When someone asks me what my most embarrassing moment is, I don't really know what to say. It's not that I've never had an embarrassing moment. Goodness knows I've had more than plenty. But it's hard to pin down what would be my most embarrassing moment. I usually share the following story, which I find to be quite humorous, and it's generally well received, so maybe I'm right in my opinion.
When I was eight- and nine- years old, my family and I lived in London. While we were there, we had many opportunities to see different types of theatrical performances. One of our favorites was that of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). We loved this show so much we went back and saw it a second time, bringing with us some of our visiting relatives.
After the play, my family stayed behind to talk to the cast and get autographs and such (it's possible I made that up. They were taking their time leaving for some reason). While my family did this - whatever it was they were doing - I excused myself to use the restroom. I had some difficulty locating the bathroom facilities so I asked a passing usher for assistance. He pointed me in the right direction and I soon found myself facing two identical doors. To my nine-year-old mind, it seemed logical that there would be signs indicating which door led to the ladies' room and which led to the mens'. Call me crazy, but signs such as these seem to be something of a standard in most public places. However, I had no such luck in locating anything of the sort. And I really, really had to go. So, putting my trust in all that was holy, I picked a door and dashed in.
Once inside the bathroom, I noticed several odd porcelain objects along one wall. They looked somewhat similar to toilets, but they were not in stalls and they certainly didn't have any place to sit. I brushed the oddness aside, however, mentally noting that I was in Europe and, well, let's face it: those Brits are weirdies. It was not too long after this experience that I learned what a urinal was.
After I had finished what I came to do, I washed my hands and prepared to make my way back to my family. As I exited the WC, I heard a great burst of laughter. Down the hall a ways was the entire cast and crew of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), laughing their heads off at me. Don't be too shocked. The cast and crew only had five, maybe six people total. But still. They were laughing at a nine-year-old. And then it hit me. I chose the wrong door. I turned around slowly and sure enough. There it was, clear as pie. The sign I had somehow missed in my quest to fulfill social norms and use the loo allotted to my gender. I had used the Mens' Room. I froze, unsure of what to do, but positive that I could not allow my untainted image and innocent visage to be marred in front of all these highbrow sorts. Thinking quickly, I came up with a rational and well thought-out solution.
I pretended I was blind.
That's right, I slapped my hand on the wall and shuffled and felt my way back to where I had left my family. No doubt the cast and crew were convinced of my invented handicap and felt bad right away for chortling at the disabled. Had they known I was feinting, they would have offered me a part in their theatrical production right away, no doubt. I can't believe they laughed at a little kid. Jerks.