Making my entrance again with my usual flair. (Yes, I’m a clown.)

I didn’t want to start this post with “Welcome to Embarrassing Confessions Tuesday” because I believe I’ve already started at least one post with those words, which gives you an idea of how often I land myself in embarrassing situations. Anyway. If you’ve been here a while (and even if you haven’t), you might be wondering what happened this time, so let’s dive right in, shall we?

I spent the weekend indoors with a head cold, instead of going out to listen to music (as planned) and hanging out with our friends who are visiting from France (also as planned). Good thing our visitors stayed in a hotel! I opted out of their activities because I needed to rest, and, moreover, I didn’t want to get anyone sick.

On Saturday, Callaghan took them for a trek over to the local ghost town, the Superstition Mountains and the cursed house over there that I used to own and inhabit (that might be a story for another time). Sunday’s plan was to leave early in the morning to go up north and explore Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Our friends were to come to our place in their rental car to pick up Callaghan.

When the alarm went off at 6:30am Sunday, I woke up momentarily, closed my eyes, and opened them again just minutes later, it seemed. Hearing Callaghan muttering to himself in French off in the distance, I called out to him, wanting to know what was wrong. No response. I listened and heard more muttering, though I couldn’t make out any words. I thought he sounded agitated, but maybe my brain superimposed that state of mind over his verbal stream, since the only time he talks to himself is when he’s pissed off. There were other noises, too… a slamming door, things getting thrown around. All the noise woke me up, and I don’t wake up easily! Something must be really wrong, I thought. I called out again, and then a third time. When he still didn’t answer, I got out of bed and went to see what was happening.

Folks, it was not my fault. It was very early, I wasn’t fully awake, I was sick, and I didn’t hear any other voices but Callaghan’s. I stumbled into the living room, which was atypically bright with the overhead light that we rarely use.

And everyone was there.

You know that classic bad dream where you’re standing in your underwear with a bunch of people staring at you? YEAH, THAT HAPPENED. Christophe, Sandrine and their nine-year-old daughter were right there in the middle of our small apartment living room. Christophe was less than three feet away from me. I was wearing panties and nothing else.

There was that painfully suspended moment of eye-popping shock on everyone’s face when we all realized that I was pretty much naked, you know, that longest moment ever where it’s registering that someone in the room is in their underwear… and then I shrieked and apologized at the same time that they gasped and apologized and everyone was awkwardly apologizing as I turned and ran back into the bedroom, Callaghan close behind me. I jumped into the bed and pulled the sheet over my face. I was abjectly mortified. I’d walked into a room full of people wearing only panties! I couldn’t believe it.

Callaghan held me through the covers and said, “Baby! I’m so sorry! I thought you knew they were here!”

He thought I knew? HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW? I’d been asleep! When they came to pick him up the previous morning, they didn’t come up to the apartment… he went down to meet them! How was I supposed to know that this time, they were all coming up? How was I supposed to know ANYTHING when I was half-asleep, groggy and disoriented with my head blown up with a cold virus? My brain wasn’t even on yet, much less alert with any clairvoyant knowledge of this sort!

After he apologized (so many apologies all around!) and reassured me, he left me in the bed, saying he’d come back to kiss me good-bye before they left. But in my mind, the only course of action I could take – the only way to remedy the situation and get on top of my mortification – was to go back out there, because facing fire, humiliation, whatever head-on is how I do (to borrow an expression from zfrank1). I was NOT going to lie under the covers and hide. I had to recover my dignity.

So I got out of bed, put on my short gray robe, and marched back out to the living-room, throwing my arms out wide for dramatic effect and saying loudly, “LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN! BONJOUR!” and we all laughed. It was comic relief, and it was effective.

And that’s how you make an entrance after your first entrance is an epic, humiliating FAIL.

But this was how I felt inside, beneath the false cheer:

 

Stabby.

Stabby.

 

When the gang got back that night and we all went out to dinner, we engaged in normal conversation as if nothing had happened. But I knew and still know that they know what I look like naked, and that makes me feel, well, naked.

So, what can we learn from this?

–If there’s even a remote possibility that people are coming over at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning, don’t go to bed naked (or just in your undies).

–If you call out for your partner and get no response, don’t go out there… just call louder, repeatedly.

–If you must sleep in only your undies, at least wear cute ones, because you never know who is going to see them. Fortunately, mine were reasonably cute. I was wearing a Barely There CustomFlex Fit Bikini in the pale blue zebra stripe, and I must say, that was a fortunate circumstance. I wasn’t wearing a thong (thank goodness). I wasn’t wearing granny panties (I don’t own any, anyway). The bikini was the ideal model of underwear to have on if I had to get caught wearing nothing else.

