Have you ever done something really embarrassing and were then at a loss to understand how something so inapt could have happened? Sometimes I purposefully play the crazy card just for the fun of it. Why not have a good time? Better yet, why not attempt to orchestrate a good time for every one else? I’m typically not the life of the party, but I’d like to think I contribute life to whatever group or circumstance in which I find myself. Like Leo Buscaglia said: “If you act crazy consistently, you can get by with anything. Otherwise, they call the cops.”
I attempt to greet most days and everyone I meet along the way with a healthy dose of humor. People are too serious! Actually, I suspect that mindset is killing them. Personally, I’d rather die laughing. Of course you’re thinking, “What’s the difference? The outcome is the same”. I maintain that if you’ve got to go, mine is the better way!
Laughter is good medicine and most people you run across could benefit from lightening up. The way I see it, I’m at an advantage because I already know that. For one thing, I provide myself opportunities on almost a daily basis to laugh at myself. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe some of the things I do. On the other hand, maybe you would?
Probably most of you have heard the story of the lady in the ice cream store who notices that Robert Redford is standing in line behind her waiting to order ice cream. She intuitively swoons with ecstasy with the thought of sharing space with him. In order to camouflage that reaction, she attempts to portray a calm countenance. She purchases an ice cream cone and exits the store without making conversation. She doesn’t want to embarrass herself or invade her favorite movie star’s privacy.
After regaining her composure once outside the store, she notices that although she has her change in her hand, she doesn’t have her ice cream cone. She goes back inside the store to retrieve it. There is no longer a line and she walks directly to the counter and states: “I failed to get my ice cream cone.” The man behind the counter says, “I gave it to you.” Overhearing the conversation and seeing the puzzled look on the woman’s face, Robert Redford said to her: “Ma’am – If you’ll look, I think you’ll find your ice cream cone inside your purse. I was puzzled when I saw you put it there.”
Sure, most of you have heard the story or one like it. The stories are all familiar and all carry an identical storyline. Perhaps the names of the celebrity and locations are changed to protect the innocent. Every time I’ve heard the story, it is presented as a true story. According to Snopes.com, it is not. However, had it been true, most of us can imagine the level of embarrassment the woman would have experienced.
Let me say, first of all, that the story I am sharing with you this morning is a true story. You’ll not be able to substantiate its truthfulness by checking with Snopes.com. You’ll also not be able to find out anything about the individual in the midst of an embarrassing situation on Wikipedia. From the standpoint of name recognition, it is all a private matter. John Q. Public simply lives life with a sense of anonymity.
They say confession is good for the soul. I am one of the members of “John Q. Public” and I did something really stupid yesterday. When I came to my senses, I was really embarrassed. In my defense, it had been a very full morning. I had been to the barbershop in Austin and on my way home, I stopped and quickly darted into two different grocery stores looking for avocados. Avocados come in three different varieties. They are ripe, not ripe or ruined. Okay, so maybe there is a forth choice: “Just right”. Just right is the variety I was looking for, but instead I settled for ripe at the second store.
Making my way homeward, I had the thought it had been a long day and it wasn’t even noon yet. Did I mention that I started my day in Dripping Springs at the Hays County Office for early voting? I stood in line waiting to vote for over an hour. When I finally reached the voting booth, it was a lot like buying avocados. I couldn’t find “Just right”. I voted anyway.
Coming back through Dripping Springs, I stopped at H.E.B. After all, what’s one more grocery store? I had failed to purchase charcoal lighter the day before when I purchased steaks for Saturday night’s dinner. Once inside the store, I noticed orchids in the floral department. Why not take one to the General? I felt better about that decision than I did from either the avocados or the candidates I had selected when voting. I guess you could say, “I redeemed the day”. I felt good about the purchase of the orchid.
So where did I park? I don’t often enter H.E.B. from the Austin side of the store. Consequently, I didn’t park where I normally park. That in and of itself is a mistake. Much to my relief, I quickly found my car. I had charcoal lighter in one hand and the orchid in the other. There was a clear plastic sleeve around the orchid.
Once I got to the car, I had to turn the orchid sideways to get it inside the car. I gently tossed the charcoal lighter to the front floorboard (passenger’s side) and sat the orchid on the cup holders between the two seats. There was room inside the car to set it upright. As I was fastening my seat belt prior to pressing the brake and the ignition button to start the car, I had a horrifying thought. Looking around, I confirmed that my thought was accurate. I was in someone else’s car. It looked like my car, but it wasn’t my car.
Trust me, I got out of the car, orchid and charcoal lighter in hand, much faster than I had gotten inside the car. I was so embarrassed! I fully expected to find the owner standing three feet away wondering if I was a car thief. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. My car (a white Toyota Venza) was parked just on the other side of the white Lexus RX-350 that looked like my car.
It was an embarrassing moment. I’m still not sure how something so inapt could have happened.
All My Best!