Spoiler: majorly embarrassing stories ahead……
Yesterday, over lunch, my friends and I were sharing our best embarrassing stories. You know, the ones that made you blush so hard you thought your face was actually going to combust into a bunch of fiery napalm and set ablaze everyone within 15 square yards of you. We’re not talking the kind of mild embarrassment that happens when you walk in late on the first day of class and get called out by the teacher.
We’re talking stress-dreams-of-getting-caught-stark-naked-in-a-Costco-parking-lot-on-a-Sunday-afternoon kind of embarrassment.
Unfortunately, I’m terrible at calling up examples while they are still relevant (i.e. during conversation), so I didn’t contribute much to our lunch sharing session. I did enjoy a very nice Afghani spinach flatbread, though.
But as it turns out, this is very lucky for you guys, since I’ve decided to spend this Friday sharing a few of my favorites with you! None of which involve unwanted nudity, thank goodness. So without further ado….
Quite a few years ago at Disneyland, I was waiting in line for the bathroom next to Adventureland. There I was, fiddling with my gray Tigger jacket sleeve, minding my own business, when I suddenly look up and notice an Asian man with short-cropped hair, spectacles, and a rather square jaw standing in front of me.
Of course, I immediately feel embarrassed for the poor man. Can he read English? His unfashionable red sweater and khaki pants tell me he might be a tourist (thank you, vast over-stereotyping), and as we get closer and closer to the front of the line, I start fidgeting. Finally, when I see the “Women’s Restroom” sign passing us by the restroom entrance, I decide I can’t let him go through the agonizing embarrassment of walking into the Women’s restroom by mistake. So I do the worst thing I could possibly do in such a situation: I tap him on the arm.
Note to self: do not confront people who are nowhere near as nervous as you are about their bathroom choices.
In my best 16-year old explanatory voice, I point up at the sign and say: “Excuse me, this is the women’s restroom.”
For a second, the man stares at me. I look back up at him, feeling vaguely pleased that I have done my civic duty as a cheery Disneyland-goer. Pleased, that is, until he opens his mouth and says, in broken English:
“I am woman.” In a very much female voice. And so she was.
On the last day of my internship, a bunch of interns and I decided to take final pictures together before parting ways. At one point, one of the guy interns standing behind me said something like, “Come on, gather round and pretend like we like each other!”
Eager to please, as always, I turned promptly around, my arms twirling around me like the wings on those sky dancer fairy dolls from the 90s when–thwack! My hand collides, open palm first, with something….something….
I look up and see the grimace of pain on his face. I had nailed my coworker straight in the groin.
It took a full 5 minutes for me to stop laughing/crying/cringing long enough to walk back and finish getting my picture taken…after which I immediately ran away to the car and hightailed it out of there at 65 mph in a 12 mph parking lot.
My first year in college, I was in my floormate’s dorm room with his friend. My floormate left to run an errand with a mild warning: “Don’t try anything funny while I’m gone!” He left. His friend and I looked at each other and grinned. With that kind of an invitation, who could resist pranking him?
Somehow, we decided (for worse or for really worse) to crawl under his covers and disappear–the rather immature joke being that we were most definitely doing “funny stuff” while he was gone. Given we had really just met, we waited for a really rather awkward 3 minutes this way on the bed when we heard the door open and immediately threw the covers up over our heads, giggling.
Then we hear voices. And not just my floormate’s. Grownup voices.
As far as I could tell (from the hazy explanation of my equally embarrassed floormate, through the hardest blush I have ever managed), he had gone downstairs to let in not just another person or two, but five. And those five people happened to be his entire. Freakin’. Family.
He didn’t let me forget it for as long as we kept in touch. The worst part was, I still had to stammer out a self-introduction while I was climbing out of the bed and trying desperately to flatten out my hair into semi-presentable order. I’m surprised his whole room didn’t catch on fire from the heat radiating from my cheeks.
Needless to say, if I had had my hands on this English Toffee recipe back then, I probably could have chucked them at my floormate’s family and just made a run for the door. It’s damn good, simple, stovetop candy that requires just a bit of practice and a good, firm sweet tooth. Enjoy it!
In the meantime: what about you? What embarrassing story would you share?
- 1 cup butter (not margarine)
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped almonds (or other nut)
- Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan or pot, combine butter, sugar, and water. Bring mixture to a rolling boil.
- Stir the boiling mixture constantly until it reaches 300 degrees F. I did this step without a candy thermometer--it took about 4 minutes for the mixture to reach a light amber color. (To test: take a tiny bit of the mixture from your spoon and drop it into a bowl of ice cold water. If the droplet turns into a hardened piece of candy, your mixture it done!)
- Turn off the heat immediately after the candy has reached this "hard crack" stage. Pour mixture evenly into prepared pan.
- After five minutes, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the candy and allow it to melt for 5 minutes. Spread the chocolate over the candy, then sprinkle with chopped almonds.
- Allow candy and chocolate to cool completely before cutting it into squares and enjoying!