I was reading my friend Jessica's blog as she shared one of her most embarrassing moments and nearly wet myself laughing. Embarrassing moments...we all have them but Jessica certainly has more than her share. Got me to thinking about the embarrassing moments of my own I've managed to live through. There was that time the elastic on my underwear broke right when I had to go up to the teacher's desk when in high school. That one was bad. Another memorable high school moment when my monthly friend visited unexpectedly and I had a big stain on the back of my skirt. And then there was the time during dinner, I had adopted the odd habit of shortening my words and I asked my Dad if I could have secs (seconds for those that don't shorten their words...I was cured of that weird habit after that incident). One in particular has the honor of "most embarrassing"....at least for the time being.
I was working in Cambridge as a prek teacher. Right in the middle of Central Square. Central Square is just down the road from it's famous cousin, Harvard Square. But instead of the foot traffic being of the ivy league student variety, it was more like working class, melting pot. This particular summer, the main drag was having all kinds of work done on it so construction crews were camped out on both sides of the street. The 4 and five year olds I worked with could spend hours watching the burly sweaty men as they wielded jack hammers and machinery...oh wait...maybe that was us teachers.
Anyways...as part of our summer curriculum we offered swim lessons. There was a YMCA just down that main thoroughfare and once a week we walked to the Y and everyone, teachers and parents included, suited up and jumped in. We always had a few parents that joined us to keep adult to child ratio manageable. Anywho, so, here's the embarrassing part.
We got the kids all changed and then ourselves and headed down to the pool. Just as we're lining the kids up at the edge wouldn't you know it...the fire alarm began blaring. There we are barefooted and bathing suit clad and we have to go out and stand on Massachusetts Avenue in the middle of Central Square. It's not like I could hide in the group since 3/4 of the group barely came up to my knees. We stood out there on the sidewalk for a good thirty minutes. Enduring the curious stares of the people passing by and the whoops and whistles of the construction workers. It's one thing to wear a bathing suit at a beach where everyone is in a bathing suit. It's quite another to be standing out on the middle of a busy sidewalk while in your bathing suit. Almost feels like you're out there in your underwear. At day's end it gave us something to laugh about and in hindsight I don't think I was the most embarrassed one in our group. I think the dad in a speedo probably felt a bit more exposed than we did.