• Screwing something up that you are supposed to be an expert in is the definition of true embarrassment. I feel for ya! My moment was back when I was working as a radio DJ and accidentally swore on the air. Didn’t realize the mic was still on. Oops.


    • Hi SD, Yep, that is the worse feeling ever. I loved your story and I can so see that happening… LOL.

    • Well done… at least I couldn’t get fired for what I did!

  • I was feeling it with you. OMG! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Cheryl, Me too!!! I hate it when that kind of stuff happens. 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed it… as long as you didn’t laugh too loud!

  • So has no one commented yet because they don’t want to share an embarrassing story or am I just really early in reading this? Good storytelling, Dan. Performance anxiety is no fun.

    • Hi Leora, I think it’s a little of both… LOL. I agree with you, Dan did do a nice job with his story. 🙂

    • Leora – you missed one thing… your embarrassing story!

      • All right, all right! The only one I can think of worth reporting is a kid I once got on the wrong camp bus. Why I was so embarrassed I can’t say. But the feeling sticks with me years later. (now, that’s not much of a story, is it?)

  • Julie

    That is the worst feeling ever. I have had a few embarrassing moments in my life and I could feel for you. 🙂

    • Hi Julie, I do know what you mean, and haven’t we all. 🙂

  • Kimberly Morris Gauthier

    My embarrassing story is long, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

    I was home sick, curled up on the sofa with our 3 dogs when I noticed someone walking to our door on crutches. I live in a rural area on 5 acres (he had to walk a ways to get from the road to our door. I also live with a cop and don’t trust strangers. My first thought was that the crutches were a ruse and we were about to be burglarized (most burlaries occur during the day when folks are at work).

    I hit the panic button and call 911 (not necessary to do both, but hey).

    As I was on the phone with 911 my boyfriend was getting calls from all the deputies in the area about the panic at his house (why I hit the panic button). I also noticed that the man on crutches was wearing flanel PJs, had one leg (hence the crutches) and was leading a donkey by the rope.

    I heard “a donkey?” from the 911 operator, my boyfriend, and the 3 deputies (including a sargeant, if you’re a cops wife, you know that’s a big deal) who responded. The 911 operator offered to call them off when I realized I wasn’t being burglarized, but I knew they’d show up to see the one legged man and the donkey – who had vanished by the time they got their so I looked like a nut job.
    They found him and his donkey and I still get teased by the local deputies.

    • I can see why nobody believed you :). However, I can also see why that’d be pretty scary! Better safe than sorry, right?

  • Jon Jefferson

    When I was in the Marines my MOS was 0351 (Dragon Gunner). My job was to fire a really big missile at tanks and destroy them. For the warhead to go active on these missiles they had to fly at least 65 meters. So imagine the targets you would normally be looking for had to be quite a bit farther than that. My first live fire was so bad, I grounded the missile at about 30 meters.
    The Dragon missile cost roughly $5000 each back then, and now are no longer in service. As part of our job we were required to fire 1 live round a year. So no real chance to even redeem myself for another year after this grand screw up.
    The EOD guy who made sure it was dead after this brought me the lead slug that does the essential work from my missile.

    • HA! I bet you didn’t hear the end of this for a long time…

  • Martin Casper

    Isn’t experiences like these that keep us humble and grounded? Great story Dan and a great lesson for all of us.

    • Thanks Martin – yes, anytime I think I’m a little too cool I can definitely think back to some of my embarrassing stories and then stay humble 🙂

  • Tommy Tan

    These embarrassing moments are what you can talked about for the rest of your life. I’m sure all your friends and family will remember this.

    • Tommy – so true… people love to hear stories like this because we can all relate

  • Bethany Lee

    Aw Dan, I thought it would be more embarrassing than that. That wasn’t so bad. 🙂 Of course, I was not the one experiencing it and I have never been a sophomore boy with a tough black belt!
    As for the focus, I know what you mean. It is interesting to see the result that your lack of focus did for you. Speaking of that, I need to get focused right now! 🙂

    • Well… It was bad enough that I didn’t want to talk about it for a decade and a half! Of course it’s never as bad as you think it is, but I’ll be happy to not have to do it again!

