Thursday, June 13, 2013

6 Things About Which I'm Embarrassed to be Embarrassed

I hope I'm not the only one who gets embarrassed about embarrassing things.  If I am, I guess this is as good a way to find out as any.  At least the folks telling me what a freak I am will have read and commented on my blog in order to communicate their superiority, so that's cool.  Here we go!

1. I'm embarrassed to accept help from retail employees.
"Can I help you find anything?"  
"Oh, no thank you."  I'll just wander the aisles until I find what I'm looking for, thanks.
It's ridiculous.  Having the guy who works in the garden department at the vast home improvement store point me in the direction of the hose nozzles is not a sign of weakness.  
"I'll take these groceries out to your car for you."
"That's alright, I've got it, thanks!" It's raining, I have both kids, and a week's worth of food.
I repeat: ridiculous.  Like I'm going to be such a burden on the guy who bagged my groceries, having him take 4 minutes to put the bags in my car?  Speaking of groceries, I've yet to work up the courage to ask the ever-so-friendly man who works in the meat department whether or not they'll make chicken wings less disgusting for me (Did you know that you have to cut through bone, and, like, twist and snap body parts in order for them to be ready to cook?  Blech.) so that we can smoke some and serve them at our 4th of July party.  Now, I worked in the service industry for a LOT of years.  My first job was in a fast-food restaurant.  I certainly do not feel like I'm superior to retail employees in any way...but I might be better than some of them at some things.  
You do the math.
Maybe that's why I'm embarrassed to accept their friendly offers to aid me.  I figure they work hard enough already, and deal with enough nasty people, that I should give them a break.

2. I'm embarrassed when people compliment me on my running achievements.
"Wow!  You're getting really fast!"
"Ha!  Me?  Pshaw.  Ha!  Ffff-ast?  Funny!  Huh?  No.  Um.  Thank you?
"Not as fast as YOU!  HA!"
The truth is, I'm much faster than I used to be.  I'm much faster than people who don't run regularly.  I'm faster than I expected I ever would be (Remember how I HATED running?).  I've earned medals.  And when I say "earned", I mean it.  I've trained and sacrificed and could have drowned in my own sweat and tried-really, truly, tried- to get faster and to accomplish goals that I've set for myself.  I feel like I have to explain when people notice my improvement; give details on my schedule and training plan and those asterisks that we runners know so well (*The course was super flat. *My sister was pacing me. *I was just healed from an injury.), when probably a simple, "Thanks, I've been working hard." would suffice.  
Can you see the mixture of bliss and shame on my face?
Another, deeper reason for my embarrassment is that I am so stinking grateful to be able to run, that speed and medals are secondary.  I could go the rest of my life without earning another medal or getting any faster, and be content.  Going the rest of my life without running, though, would be scary.  I think about people who are physically unable to run, or walk, or do whatever exercise they're passionate about, and it makes me want to cry.  My pace improvement is really nothing compared to their ability to overcome physical obstacles.

3. Two words: social networking.
For 5 (yes, five) years, come July, I've regularly (read: multiple times/day) been on a not-very-well-known social networking site, plurk.  My dad invited me to join, saying, "It's like twitter, but not."  Which it is.  And, is not.  Here's the thing about plurk:  It's a real community, not just a bunch of faceless internet weirdos.  I feel like a lot of my plurker friends are actual, real-life friends (I've even met a few of them in person) because we share the mundane as well as the exciting stuff that happens in our lives.  I've learned a lot from them.  We've exchanged both Christmas cards and no-reason gifts.  There are dancing bananas.  We ARE friends.  And yet, when my non-plurker friends asked how I knew the talented author of the books I was raving about, I mumbled, "Oh, you know.  Online.  Blogs.  Websites.  Internet.  I read."  It's really silly.  Nobody is ashamed of being a tweeter, right?  People actually get married to people they meet through other websites with dumb names, right?  So, there you have it.  I'm a plurker.  I <3 my plurk friends.  Also, I get a lot of my news from facebook.  But that's something about which I should be embarrassed.

