01 December 2009

My most embarrassing life

My Most Embarrassing Moment by Suebob, Mrs. Flinger's Period 3 English*

*Explanation at bottom of post

Most embarrassing moments are usually just that: a moment, a brief time of realization and blushing, followed by the blissful softening of time's passing.

But what happens when your embarrassing moment happens and you don't even know about it until long after everyone else has heard about it, when, years later, the realization comes crashing down on you like an emotional pile of bricks?

That's what happened to me.

When I was in my junior year of high school, I awoke one day with terrible back pain. I was in ballet at the time, so I thought I had strained a muscle.

I iced, I used a heating pad, but nothing helped. My mom took me over to the chiropractor and I almost passed out from the pain.

I remember standing at the counter and having my vision disappear down to pinpoints and the noises around me get farther and farther away until someone grabbed me just as I collapsed.

Someone took my temperature and found I had a 104 degree fever. My doctor ordered me admitted to the hospital. Our family doctor at the time was this harsh skinny old guy with a thick German accent. I always suspected that he was a retired Nazi but I'm sure that is just speculation...mmmmaybe.

They put me on the pediatrics ward at the hospital. The doctor came to visit me there and took me into a broom closet and did my first, and by far the worst, pelvic exam of my life.

Between the pain and the fever and the broom closet and a strange man rooting around in my privates with the grace of a ham-handed plumber, I was a mess. During the exam, Dr. Mengele asked me "Are you sexually emancipated?"

This was 1977 and I had no idea what he was talking about. I assumed he was asking me if I was a feminist. After all, the debate over the Equal Rights Amendment was raging at the time. So I said yes.

After that, things get a little fuzzy. My fever went up even higher and I ended up spending six weeks on that peds ward, receiving massive doses of erythromycin for a staph infection that had settled in the bones of my lower spine. Except for developing a permanent hatred for runny food served on plastic plates, I recovered fully.

Fast forward 25 years. My sister Laura and I were talking about the time I had spent in the hospital. She said, laughing, "And that old German doctor told mom and dad you had gonorrhea."

"WHAT?" I yelled.

"You didn't know? He said he had asked you if you were having sex with a lot of people and, with your symptoms, he suspected gonorrhea."

"Doctor Mengele told mom and dad I was having sex with a lot of people and had gonorrhea?? That isn't what he asked me. He said 'sexually emancipated.' I thought he meant if I approved of women being firefighters and judges!"

So my most embarrassing moment lasted 25 years, the years when my parents thought I was a total slut.

Mrs. Flinger has a new project: trying to help bloggers become better writers. Thank God. Somebody has to!

The idea is that we will do weekly writing assignments and give each other gentle and helpful criticism. Week one's topic: My Most Embarrassing Moment. Ok!


meno said...

You didn't clue in when "The Whore of Babylon" appeared under your name in the family photos?

Rachel said...


Brigid said...

And this just reminded me of not one, but two more of my own horrifying stories. The mind works in interesting ways.

Gigi said...

Are you kidding that he took you in the broom closet for the pelvic exam? If not, that seems really bizarre and unprofessional. I'm oddly fixated on that detail of your embarrassing story, sorry.

LittlePea said...

Sexually Emancipated. I like it. I'll have to use it from now on. It sounds so much better than "total slut."

Mrs. Flinger said...

A) I love you for participating. B) I literally snorted out loud when I read, "This was 1977 and I had no idea what he was talking about. I assumed he was asking me if I was a feminist. After all, the debate over the Equal Rights Amendment was raging at the time. So I said yes."

I will never mistake being a feminist for being a whore ever again. I thank you.

The Activist said...

What an ambiqous que. "Are you sexually emancipated?". 25 yrs of embarrassment. That was huge!

Isabella Golightly said...


Anonymous said...

Gods mill grinds slow but sure........................................

flurrious said...

I am trying to decide why the "firefighters and judges" line is making me laugh so hard, and I think it's because a teenaged you thought that your doctor was trying to discuss the ERA with you while he was rooting around in your bajingo. The whole thing is horrifying, yet hilarious.

J said...

OMG! You poor thing, both for the horrid embarrassment, and a staph infection in your spine. I've never heard of that, but it's scary as hell.

Sexually emancipated? The broom closet? You're freaking me out.

Noelle said...

My Mom would have kicked my a$$ right there in the pediatrics ward if my doctor told her that - fever or no fever. I was afraid to tell her when I was pregnant with my first child, and I had been married for 3 years. All I could think was "now she'll definitely know I'm not a virgin". And no, that was not my most embarrassing moment!

Suzanne said...

Um, that seems horribly unprofessional of the doctor to take the word of a teen delirious with fever and then tell her parents. Bah.

I love the writing project idea.

Anonymous said...

loved it!!!

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