Friday, January 23, 2009

Humiliation Abounds

Have you ever felt embarrassed for someone?

You know, that feeling that you get whenever you witness something so truly atrocious and humiliating that you project on to yourself the feeling of shame and embarrassment that SHOULD be plaguing the person actually living it? But nine times out of ten they’re oblivious to the fact that they should even be embarrassed by what they’re doing thus making it a million times worse…for YOU.

As I tend to be a pretty compassionate person this sorta thing seems to happen to me often.

For instance, when I used to teach dance classes some of my students would downright humiliate themselves by botching the choreography up so horrendously that I couldn’t help but wish it would just stop. Like now. I mean, you’re cute and all, but that only get’s you so far. And it was particularly painful when the students were out of the “adorably uncoordinated” age bracket and yet still pursuing a dance career when they NEVER should have. “Umm…you’re almost 30. And I’m cringing for you. Please stop that.”

Or any one of these auditions from the newest season of American Idol. (Especially the guy at :20. Someone please inform him that he is NOT the lead singer from Live.)

And question? Do any of these people have family members or loved ones that could maybe say “Hey. I love ya and all but you’re really not so talented in the whole singing arena. Maybe we skip the nationally televised and heavily criticized auditions and save you a little dignity, whadya say?”

Or then there’s that time when I was on the other receiving end of the sympathy pains.

I was struggling through those first brutal years of high school. The epitome of “Nerd”, thick glasses, teeth fighting each other (and trust me, adding the braces to the equation later didn’t help my case much either), high waters, stack of books above eye level and not a friend to my name (real or imagined) I DREADED lunch time.

So to ease the pain of being the only awkward loser in the cafeteria, staring into an endless abyss of unfriendly faces and premeditated jeers when the reality set in that I had NO ONE to sit with, instead I chose to find solace in the bathroom stalls. Locked inside a 2’ x 4’ bacteria infested breeding ground for syphilis for the duration of my school’s new hour long lunch, I silently ate my brown bagged meal and re-read all the expletives canvassing my surroundings.

That is until one day I was ripped from my seclusion and discovered. Apparently those bathrooms do get cleaned every now and then (you could have fooled me) and no one was allowed inside but the janitor. I heard her yelling to make sure the coast was clear and thus commence the scrub down but instead of tossing my lunch in my bag and walking out with SOME dignity intact, I decided that I could just amble my way up on top of the toilet and be able to stay comfortably while she cleaned everything BUT my stall. (Genius, I know.)

Unfortunately, they have these little things called KEYS to unlock the stalls when they’re stuck. And to my dismay, I suddenly heard the lock sliding and instantaneously found myself staring into the eyes of a heavyset, toothless black woman. Crouched above the crusty toilet, generic Dr. Thunder and brown sack of corn dogs and Funyuns clenched in my scrawny fists, glasses askew and terror plastered all over my face, she had found me.

Without a word, I knew the jig was up. I had been outed. No friends, no life, no dignity. And now I must walk all alone in to the gaping cafeteria, halfway through the period with food no longer a distraction for my taunting classmates, and humiliate myself as I shuffle aimlessly about looking for a place to sit. ALONE.

And amidst all her laughter and judgmental glares, I’m sure that janitor was embarrassed for me.

P.S. I should mention that I have been responding to your comments under the respective blogs, so check back often to read my replies! KTHNXPREESH


Miss Anne said...

I used to laugh at the American Idol goofs that they would show, but now, my heart just ache's for them. Especially the ones who GENUINELY think they are good.. not the freaks that are TRYING to be freaks to get on tv...

odd.. i too, ate my lunch in the bathroom.. or the biology lab.

we would have been besties.


insomniaclolita said...

oh my god, sorry you had such rough times. It's always hard in high school, I had some bad experience too. But I can never imagine if I have to hide in bathroom stalls :(

PoisonIvy068 said... sorry hunny but reading the second half of that post had me dying laughing..i know the feeling tho. i switched school in the 4th grade and my mom cut off all my long curly hair. you know what short curly hair looks like? A MUSHROOM..nuff' said! :)

AnneNguyen said...

i kinda think that those acts are just put on the show on purposE and those people are paid to do that.. because honestly would embaress themselves on tv like that? im sure they all have a brain and arent stupid.