4.  I'm embarrassed when things are easy for me that are hard for others.
Do you want to know how many times I threw up during both of my pregnancies, combined?  Less than 10.  Do you want to know how many pounds I gained while I was pregnant?  37.  16 with 6 yr. old, 21 with Baby.  Do you want to know how many times I've really tried to lose weight?  No, you certainly don't.  Especially if you knew how many chips I eat, late at night, almost every night.

Pregnancy was easy for me.  Breastfeeding was easy for me (I nursed both kids for just over a year).  Being overweight is not something I've had to bear.  I think anytime we can't relate to the problems of others, it makes us a little embarrassed.  It isn't as though I'm good at everything, and it isn't as though people who have a hard time with things that I find easy are angry with me or try to make me feel ashamed.  I know that lack of experience doesn't equal lack of sympathy or understanding.  I just have to remember to accept my easy along with my challenging.

5. I'm embarrassed to tell people that I'm a stay-at-home Mom.  
It feels like I'm implying that: a.) my family has a lot of money (we don't, we just live in a teeny house and eat out at Tijuana Flats only on Tuesday, when dinner is $5), b.) I feel like I'm a better mom than one who works outside the home (I don't.  I love my kids desperately, and I think that's the main ingredient to good Mommyhood), or c.) that I'm not qualified to get paid to work (I am.  I've got a B.A. degree, half an M.S. degree, management experience, creative ideas, and a great work ethic.)  Husband and I agreed that the sacrifices we would have to make to live on just his income were worthwhile.  He works really hard to support us financially, because we feel that my staying home is the right thing for our family.  I just have to be careful when I'm talking to my working-mom friends, that it doesn't sound like I'm bragging when I talk about my weekday morning yoga class.
I'm a very busy housekeeper, you know.  Every lady needs a break, sometimes, to capture how long her legs look from a certain camera angle, though.  Please pay no attention to the undercouch.  I was much too busy to remove the dozens of toys from under there.
6. I planted an organic garden and didn't want to tell anyone about it.
It's a small plot in our backyard.  I wanted to wait until my big, amazing harvest to start referring to myself as a gardener, but I see now how silly that was.  I was worried that people would start asking me questions, and expecting intelligent answers.  But, I shouldn't have been embarrassed to talk about starting a garden.  I should be embarrassed that I didn't do enough research, or even give it enough thought.  Now, I'll be harvesting my killer canteloupe and nothing else, apparently.  I planted marigolds, sunflowers, red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, green beans, canteloupe and carrots, and some herbs in a pot.  As of this publication, the canteloupe have murdered the marigolds, wrapped their tendrils around the green beans, jalapeno plant, and carrot stems, and the sunflowers have grown so tall that they are shading the other nearby plants.

Baby thought I was doing a great job.

After 1.5 days of weeding.

After 3 days of weeding, and 10 minutes of Husband digging.
The canteloupe's first victim.  RIP, marigolds.

There's no good reason I should be embarrassed about any of these 6 things.  It's embarrassing, my embarrassment.  So, what you should do is comment to reassure me that I'm not too kooky, and tell me the things you feel silly feeling silly about.  (Yes, that's your advice for today.  Self-serving?  Maybe.)

Any marigold resuscitation tips?

What do you hate being embarrassed about?


  1. You are totally not kooky enough.

    I feel a little bit silly saying so.


  2. #1 Me too. Anyway I don't want them bothering me while I'm trying to shop.
    #2 You're doing pretty good if only one type of compliment embarrasses you.
    #3 Maybe you are just protective of that special, secret Plurk universe.
    #4 Yup.
    #5 Yup.
    #6 Out here in CA, you'd be embarrassed if your garden wasn't organic.
    P.S. Marigolds are overrated. I am impressed that you can get a cantaloupe to grow well enough to menace other plants.

  3. I go out of my way to avoid mentioning Plurk in real life situations. I don't know why. Maybe it is because so few people have heard of it. Maybe it is because my family still teases me about it.
    I have been Plurking for 5 years as of yesterday.
    I check the site multiple times a day.
    I have friends on Plurk who I have never met in real life, but I feel like they are real friends anyway.
    There. I said it.