered occasionally and he wasn't a trial lawyer.

"Please, please warn me if he's coming here again," I begged. "I can't face him. I have to hide upstairs in my room."

She didn't, and a few days later, her sister let John in while I was trapped in the bottom floor of our townhouse apartment. Generally, I'm not a good hostess, but I remember offering to get him all knids of things while he waited for Francia, from a Coke to the kitchen sink.

Strangely enough, the embarrassing story Kiki tells in her dating video in Not Dreaming of You was also inspired by Francia and her sister Lizette. They told me about a friend of theirs who'd embarrassed herself while they were all on a road trip with a car full of people. I changed the situation slightly, but the basic incident is the same.

It doesn't seem to matter how many embarrassing things have happened to me in the last 20 years. I still can't believe I made fun of a stutterer, right in his ear.

Anyone else willing to fess up about their most embarrassing moments? Come on. It can't be worse than mine...can it?



posted by Nina 10 Comments