Most of my most embarrassing moments – funny in retrospect – have involved mishaps with food.
In one college apartment, two just a few months apart.
My roommate and I had just moved in. We made a big chocolate cake. One night our next-door neighbors, two cute guys, knocked on the door. My roommate was out.
I invited them in, a little flustered. Not knowing what to say, I offered them cake. The cake was on top of the fridge. This was a tiny studio apartment, so even though the guys were in the living-sleeping area, they were looming right into the kitchen. In my nervous hurry, I reached up for the cake and pulled it down. Too fast. The whole cake went flying off the plate across the kitchen and landed near the guys’ feet.
We stared at the chocolate blob. “Guess we’ll see you later,” they said.
A few months later, I was dating another guy in the building on the ground floor. My roommate and I had gone grocery shopping. I saw my sort-of boyfriend sitting by his window, so I made a big show of leaping up the stairs, bags in my arms. I tripped. The bags fell over. Worse, I was stuck, landed awkwardly on my hand and couldn’t get up. We had bought malted milk balls and eaten some, so the little balls spilled out and were bouncing all around me on the stairs. My boyfriend ran out to help and he wasn’t sure whether to catch me or the malted milk balls.
I got through the next few years without too many mishaps. Well, there was one overturned chef’s salad in my lap when I tried to cut a stiff tomato wedge.
But then came Day One of a new job on a local newspaper. The reporter I was replacing took me to a luncheon to meet all the city officials: mayor, police chief, city manager, council members, etc. I was squeezing a slice of lemon into my iced tea and it slipped from my between my thumb and forefinger, catapulting across the room and landing on a council person’s plate.
“Good going,” said my reporter friend. “Great first impression.”
Since then I have been either more careful or lucky, who knows.
The other major food-related mishap was not totally my fault. A girlfriend and I had ordered special salads in a fancy restaurant, not knowing they were jello-aspic salads. Shaped and decorated like clown faces. As soon as the server put them down, the faces wiggled and wriggled. We started laughing and couldn’t stop. In fact, we had to leave. I guess you had to be there to appreciate the enhanced vision.