The occasion was Aparna’s sister’s wedding. While I was getting dressed, I discovered to my horror that my favourite black velvet high-heel shoes had an issue. The left one had separated from its heel. But I had to wear them! So, I stuck the heel and the shoe together in what I thought was a 2-hour safe plan. The adhesive I used was a trusty thing called Quikfix. It didn’t last 30 minutes. They, the velvet killers, were sitting at the opposite end of the room, beside the marigold decorations, staring at my velvet dream and snorting (aka howling in resplendent, cruel delight). The witches.
What stays with me to this day is not the excruciating pain of seeing the left heel peeping askew from beneath the shoe, but the superlative excruciation of seeing those two idiots cackling at the sight of it. Blood rushed to my ears and cheeks. It felt hot. I had to get up and go. I got up. The nearly shoe-less heel knew nothing better than to wobble beneath my weight. The crescendo of the Indian drums singing praises of the bride coincided with the now-peaked squirts of dolorous, heart-breakingly amused laughter. The last sounds I heard in that room were of my pride being slaughtered at the hands of those, arrgh, the names are too embarrassing for weak nerves. Let it rest.
The point is that embarrassments are never too minor. Ask the one at the receiving end. Ask yourself. Could you call that ballroom scuffle you had with your charming date ‘simply nothing’? When your feet experienced unexplainable magnetic attraction towards your partner’s left big toe each and every time you waltzed?
My sentiments exactly.
To do justice to our superior intellect, however, let us explore the possibilities of overcoming the urge to fall face down on to the murky waters (or whatever else is available, as long as it keeps the trauma of distressing feelings safely zip-locked) and hide. The importance of overcoming this urge is just one. To relieve yourself of the intense desire to smash the heads of your tormentors. You don’t want to go to jail, should your wishes be granted, do you?
So, what is the best way to overcome debilitating embarrassment?
I don’t know.
Or, remove the cause of embarrassment. If you are a red leaf among the gold ones in a Christmas wreath, stop being red. Possible? Nah.
Or, stop feeling embarrassed.
Is it worth a thought? To not feel a deep sense of shame at a situation you have no control over? All right, agreed you allowed your shimmery dress to ride up to your waist at the posh party; every one was too embarrassed on your behalf to tell you; and you discover it only when The Queen is set to honour your (more respectful) doings. We will heartily laugh at your sad predicament. But you can choose to laugh, too! And learn the importance of smoothing out that shimmery dress.