Wendy said...

The same thing happens to me! I get so embarrassed for the person that's making a fool out of themselves. That's why I can't watch AI audition. It makes me uncomfortable.

I'm sorry about the janitor lady finding you. But hey, thank god High School's over! :)

theoddduckling said...

Are you seriously trying to kill my determine to audition for Idol? That hurt to watch and I feel awful for some of these poor souls.

As for high school awkwardness, I remember eating in the bio lab, and the spanish room, and the library. Never ate in the bathroom.

Although that could be because I couldn't have opened my mouth without smoke coming in.

- Kendall

Emily said...

miss anne - um, duh!!! bff for life. lol

insomniac lolita - it's ok. it wasn't so bad. i only ate in there for a month...or 2...or 4. who's counting?

poison ivy - OMG. i have long curly hair too which at one time was also chopped into a FRO. sooo not a good look for me. lol so i'm with you on that one.

anne nguyen - exactly. some are just so ridiculous that you know they're staged. but then there are others who genuinely think they can sad.

wendy - thank god is right!! i don't think i could do it again. i wasn't exactly one of the popular girls. but you could have probably figured that out from this post. lol

odd duck - smoke? tisk tisk. yet another reason why i was the quintessential nerd. never did any of that stuff. i know, i know...

Emmie said...

Ahh american idol so funny and yet so, so cruel.

It seems like you came out of your tough time at school and turned into quite a confident, stable minded person. Thats something to be proud of x

Kelly Marie said...

I love your posts! I didn't eat my lunch in the bathroom in high school, but in middle school I did eat my lunch in the band hall. I think we would have been bfffff!

Emily said...

emmie - thanks so much for your kind words. while confident i may be somewhat. stable...ehh i think that's debatable. (or so the boo would have you think.)

kelly marie - you, me and miss anne could have formed a nerds anonymous club and all been bffffffs! :]

Bella@That damn expat said...

awww that's such a sad story. I'm sorry you had such an experience. And that definitely doesn't fall under the "I'm embarrassed for you" category. That woman should have felt sympathy, as all of us are feeling now.

Crowscious said...

LMAO high school was awful for me too. I transferred for sophomore year from India to a public school in the U.S and boy was it a hundred times worse than I thought it would be! I couldn't even hide in the stalls because there would be all these girls outside cryin about their boyfriends and their make-up. Crazy :D

theoddduckling said...

Just for the record, it wasn't me that was smoking. Just that my high school had a horrible drug problem my first two years. Eww.

- Kendall

Emily said...

bella - well thanks for that. but sometimes it's hard to discern the difference between the two. but don't worry. i'm ok now. i survived it all unscathed and just a little more snarky. but i'm just fine with that.

crowscious - i know right? who was highschool NOT hard on? i think you'd be pressed to find someone who didn't find it at least a little awkward from time to time.

odd duck - ahhh i see. and i can concur. my school wasn't nicknamed "scandalweed" for no reason. true story.

Cookie Monster said...

As much as I would love to laugh at these guys... I think sometimes that they do these things to stand out.... in life you will see many talented people, I mean super talented, but they wont have the balls to stand out in front of millions of people and do their thing.

I think at the end of the day, those guys who do turn up on AI and rightfully get rejected, walk out with their head held high because they know that they had a chance to perform... and it's entertainment for all of us too!

Btw, totally sympathise with the school story - a lot of us go through the same, geeks or otherwise... High school is always tough!

Jacqueline said...

I don't know how I missed this the first time you posted it, but I got teary eyed reading this story. I'm sorry you had such a rough time. Love you! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

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