August 13th, 2009 Jamie
We’ve all been there: you’re hanging out with some cool new people, trying to make the best impression, and wham-o, the Most Embarrassing Moment (MEM) attacks.
And when I say we’ve all been there, I mean it. In fact, I was “there” just this past Monday. So let’s look at the situation, and your best options for handling your own MEM.
Monday night my sweetie and I were invited to a welcome dinner put on by a 2nd year med student and his wife. Several new med students and their significant others were going, and it was sort of a get-to-know-you deal, with dinner and the chance to ask some questions about the upcoming school year.
We don’t really know many people here, so I was very excited to go. I chose a special, brand new outfit, carefully did my makeup, and did several mirror checks before we left to make sure everything looked okay. We got to our host’s house right at six, perfectly on time.
And then as I was getting ready to get out of the car, my brand new pants split. Big time.
My sweetie and I had a sort of panicked “honey-my-pants-split!!!” conversation. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say I turned around for him to assess the damage, and it was just as BAD as I’d feared. We searched the car for anything that might be wrapped around my waist, but there was nothing to be found. No change of clothes, no sweater, nothing.
If I learned anything from junior high, it is that nothing glosses over an MEM like your own ability to laugh about it. If you turn red and get horribly embarrassed, people will remember it. They’ll bring it up in conversation. They’ll tease you. And you’ll probably get embarrassed all over again.
If you laugh at it yourself, you basically take their power away (why should they tease you when you already think it’s funny) and you might even be able to find the humor in the situation.
I immediately started laughing, and since we would have been at least a half an hour late if we’d gone home to get me a change of clothes, we decided to go in anyway. I considered telling the story to the hostess and asking her for a sweater (that probably would have been the best idea) but since we had never met them before, I decided against it (though I look forward to telling her the story later when we know each other better!).
If you’ve read even the back cover of pretty much any relationship or networking book, you know that people are attracted to confidence. While we opted to do some clever maneuvering–my honey had to stand behind me as we walked in and out, and while we got our buffet-style food, and I was pretty much glued to my chair any time in between–I also made sure to talk normally and comfortably, stand tall, and act like nothing was wrong.
Projecting confidence not only distracted people from noticing my wardrobe malfunction, but also made me feel better about the whole issue–and prepared me to be able to laugh if anyone mentioned it.
So that is my most recent MEM–a pretty good one if I do say so myself. I’m happy to say we made it through the evening without anyone noticing, but you can bet I’ll do a more thorough wardrobe check before we meet new people from now on.
Entry Filed under: social life