  • Well Dan – All I can say is you’re lucky if that is the most embarrassing thing you’ve done, crushing as it must have been at the time. Teenagers lives do feel like they hang in the balance with little provocation, so I can imagine it feeling devastating for you at the time. Sounds like you’re ready to laugh about it now. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Hi A.K., I agree with you. The teenage experience can be interesting and a bit scary at the same time. The great part is we can laugh about it when we’re older. 🙂

  • oops – pressed post too quickly. When I was a teenager (13), I was performing in Ireland while I was on holiday, singing. When I reached the high notes, I completely lost control of my voice as I was so nervous, and it went half an octave higher. I was mortified, and so were my parents I think , as everyone in the club just stopped listening and started talking. It didn’t help that I was singing a Bob Dylan song & what they wanted to hear were things like “Nobody’s Child” as the talented girl before me had done. Horrible experience at the time, tho’ in the scheme of life, probably a good lesson to be learned somewhere in there.

    • Thanks for sharing… It does sound pretty horrific… I had to write about it before I learned my lesson so maybe you should take it to paper!

  • So Dan didn’t do well under pressure for a bunch of high school kids……….well that sounds about normal we all know how much pressure being around kids who know you can be, you know they are watching and you feel so bloody on edge………oh well it made a good story so that is something………..maybe not much but something………

    • Haha, so true. It’s even harder for kids now because this story would have ended up on YouTube and gone viral… Poor kids!

  • Elizabeth Sott

    Susan and Dan,

    Reading this story reminds me of what so many people go through. I too have experienced this feeling. There are probably more than I would like to remember. Dan, the best part of the story is that you learned from this.

    • Elizabeth – I think it literally took 15 years to realize I learned a lesson from this… I’m glad I dug up the story 🙂

  • Pat Ruppel

    Thank you for sharing – I could feel his embarrassment. Is that what they tell us is character building stuff? Sure is tough at the time. 🙂

    • Hi Pat – thanks for the comment… I agree that it’s real tough at the time! It was one of those things I thought I’d lock up forever, but I’m glad I wrote about it now.

  • Ha! Good use of building dramatic tension, especially with the repetition of 3, 2, 1, Kick! One of my more embarrassing moments would be going on and on about one of my students at a parent teacher conference only to realize I wasn’t talking about their child. Oops. Talk about staring daggers…

    • Haha, that’s pretty awesome. At least you weren’t talking about the other terrible kids in the class (which might have been there’s)!

  • I can empathize with you, Dan. I still remember the evening so many years ago when I played a cornet solo with my high school band. I had practiced for weeks but was filled with anxiety. I stepped on the stage, started to play and half way through blanked out. The conductor — we called him “Chief” — stopped the band while I composed myself. We started again where I had stopped and I got through the solo. I was embarrassed and mortified. Leaving the school after the concert with my parents I overheard another student walking behind us, unaware I was right in front of him, say, “Oh, that poor Jeannette Paladino – she forgot the music.” I still remember it like it was yesterday.

    • Hi Jeannette, How hard that must have been for you. It’s hard enough to practice so much and then to blank makes just that more painful. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Love the story Dan and I can relate to it. I learned ballet for about 13 years and one year when I was 11 I had to perform in a contest. I had rehearsed and on the day during the classical dance about half way through my mind went blank. I couldn’t remember the steps to take or the sequence of the steps. Needless to say I improvised which was pretty bad and worse was watching the look of horror on the face of my ballet teacher. Luckily I had great parents who put it into perspective but it took a long while to get over it.

    • Hi Susan, I can just see that happening and so felt your pain. I think that happens to all of us at one time or another. Thanks for sharing your “moment”. 🙂

  • Chadrack

    Hmm, great story and indeed great lesson! Now, I don’t have the courage to tell my most embarrassing moment yet, at least not to the whole world. Maybe when I have that courage I’ll do so! 🙂

    But the lesson from this story is very clear. As an introvert I understand very well what it means to fail in the front people. Yes, we really don’t want people to see that flair in us but unfortunately, I have learned that the more you try to be more too self-conscious the more you make mistakes. This is where the problems comes in. Instead of looking inwards and building the confidence you need knowing that you have done it before and you can do it again, you were more concerned with what those around would think of you.

