The Embarrassing Incidents

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Missing The Cue

Have you ever had such an experience that one day you suddenly realize that you missed a verbal cue two years, three years or even ten years ago? I mean it could be a deliberate hint, a veiled interest, a tentative sharing, a statement disguised as a question, a flash of honesty in an unguarded moment, which reveals a tender soul or a rebellious spirit.

I think I am an expert in missing cues. Actually I am a collector, with all the passing years stuffed with life’s clues that I should have picked up but didn’t. And then when everything is over and supposed to be passed into happy oblivion, I have the misfortune to recall it and regret about it.

Losing Voice During A Meeting

I can only have at most two meetings a day talking in person or on Zoom. If it’s more than that, I would lose my voice. It is embarrassing to have to drink copious water to soothe my throat as if I’m a fish. Inevitably, somebody would say, “you drink like a fish.” The problem is the throat refuses to be comforted and I end up talking like somebody who just had a throat surgery.

I remember my father used to tell me that I didn’t know how to use my voice. However since my parents were perpetually negative, I never listened to them. This is a proof that even somebody you don’t listen to has something worthy to say sometimes.

She Told Me So Much

I remember that’s a big campus party in our international house, after which she remained after everybody else was gone. Nobody knew that she slept on the couch downstairs. The next morning, at the breakfast, she suddenly poured everything out–about her family, her boyfriend, her job. She’s a nurse who had ambitions; her boyfriend is cute but without table manners when eating spaghetti; she escaped her orthodox Jewish family as a freshman to be an atheist, but now she wanted to go back to be an orthodox Jew again with a modern twist.

I was totally dumbfounded by this stranger–she’s almost a new species to me. I didn’t know human beings are capable of becoming fast friends like this. She almost told me everything and I had to reciprocate. It’s immoral to be silent when facing such a unguarded girl who cut her chest open and delivered her warm pounding heart to me.

Now I have forgotten what I said at the time, but I remembered my determination to reveal my darkest secrets and the most embarrassing details. At the time I had failed relationships that I was ashamed to tell other people in case people came to the realization how stupid I really was. I had a narcissistic family, for which I was a gatekeeper who diligent guarded its unappetizing bitterness in case other people started to understand how mad we actually were. I had even tried to make friends based on the mutual interests in language, which ended in miserable failures. I certainly had a lot of details to share, but now I have already forgotten which one I selected to divulge.

I never saw my fast friend again. Actually I really wanted to meet her again, just to feel how embarrassed I could be, knowing that she knew my secrets…

Presumption, Presumption

Have you ever met such a person who agrees to your idea about a project at first. Later on, when things are underway, this person starts to pick out two of the main points in your idea and throws them away. I mean without these two main points, your idea looks ridiculous, but this person doesn’t care.

The devil is in the details. This person agrees to the general idea, but he or she doesn’t like specific things in the midst. And that is what I am in the middle of. I am not in the liberty of revealing everything, but I have to say I am really annoyed at myself that I just presumed that when people agree to something, they agree to all parts included in it. That’s actually not true. I should have deconstructed the whole thing and break it apart so that each smaller point gets discussed and agreed on. I didn’t. Well, another lesson learned, even if sometimes one just doesn’t want to learn anymore.

20 thoughts on “The Embarrassing Incidents

  1. Yes, I have delayed embarrassment when I realize years later that I misread a situation or a verbal cue. If I remember some, I’ll probably blog about them! I used to lose my voice at work because I talked too much but when people are under stress (like a big presentation), physiological changes can also affect the voice. I agree with Blackthorn that people hear what they want to hear. That causes miscommunication that both parties feel was caused by the other one.

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    1. I have misread, mislearned, misobserved, misunderstood so many things. Now I start to wonder everything I think is appropriate right now may be considered misappropriate later on. What I take for communication is just a miscommunication in polite disguise.

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  2. I have an issue with trusting people. Could be because of certain traumatic incidents in life. I’d rather keep to myself than reveal something and then feel regretful for it. Maybe there’s an underlying phobia here but I can’t shake it. You just be the way you feel is right for you. 🙂

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    1. My issue is not being able to balance. Sometimes I will say whatever and sometimes I will be quite reserved. It seems that I can never have the good balance. Also I want to say good things, not just anything… sometimes small talk is really needed.

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  3. I don’t know why but my voice always goes during meetings and I always end up sounding like a chain smoker. I always keep some tea near me during meetings so I can sip it and regain my voice. Don’t be embarrassed these things happen.

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  4. For some reason your last section makes me think off the old joke about the brush that’s had 10 new heads and 5 new handles.

    The same sort of thing is going on when people agree with you – but when they continue to talk you realise that they’re saying the opposite to what you said (or something very different). People hear what they want to hear.

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    1. So true. I mean the agreement is just for politeness sake and when it comes down to the details, one realizes that there’s no agreement at all. I should have anticipated this, but I didn’t. At the spur of the moment, i felt so good about myself to think that people agreed with me. . LOL.

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    1. The problem with telling somebody you know is that you feel that your problem may come to define you in their eyes. I often feel that way even if I’m only telling people about my hobbies and interests. I don’t want to be defined even in small ways like that. And your interests always feel somehow lessened when they’re fed back to you by the person who knows about them.

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      1. True. I don’t have the habit of revealing things about myself. However I also don’t want to live a life like my parents who never communicated and who were silent in everything. I mean we seem to have an agreement with people around us how much we want to reveal to each other. It seems a tacit unwritten agreement.

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