When was the last time you were embarrassed? How do you react to embarrassment?
How about “When was the last time you were really embarrassed? I mean, just ran out of the room face red as a beet and never wanted to speak to anyone again? Didn’t even want to think about the moment.
I have a very well kept story that has never been told on the Internet, basically because I’ve never found the appropriate place to do it. Well, here in the ever polite and caring world of WordPress, I can speak my thoughts without feeling too concerned about what people will think of me. Here I go again, searching through the cobwebs of my memory…
I was 9 years old at the time.
One day mom was putting fresh laundry away in my dresser when she yelled out my three names: “Matthew Robert Hammell!” I was out in the living room, in my boy scout uniform and getting ready to go to a meeting that night at the elementary school. I immediately looked to my room down the hall and mom putting clothes in my dresser. She had found my private stash. The one I begged no one to find. The dirty magazine collection along with other stuff I had collected over the last few months. I immediately ran out of the house and up the slide in the backyard, burying my head in my arms just like you see in the image above.
I still don’t know if was normal for a kid at that age to have a morbid curiosity about the mysteries of the human body and sex. My curiosity had been peaking at an all time high and I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with it. I discovered my very first Playboy magazine in the cabinet of a computer desk at my uncle’s house. I remember him saying “Don’t look in there” in a kind of joking/serious tone, but of course that only added fuel to my fire. I secretly took the magazine, folded it up in a tube, stuffed it down my front pocket, concealed it under my shirt, and went into the bathroom. There, I started tearing out the pictures I liked the best, stuffing them in my pocket and discarding the magazine behind the toilet. When I went out, everyone was curious as to why I was in there so long. To this day, I still don’t think they ever put two and two together but I suspected it.
And so I brought those cut out pictures home and created a “private” collection of pleasurable things. But it didn’t stop there. I even hand drew a picture of a naked lady on a barstool from one of the magazine pictures, the one that was a real embarrassment for me when mom and dad found it and showed it to me later on. And since I had a minor crush on a girl my age who lived in the house in back of us, I wrote a very inappropriate poem about her, that got thrown away immediately by my mother. I am hoping against hope that the girl never was told about it. Because maybe that would explain why she ran away from me at my graduation ceremony, the first time I saw her in years.
The most embarrassing of this moment is when mom and dad sat me down one night and had “the talk”. Oh god. How I still remember dad and his drilling stare, mom looking very uncomfortable indeed. “He’s only 9 years old,” she said, wanting dad to back off and not be so harsh, back off on the hard pressing questions of what led me to this. When he showed me the picture of the lady I drew, I could hardly look at it, totally ashamed of myself.
The next day, my parents did a little more investigating. It all seemed to centered around that picture I drew, which was very well done I have to say. They asked me why I drew it. And so I made up an elaborate lie of saying a kid at the school, a big kid named Lance I thought was in the fifth grade and typecast as my ideal bully, forced me to draw it on the playground table or he would beat me up. Oh, wow. How stupid could I have been?
So my parents went over to the school and talked with the teachers, trying to hunt down this imaginary bully of mine. I was in the third grade at the time and this was way over my head and a number of the adults as well. I was kind of hoping they didn’t pick anyone out in particular, because that would only be more embarrassing for me and kind of weird to the suspected. No, they never did find anyone, and figured out I was lying through my teeth and asked why I lied. I couldn’t ever say, but it was my fear of telling them about my raging curiosity of the female anatomy.
The rest of the story involved mom and dad never wanting to speak of this incident ever again, eventually trashing the evidence just in time for my grandma to come over and have dinner.
So I’ll end this story here with a link to a mother’s similar story about the perils of raising a typical red-blooded American male, this one being 13 years old. I was ahead of the game.
Photo credit: harmanlaw.com
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Isn’t Your Face Red.”