Is it funny how different things embarrass you throughout life. Things that would make me cringe years ago don’t bother me at all now and things I wouldn’t have thought about at all as a 5 year old now rise up to smite me.
When you’re at school there’s a whole sea of potential embarrassment waiting to wash over you. You might wet yourself, get an answer wrong in front of the class or be forced to sing hymns even if you have a voice so bad it practically proves the flaws in God’s great design. Heaven help you if you look a bit funny or buy the wrong trainers. You’re looking at months of pricey psychotherapy in later life if you turned up to school wearing rip-off adidas that only had two stripes.
Even if you never actually did anything embarrassing that wouldn’t stop school kids just making something up and it was usually far worse than anything you might actually have done. So instead of “Dave walks funny” you’d more likely get something like “Dave shags dogs, it’s true, he has bonios down his pants and everything.” Fortunately for me I was a spotty, slightly overweight boy who couldn’t talk to girls and had hair that, despite having enough hairspray in it to globally warm a cup of tea, became a bowl cut before I’d even got to the end of the road. Nobody had to make anything up about me.
Then you get that bit older and discover alcohol and the opposite sex. You don’t need anybody else to embarrass you then. You’re more than capable of making a tit of yourself without anybody else’s help. If I didn’t wake on a Sunday in a fuggy haze of self loathing based on something I’d done the night before then I’d figured the pub must have watered the beer down.
Now I’ve reached that age where it takes a lot to embarrass me. If I do something stupid I can easily think of 10 things far more idiotic I’ve done in the past with no long term damage. So now once again outside forces have to raise their heads to embarrass me.
Now I’m not a messy eater, I can quite happily eat all sorts of sloppy food without it getting all over me. Curry, spaghetti, beetroot all no problem. However egg mayonnaise has taken it upon itself to become my nemesis. I like eggs, I like mayonnaise, they hate me. Today, as so many time before, I was eating my egg mayonnaise sandwich. As usual a bit of egg mayonnaise escaped it’s bready confines and with laser-like precision it yet again aimed straight for the crotch area of my trousers. So begins another afternoon trying not to walk around like I’ve just spunked all over my trousers.
Ironically when I was young I used to get this strange panicked feeling that I’d gone to school without putting my trousers on. I’ve no idea where this strange paranoia came from. I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually done it or even come close but I used to get small panic attacks about it. All I had to do was glance down to confirm that, yes, I was wearing trousers and all would be well with the world. However if today I had forgotten to wear trousers at least they wouldn’t look like I’d just creamed on them.