I hope that reading posts like this makes you feel less alone in your own embarrassing moments!

As for me, I’m still sick, but the cold’s progressing toward the end – it’s dropped a little lower and now I’m coughing a lot, as in, constantly. It should be out of my system soon!

My Double Phobia Dilemma

Good morning, and welcome to Embarrassing Confessions Tuesday on my blog. (Looking through some recent posts, I noticed that such topics are starting to become de rigueur here.)

Snippet of a mock interview:

Interviewer: You went to war, and you were ambushed. Would you say that was the bravest thing you ever did?

Me: No. The bravest thing I ever did was watch Wall-E.

I have two phobias: claustrophobia and roach phobia. Guess which one is more debilitating?

I’m petrified of roaches. I can’t even look at a picture of one without having a physical reaction. When I started writing this, I thought about checking online for an officially recognized medical term for roach phobia, but I couldn’t because I was afraid that the search would pull up roach images, and my eyes do not need to be assaulted by roach images popping up all over my screen. That’s why I’m going to continue calling it “roach phobia,” and that’s also why I took a picture of Ramsey for this post:

 

Ramsey, the unroachiest thing I could find to photograph for this post.

Ramsey, the unroachiest thing I could find to photograph for this post.

 

Scorpions, snakes, spiders, bees and other flying, stinging critters? They don’t bother me. No fear. Tall, rough-looking transient guy wanders off the street past the inattentive front desk person and waltzes into the women’s locker room at the gym? I’m on my feet, furious, in his face, ordering him out. No fear. A sewer roach? Sends me screaming into the hills. Sheer, unadulterated terror.

Dead roaches freak me out almost as much as live ones. The sight of an upside-down roach carcass makes me cringe, hyperventilate and feel phantom sensations of little roach feet skittering up my ankles.

Let’s touch on my other phobia for a second. Since I started working at my job, I’ve more or less conquered my fear of elevators (a sub-phobia of my claustrophobia), because the elevator is the only way up to my department. Once you’re up there, you can use any of several hidden staircases to descend… but going up, the elevator’s your only ticket.

I’m happy to report that I’m now able to ride an elevator without clinging like a fool to other people in there with me (I have been known to fasten myself to strangers in elevators, barnacle-like), but I wouldn’t say that I’m comfortable in elevators. They still make me nervous, and I still don’t trust them.  Throw in the fact that I enjoy the exercise provided by stairs, and obviously, I prefer taking the stairs whenever possible.

My point, you ask?

For several weeks, I’d been in the habit of exiting my office building using the hidden stairs… until last week, when I noticed, in the stairwell, on the floor right in front of the door going out to the street, a rather large, dead roach. On its back. Legs in the air. A roach carcass so old, it’s turning pale (maybe from dust) and somewhat blurry around the edges. Let me repeat: In the stairwell. In front of the door. The door that you have to go through in order to exit.

So NOW, every day when it’s time to leave work, I ask myself:

Elevator or dead roach?

And I have to decide. There’s no other way out of the building. Do I take the elevator down every day, increasing my chances of getting stuck? Or do I step over a large dead roach every day (which necessitates looking at it, which is excruciating) as I exit the stairwell? And is it just me with these kinds of ridiculous dilemmas?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about self-improvement. While I’ve made tremendous progress with my elevator phobia, the farthest I’d gotten with my fear of roaches was watching Wall-E,  and I was proud of it… hella proud of myself, in fact, for getting on top of my visceral reaction to the, um, casting of that movie. It doesn’t matter that it was animation and the roach was widely considered to be “cute.” A roach is a roach, and there’s no such thing as a cute roach. When the roach appeared, obviously a main character who would endure the entire film, I resolved to sit there and watch the entire movie, anyway. Not only did I manage that, but I even ended up finding it brilliant and actually really enjoying it! This was truly a measure of progress for me, I’ll have you know.

After I noticed the dead roach in the stairwell at work, I continued taking the stairs down for the next few days, but I soon decided that the elevator was the lesser of two evils. If something happens and I get trapped in the elevator, chances are high that I’d be rescued in good time. But looking at a roach every day so I can step over it? No, thank you.

Now, the absolute worst thing that could happen would be getting trapped in the elevator with a roach.

Excuse me while I go find some wood to knock.