December 23, 2013

Go Ahead & Laugh: My Most Embarrassing Moment.

In many ways I lived a fairly ‘fast’ life in my youth. But when it came to dating, not so much.

When I was about 17 years old, I saw a boy (okay, a man) in my college calculus class that made my heart skip a beat. I somehow had to get to know this decedent creature of my heart’s meow.

I started studying in the library near him, and eventually we would study together. (Yes, I kinda stalked him a bit.) We got to know each other a tad and I found out he had been in the Navy and had also taught tennis lessons for a summer job before the Navy.

At some point an exam in our class was looming close; I gathered all of my courage and asked him to come and study at my place, and that to spice things up, I would make him dinner in exchange for a tennis lesson. (Mind you, I had never played tennis, but the condos that I lived in had a couple courts.) To my surprise he agreed!

I prepared a beautiful dinner of Shrimp Louie and then it was time for my much awaited lesson.

I was pretty much swooning as he took my hand and adjusted my grip on the racket’s handle. Wow—he had actually touched me—and more than once! I was on cloud nine (actually, cloud 10 if there is such a thing).

We started playing, with him looking so hot, well, because he was. And me in my cute navy blue tennis shorts that I had purchased just for this occasion trying to look hip and not blow this opportunity for love.

We actually got a rally going. I didn’t completely suck after all! I was really hoping to impress this guy and I was sure I was doing a great job at it. And he was pretty great at helping me learn—no joke.

Of course I oood and ahhd about his great teaching skills, ‘cause I thought that might help my real mission of getting a kiss from him that day.

As we gained some momentum during the rally, he started doing silly stuff. I just knew that I had this guy in the palm of my hand by this point. He was hitting the ball hard to the very far corners and the back of the court so that he could have a laugh, as there was no way that I could return the play.

And then it happened.

I was front center court and just stood there with my arms out in disbelief and said, “Hey, come on and give me a break!” Just as I spoke those words, he hit a ball that bounced behind me and then hit the wall of green netting (to keep the balls in the court) behind my back. The tennis ball bounced back towards my backside and hit me right where my thighs and my ass connected. I reflexively clenched my muscles and caught the ball with my ass! Oh yes I am talented in many ways!

I was in shock and he looked baffled. “Where did the ball go?” he asked.

I have no memory of what happened after that, but his question still echoes in my head 25 years later:

Where did the ball go?

Where did the ball go?

Where did the ball go? 

If it had happened today it would not have been so bad, but back then, as a starry-eyed teen, it was the absolute worst.

I have thought up all kinds of thing that I could have said in response to diffuse my anxiety since then, like, “If you think that’s good, you should see what I can do with a basketball!” Unfortunately, I didn’t have a comeback line those many years ago.

Funny thing is, we did end up dating for a short while, until he told me about his fiancée in Los Angeles (I was in San Diego).

I guess we both made asses out of ourselves in more ways than one.


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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives



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