Everyone has been embarrassed at one time or another. It is that moment in time when you wish the earth would open up and swallow you. The anxiety and discomfort felt during that time which may only last a few seconds feels like time has stood still.
I remember so well when I had my most embarrassing moment. I was in Form 4 and it was during the school recess. The minute the bell rang for recess, I rushed to the toilet because I had been controlling my urges since class started. I didn’t want to miss class because the lesson taught that morning was to include tips for the forthcoming examination.
Without realising, I had rushed to the girls’ toilet. The prolonged control and an upset stomach made worse by two glasses of cold milk in the morning made me grunt and groan in what I thought in what I thought was the privacy of the cubicle. I thought I heard giggling outside and wondered why the giggles sounded unusually near. A few minutes later I came out the cubicle and discovered my horror that I had entered the girls’ toilet. To make matters worse, the few girls standing outside didn’t even turn away when I came out. Instead they looked down at me, then only they turned quickly away. Horror of horrors, I had forgotten to zip up! No beetroot could have matched the colour of my face at this point in time!
They news of my predicament spread like wild fire throughout school. I was truly the talk of the town. I felt like I could either walk around feeling perpetually self-conscious and embarrassed or I could turn the situation round, perhaps even to my advantage. I remembered my mother’s words that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. So I decided to make fun of myself, to laugh at myself too. It works. Everyone got bored after a while and nobody teased me after that.
It was indeed an eye-opening experience for me. I have learnt that when people laugh at you, you should laugh along. You must not take yourself seriously. Learn to look at yourself through other people’s eyes and you will realise that most of the time when they laugh at you, they just want to have some fun. They mean no harm. If you can make people laugh, it’s like bringing sunshine into their lives and as someone said, ‘those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.’