Saturday 18 January 2014

The Best Stories are the Worst Moments

Have you ever noticed how many really funny stories relate to people's worst possible life moments? I received one of those "moments" in an email today. It was an email about most embarrassing first dates. I enjoyed the laugh and passed the email on. It's one of humanity's greatest gifts; the ability to look back at embarrassing moments, laugh at ourselves, and then use those stories to make others laugh as well.

What really amused me was that, about an hour earlier, I had sent out two emails to friends about my own dumb-funny life moments. Mine related to DIY and trying on clothing in a store. Both places where things can go badly wrong! ;) In my case the events were instantly funny rather than humiliating, but I have had those "I want to die" moments that make great stories years later. I've regularly shared my less-than-perfect life moments on my blog, like for Moments of Mud.

By now you're probably wondering what stories about myself I emailed today. The first one is easy. MY DIY moment relates to my natural clumsiness. Not that I look clumsy. I have learnt to hide it well.  Or, as an old school friend once put it, "You fall a lot, but you do it so gracefully." I wrote about that in Falling with Grace.

Back to DIY. I was varnishing a book case and I managed (how???) to get varnish on the back of my leg and knee. I was sitting on the floor, went to get up... and found out then that the varnish had glued my leg in a bent position. I fell face forward onto the book case.

The second story is more complex. Trying on clothing... you see, I'm both short and curvy. This is not something most fashion stores cater for. So trying on clothing has been a nightmare since I hit puberty. This particular time was over Christmas in the 1980s. I was in a shopping mall and noticed this really sexy party dress in a shop window. It looked a lot like this, except it was dark gold and shorter.

I wanted that dress! So I went in to try it on. The changing room was tiny and the dress was tight with a zip up the back. In other words... it was a bit like trying to wrestle yourself into an anaconda backwards. Sweating, struggling, I never had time to look up into the mirror until it was done. I smoothed the shimmery fabric over my hips... and looked up.

The dress fitted perfectly... from the hips down. Problem was I'm short and the designers clearly aimed their creations for much taller girls. The waistband of the dress was a crushing band around my ribcage. My breasts was flattened to oblivion due to the fact that the wired cups were ABOVE my bust line. The dress top cups were like two little silk and lace balconies, almost under my chin.

I burst out laughing and could not stop. I don't know what the other shoppers thought. I was in tears of laughter and the more I laughed, the more I gasped, and the more those sad little empty "balconies" jiggled about. Getting the dress off was just as hysterical. Not a Worst Moment, but certainly the most I have ever laughed in public.

What's your Best Worst Funniest moment? :-)


  1. AHHHHHH...I can relate to being short and curvy, you know? I remember one time we stayed at our aunt's place on a whim but we didn't bring any clothes, so she gave us a pair of his son's pants (both sons are much older than me) and when I tried them on in the shower, they couldn't go up at all (got stuck under my butt) HA HA HA HA HA she lent me one of her skirts instead ha ha...

    But you know what? I've only learnt to laugh at myself AFTER I moved to Finland. Before then, just criticism and telling myself how stupid I was and it could go on for months on end (or even years - yeah, blame me and my pretty decent memory for stuff like this!). So I've only started learning the joy of laughing at myself for the past (almost) 7 years LOL! Better late than never, eh? :-D

    The first time it happened I remembered it very clearly. R2 and I spent the night at my in-laws (at that time they still lived in the old house). We were supposed to stay in the attic, so she brought up some fresh linens and pillow cases and blanket case and R2 was changing them with MIL, so I thought I'd come help. At that time I still couldn't speak much Finnish and everything was still new. Anyway, I took a pillow case and put in on a pillow whilst R2 and MIL did the bedding and blanket.

    Once we were done, MIL was confused because she couldn't find one pillow case. I started searching as well, but then a few seconds later it HIT me that I hadn't actually taken off the pillow case BECAUSE it looked like a bare pillow without any casing (the pillow case was so thin and it was ivory white), so I took back the pillow, took off the pillow case that I had put on...and voila! We were all laughing at the same time ROFL ROFL ROFL and it was SO hard for me to stop laughing! :-D

    But you know what, it helps A LOT having a MIL who doesn't critize me for my mistakes and who's very supportive. One time I baked a cake but it didn't turn out that well, but she ate it anyway and she just told me that sometimes ovens have different temperatures and one just needs to keep on practicing and another time I ruined her tupperware but she didn't blame me or get angry at all. OK, this comment is long enough he he...

  2. I loved those stories, Amel. :-) Your MIL sounds a lovely lady.

    I was hyper critical of myself when I was young. You need to learn how to laugh at yourself. I don't think it comes naturally.

  3. Yeah, MIL is a very easy person to get along with. She said she wasn't accepted as a daughter-in-law (wasn't deemed good enough or something I suppose), so she was determined to accept whoever her sons chose in the future without any criticsm. I admire that in her - she didn't become bitter because of her own experiences (and she was bullied when she was a child because of her ear problem - back then there wasn't such good healthcare so she lost a huge amount of hearing on one ear and the other ear isn't that sharp, either - she has had to wear hearing device for decades). :-)

  4. :-) my dad's mom lost her hearing when she was 4 years old.

  5. Ohhh...did she learn sign language then?

  6. Yes. She used sign language and she could lip read. I know a bit of sign language and a few letters of the alphabet. I've forgotten a lot over time.

  7. I do miss reading your blog - cheers!

  8. Thanks Terry

    I miss blogging. Last few years I got a bit lost on Facebook. It's like junk food, fast easy, but not very satisfying. lol I'm hoping to do more blogging this year.



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