Life is full of embarrassing moments. Different levels of embarrassing too. One man's embarrassing story is just another man's awkward, fleeting moment soon to be forgotten. I had a face-off like this before. I won, simply because the guy who started the competition only had an awkward story to share as his most embarrassing moment. Forgetting your basketball shorts and having to wear someone else's during a game isn't embarrassing unless they were too big and fell down during the game...sorry Brad, no win on that one. So he got most awkward and I got most embarrassing. But I digress.
I've had big embarrassing moments, like falling down a flight of stairs in an extremely reverent church setting, retelling embarrassing moments (because school, especially college classes, thought that would build unity). ...And that's pretty much it, because I'm not easily embarrassed. At some point in my life, I can't put my finger on when, I developed a sense that something has to be really embarrassing to be an embarrassing moment worth remembering.
The story I am about to tell doesn't hold with it the shame of embarrassment, but rather the shame that comes with getting caught eating cookies from the cookie jar. I share all that embarrassing rhetoric above because at first, I thought I was embarrassed, and now I realize that I'm not actually.
The story involves a sign on the wall at work and two little bottles of super cheap super glue:
A long, long time ago, down on the second floor, the "P" in "group" fell from grace. It plummeted three feet to the carpet below. It was found by a passerby who immediately ran it up to my desk in hopes that I could fix it. I graciously accepted the fallen consonant and warmly welcomed it as an object to add to a growing collection of miscellaneous things at my desk and promptly forgot about it. A few weeks later I saw the "P" amongst my things and decided to try and do something...I passed the buck off to someone else. In my memory, I had e-mailed several people and put up a valiant effort to save this letter, but the facts will tell you otherwise.
The "P" was restored to its rightful place amongst the other letters in "Group" and the fiasco was quickly forgotten about. That is until a few months ago when some unknown stranger was strolling past the conglomerate of words on the wall and found himself stuck to the bottom corner of the "P", the letter holding on desperately to the fabric of this stranger's polo as though its very life depended on it. The stranger was able to free himself, but not before the "P" had loosened the bottom half of it's body, making it easier to latch on to other passersby.
Calls and e-mails flooded my voicemail and inbox. I had recalled from the first time that the people who put up the sign had been no help and that we had used something akin to super glue, so I put in an order for super glue. When it arrived my new partner in crime, Lil' Bit, and I went to the second floor to investigate the situation and to put things right.
After two bottles of super glue, several moments of panic as we thought out fingers were stuck to the letters and standing, pushing against the wall as quite a few people from the office walked by with smart remarks and hardy-har-hars, the 'P' as well as the 'R' were sturdy and immovable. There were, however, permanent finger prints on the letters, encapsulated by dried super glue, and an incredibly accurate right angle of dried glue on the wall that had dripped down from one of the letters.
The incident is infamous, with even the CEO knowledgeable about what we had done. The people from the sign company denied ever telling us to use super glue and they came to inspect the damage...dismal in their eyes, but the letters aren't hurting anyone anymore so I feel like crime has been fought and justice satisfied. I kept up my vigilant search for the e-mail that would prove we had done what we should have done, but couldn't find it. I finally broke down and sent a text to the only woman who would know/remember what had really happened. Here is our conversation:
Troublemaker: We called the company and they put it back 4 us...they have special stuff they put on there 4 it...it won't stay up if you put glue or anything on there.'
Me: Soo....super glue is a bad idea. Got it. Thanks!
Troublemaker: Did u try and super glue it back???
Me: I don't want to talk about it...but sadly, it was the highlight of my week.
Troublemaker: that made me giggle...i still love u!
When I told Lil' Bit that I may have been wrong about the glue she said that she would handle it, I told her it was my doing, I would take care of it, she smiled up and me and said, "Let's not pretend we both didn't have something to do with it." And in that moment I thought of a saying I had read a long time ago, "A good friend will come bail you out of jail, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying...'that was fun!'"
The pain and closest thing to embarrassment in this situation? I remembered something that never happened and let it guide my actions. The highlight? Apparently Lil' Bit and I accomplished the impossible. They said it wouldn't stick...but it's sticking!