    If I may apply this to succeeding in whatever we do, I would say, don’t be too concerned with people’s opinion of who you are. Build your self esteem and have confidence in your abilities any day any time.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Chadrack, I would agree. As a teenager that isn’t so easy to do. As life advances we then can see the lesson and then we can benefit from it. 🙂

  • Dan, You are coming in terms with that embarrassing moment to talk about it now. The most embarrassing moments at some point in life may not be that embarrassing when we look back.

    This one is still a family favorite after almost 4 decades…and I can talk about it by laughing .

    My uncle brought a taperecorder. i was a small kid at that time. My mom taught me the ABC song:

    Little children, listen to me,

    I will teach you A,B,C,D…..and I am supposed to sing up to Z.

    Remember, English is not my mother tongue. I didn’t know the meaning of what I was singing. But, people in India loved to teach their kids few rhymes like this one.

    My older cousin, who taught me the parody of this rhyme, in my mother tongue, which means some thing like this one:” ABCD, I got a broken cigarette, and police caught me” (Too bad, many of the words have no correct translation..)

    When my uncle wanted to record my song, instead of the real one, I sung the parody in all the excitement. Everybody burst in to laugh and I realized my mistake. What a 3 year old do, when so embarrassed????

    I just cried, loud just like any three year olds. My uncle recorded everything and for my younger years, each family gathering was so painful and embarrassing.

    Every kid born in the family knows this one about me. Last time I heard about it is when my daughter was telling her cousin(my niece)”You know, my mom….

    • Hi Bindu, That was a really fun story and one I’m sure you’ll continue to hear about many years to come. Thank you for sharing your “moment”. 🙂

  • Kelly Wade

    I think anyone can understand how that is your most embarrassing moment. Especially in those high school years we’re all pretty prone to embarrassment and feeling self conscious, but it was brave to even get up there at all. My most embarrassing moment happened in high school too but I don’t think I’ll ever share it on the internet!

    • Hi Kelly, High school can be fraught with opportunities like this, can’t it? I too commend Dan for having the courage to do what he did. :-).

  • Auction Mama

    I agree it wasn’t as bad as I had expected, but then again, it didn’t happen to me either

    • Hi There, Dan did do a nice job of describing the whole experience. As a highschooler and having that kind of pressure, it’s no wonder it has stayed with him as one of his most embarrassing moments. Thanks for adding your thoughts and stopping by. :-)))

  • Valerie Remy-Milora

    What a great story Dan and thanks for sharing.. My 12 year old was competing in TaeKwanDo a couple of years ago in the hopes of becoming a world champion and I can completely relate to your story! When she competed she just shone! Confident, focused just stunning. But I will never forget her testing for her greenbelt. I watched with tears in my eyes as she committed to completing her test though it was clear she wanted nothing more than to disappear. I don’t know if you are familiar with Mike Chat, the creator of XMA. My daughter was training with him. XMA students perform all the time. During this testing he was drilling the kids on various strikes and kicks. Everything was great until he moved into the purple belt curriculum and my daughter was lost because she was not there yet. (he was testing 2 levels together) My daughter got quieter and quieter and when it came time for her to perform her form she “disappeared”! She knew it so well but she could not get though it. Mike Chat broke it down with her and coaxed her through but it was brutal to watch her fight back tears and doubt herself so much. I knew she wanted to quit and walk off, but she did not and for that I am extremely proud of her. When we talked about it later, she said she felt embarrassed in front of her peers. When she compete the people watching her were strangers so it did not matter, but in front of her peers she froze. She felt judged and worried she would disappoint them.

    • Hi Valerie, It really is a great story. I could feel you pain when you were telling the story of your daughter. I think the hardest thing for a kid is to perform in front of their peers. I applaud her for her courage. 🙂