Friday, September 17, 2010

My Most Embarrassing Moment ever

Recently there were some comments on a Facebook post of mine that referred to what I think of as one of the most embarrassing moments in my life, perhaps even THE most embarrassing moment of my life. It happens to also be a quite funny story so I thought I would share it with you in hopes of giving you a good laugh and to pay tribute to Sigourney Weaver, my "lunch buddy", as she is now termed. Many have asked for the whole story so my friends, here it is! It is true that things like this really are funny when you look back at them although at the moment I wanted to die a thousand slow deaths and climb into the whole. Now though, I promise you literally every time I am reminded of this story (which is on a quite regular occurrence thanks to my lovely family and friends) I can't help but laugh at myself. We can't ever take ourselves too seriously and I am a firm believer in the value of laughing at your own crazy mistakes and goofs so at long last.. here is my Sigourney Weaver story! I hope it brightens your day and makes you feel really smart and good about yourself!!!

About 8 years ago when I was in my senior year of my undergraduate degree I was selected as a final candidate for a fellowship I had applied for. This was a huge deal and as you will read it is literally by the GRACE OF GOD that I was awarded the fellowship that allowed me to spend a summer in DC working with a non profit organization. The NPO was the Heart of America foundation where I not only met some amazing people but through that experience God solidified in my heart not only the need for me to work in this area but he stirred a passion for helping to improve the life opportunities of children raised in poverty. He used this to urge me on to eventually complete my PhD. So with that background you can hopefully appreciate just how big of a deal this interview was to me.

It took place in the president of the university's quarters and was at a long conference table with fancy chairs. There were I would say maybe 8 to 10 very important people in the room. I can't remember honestly who all was at the table or how many people but I remember being VERY intimidated. There was a bank president, president of student affairs, you get the type. Basically Big Wigs in many different areas. The interview was going super well and I remember thinking to myself that I needed to relax b/c I thought I was maybe coming off as nervous. Shocking I know but get past it. Then at that exact moment I realized I had pit stains! That's right my friends. I really never sweat much bet yet on this very day I was so nervous that I had giant wet spots on my new cute professional shirt. It was that realization that spun me into a whirling downward spiral of unfortunate events.

I remember hearing this, "Teri, could you please tell me out of every person in the history of our great world, regardless of time period, who you would have lunch with if given the opportunity?"

Oh phsewy, I thought, finally an easy question! I've got this! Just as I was about to answer that it would be my sweet Jesus they followed with 4 words that changed everything "excluding any religious figures"... DA DA DUM! Gulp. More sweating. Heart beat pounding in my ears. Can they hear that? Is my heart really beating that fast and this loud? Oh no, say something. You must say something. They are all staring at you. Are my pit stains getting larger? Oh please God no. They need an answer and this inner dialogue is not helping things. Speak. Now Teri say something, anything. go with George Washington.....

I finally opened my mouth to say "hmm, that is a very interesting question. Let me think for just a moment" Ok good. Now I have bought myself all of 15 seconds. Thomas Eddison, go with him. Oh boy, that is so lame and so clearly obvious that I don't have a better person. Woman. I need a woman, Cleopatra maybe. Why Cleopatra, all I have on her is her sense of style. Mother Teressa! No, too cheesy. Sam always says I am too goody goody and that is a goody goody answer, everyone will say her. I need to be different and stand out. Hm... Who sewed our first flag, what was her name? Betty Ross? What else did she do? OH! I've got it what about the famous nurse lady! Eww nurses make me think of blood. don't pass out, think of something else. Ok stop freaking out they will not give me a shot today. Maybe Queen Elizabeth? Hmm... They are staring at you! Say something! Instantly flashes from the primary election candidates I had heard speak that morning floated into my mind. I blame my friend Cody for this. It was her idea! She thought we needed to go get more involved in the selection of our community leaders. Cody and her big schemes were always getting me into messes and thsi sure was a fine one at that. So really I guess this whole embarrassing story is her fault. Anyway, I remembered one of the candidates mentioning Sojourn Truth's plight and all of the change she had evoked and accomplished. YES! That's brilliant, she is my chica, that is who I will go with. Now what was her name again? Sojourn... Sogorn.. something like that. Oh I've got it!This is perfect, gonna wow their socks off. Here we go! Flash them that confident smile first. Eye contact.. ok go!

"The person in all of history that I would just love to have lunch with is Sigourney Weaver" I answer.

Wow their socks off I did, just not int the way I intended! Do you know how in movies when someone says something so off the wall dumb they actually insert insect and night sounds into the track to fill the air while they show blank stares on all faces? That was their reaction to my answer. They started whispering to each other and looking at me with confused faces until one lady leaned forward and said "wasn't she the woman who starred in the Planet of the Apes movie?" Someone else answers, "no I think she was in Ghostbusters". Uh-oh, this isn't good I think to myself. Please God tell me that is not what I just said. Hmm.. how to get out of this one. Honesty. Mom always said honesty is the best policy. Does that apply here though? Think fast.. what to say. Ok so this name I just said is apparently an actress and she is in old movies ok. Hmm.. Acresses.. Well here goes nothing. Smile and go! I then continued to lie and basically make up a life story for this poor actress that I knew nothing about. Oh I went on and on about how into women's rights she is and how she strives to inspire young women to reach their goals and really make a difference and leave an impact on this world, our world. I went into her advocacy for children's rights. I related it to my own hopes and dreams and all the while continued to sweat. They were all nodding and taking notes and I wanted to die inside. Now not only was I in this hot mess I created I was LYING! LYING! Oh boy.

Thankfully it ended rather quickly after that and I shook hands politely and thanked them for the opportunity then walked out of that fancy building and literally cried a river all the way to my car. I felt like an idiot, worse than an idiot a LYING idiot. Amazingly, and this is how we all know it was God's plan for me to end up in DC, I somehow got the fellowship. I thought it was a joke when I got the phone call. I actually laughed and asked who was really on the phone and told the lady it was a mean joke. Life went on and I had a life changing experience when we lived in DC for that short time period. Now it is funny and a good laugh and anytime my girl Sigourney is on TV I smile. Heck, we even lit a candle in her honor when my friends and I had a game night a few months ago. See picture below. To her credit, I have since learned a lot about her, she does seem like a great woman and who knows, maybe someday somewhere me and my lunch buddy just may have lunch together! Ha ha! I will pay of course, as a way of making up for all the lying I did about her on that day long ago.

Oh and just if you are wondering I am ready and armed with my new answer but sadly that question has never been asked again. My new lady is Abagail Adams. My cousin Sherry even sent me Mrs. Adam's biography so I can avoid the same mistake twice. She is a truly amazing woman and I will spare you the details of why I picked her but I can relate her life to my life as wife, mother, my plight AND my research and career goals so whomever asks me that question next better watch out and sit down prepared to take notes b/c I am ready and willing to answer! it now!

Molly, Katherine, Erin, & Kim got a kick out of making fun of me and lighting our candle in honor of my lunch buddy, her candle was shining brightly during our game of Apples to Apples right in the center of the table. Do you know what started the whole thing.. my card I drew. You got it! I drew SIGOURNEY WEAVER! Too funny!