Sunday, June 29, 2008

Breaking the Chains of Shame

"What was your most embarrassing moment?" Yeah, right. From this week, you mean? Or of all time? Take your pick. I have many. Too many. So many I could write a whole blog about it.

Wait a I'm on to something! Over the years when asked that question, I never had to think very hard, except to narrow down the list. I could even do categories. Gross; Happened in Public; Happened in Private; Happened in Front of Someone Important; Probably Should Have Kept to Myself; Light Fare; Truly Mortifying; Not To Be Shared In Mixed Company; This Week; Last Week; Week Before That (you get the idea); G Rated; PG Rated; PG-13 Rated (you get the idea).

A long time ago I realized, if I was going to continue to have such regular occurrences of embarrassing moments, (and I knew that I was), well I was just going to have to find some method of coping. Over time I noticed that sharing my experiences with others helped lessen the stigma, and even the embarrassment of the event. It also seemed to make people laugh, even if it was at my expense. I can handle that, especially if it means someone thinks I'm funny! "Ha! Ha! Kimi's funny!" (More like "ridiculous," but at least they're laughing).

While I was working with the Mia Maids for a couple of years, the calling that stole my heart and still has it as of this writing, a routine developed where I would tell the girls my Embarrassing Moment from the week -- and believe you me, there was no short supply! They looked so forward to it that I'd hardly enter the building before they'd be begging for my latest story. I do also have a slight (or maybe giant, but who's measuring?) short-term memory problem, so sometimes, even though I knew I had been embarrassed (or embarrassing, depending on who's telling the story) that week, I sometimes went blank. Never fear! I always had a good standby from days past. Years past -- whatever. The point is, I could always come up with a fresh Moment of Embarrassment for the girls. Soon they were saving their own EMs to share with me. Painful high school Moments of Embarrassment that made me glad to be a boring ol' grown up with no one to impress anymore.

After I was released from YW, but called as Camp Director (or Keemp Director, if you will) I was driving with one of my former Mia Maids to pick up camp supplies and she told me something. She told me, "Remember when we used to tell each other our Embarrassing Moments? Well, sometimes I felt insecure and stupid and it would be so horrible when something embarrassing happened. But after a while, when something happened I would be so excited to have a good story to tell you, I would forget to be embarrassed! It made me feel better about myself." Okay, well, I don't really remember what she said. I shouldn't have used quotes, but it was something like that and it looked better in quotes, so DEAL with it.

Anyway, what she didn't know was that that was my hidden agenda all along. To take the embarrassment out of Embarrassing Moments and make them Awesome Stories That Make People Laugh. I don't know if she knows how much it meant to me to hear her say that. I'd hoped during my years with those awesome young women that I had been able to do something, anything to make their lives a smidge better. Knowing I helped to lessen any of the pain that comes with being a teenager is good for my heart. Maybe reading about my experiences will be good for yours. I mean, at least you'll have someone -- er, something -- to laugh at.


Suzanne Reese said...

Loooove it! (Brandon's been watching magic school bus lately, that just popped out) I'm hoping to find more stories when I get back here! I'll be linking to my blog soon - as soon as I'm not typing in my sleep. (Actually I'm not sure if that ever happens), anyway - great story, great start, and I'm fairly confident you came by the EM thing honestly - but I'll save that for another day too.

kerri said...

Oh, Kimi, I just love you. Always something fun to read. I love the way you write. It's just like having a conversation w/ you and laughing the whole time like we do, or... like I wish we did more..xoxoxo, kerri

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness Kimi! Was this the part that I was in kind of? I can't embarrassing:) I am so glad you set up this blog because now whenever I need to laugh I can just go online and read your stories instead of sitting in your car when you drop off Maddie at Mutual. Don't get me wrong, I love sitting in your car, but somehow my license falls out of my pocket and then you go home, but my dad won't let me drive without my license so then you have to come back and things kind of get reading your embarrassing stories online will probably be lots easier:)

The Lovells said...

Being one of your BFFs I would like to offer ANY stories OR pictures that you need!! :)