How Sharing Embarrassing Stories Is Healthy
My mother, God bless her heart, always had the best intentions for me. But as a child, at times I wished she could have kept her mouth shut.
“Remember when you were a child when you only ate white foods! White chicken, white rice, white McCain smiley faced potatoes!” she would say at family dinners, or to new friends that I brought home. While I slowly nodded and my head turned red as a tomato — a food I wouldn’t have eaten as a child.
However, as I have grown up and (hopefully) matured, I have come to realize Mom is right. I now look back and laugh at my afro-style mop hair with pride, and sometimes miss running my hands through my curly locks.
Sharing embarrassing stories is healthy.
They spark conversation, show your weaknesses, and offer you lessons that you can learn from. And most importantly they can light up the room in laughter, which is something I strive to do a lot of the time.
With that being said, I would like to share a embarrassing story of mine from last year.
As another long weekend has come and gone, many students at UVic went home for the weekend to spend much needed time with their families. It reminded me of the time when I was stranded in Victoria.
I stood at the Swartz Bay BC Ferries terminal in complete shock. I snapped my head back, and wanted to shout to the heavens, but I restrained myself when I saw children waiting to walk off the ferry.
It was January. The bone-chilling air cut through my blue UVic Vikes top, and I had just returned home from visiting family in Vancouver for winter break.
First, I should explain. As any cash-strapped student would understand, I tried to save money on the ferry. I was going to visit my family in Vancouver for a few days, but I didn’t want to bring my car over and pay about $150 for a round-trip on the ferry.
So, I parked my car at the Swartz Bay terminal and walked on (paying $15 instead), and my dad picked me up on the other side.
I couldn’t contain my excitement running down the Vancouver ferry terminal, and like a child on Christmas morning I sprinted to see my family after a long first semester away from home.
I reached for my dad’s grey Toyota Highlander door, expecting my whole family to be there when I arrived. So, I opened the door and yelled, “Mom, Dad!” only to find out only my dad was sitting in the front seat. He replied, “Yeah, they didn’t want to make the hour drive here.”
Back to the story.
I spent a few days back home, sharing my memories from my first semester, and enjoying quality family bonding time. When it was time to go, my dad drove me back to the Tsawwassen terminal, and I walked on to head back to Victoria.
There were high hopes in the sky, as I eagerly awaited to get off to a good start for the second semester of my first year. Instead, the complete opposite happened.
Once the 90-minute ferry ride was over, I reached down into my pockets, and a massive hole (about as large as the hole in my wallet had I taken my car on the ferry) formed in my stomach.
My phone bulged in my left pocket, and my wallet was in my right. Everything seemed normal, until I realized the Chicago Cubs lanyard holding my keys was not hanging out of my right pocket. They were sitting on the Scooby-Doo blanket I have on my bed back home, in Vancouver.
To add insult to injury, the last ferry had already left, so I called my dad to figure out a solution.
Even my own father, the man who raised me, couldn’t hold his amusement. “You are GOOD,” he told me stumbling through laughs.
So, I stood outside my Mazda 3, its windows completely frozen over from the December snowstorm. I placed my hands on the mirror, and hoped for a miracle that the door somehow opened. Hint – it didn’t.
Left with only one option, I decided to take a $80 taxi ride to UVic. Where I guilted the taxi driver Omar, through telling him my sob story of leaving my keys on the Mainland. I guess it worked, as he gave me a discount of $5 on the final ticket.
Once at campus, I realized on that same Cubs lanyard was the keys to my dorm room. Fortunately for me the Residence Services office anticipates scenarios, maybe not to this extent, but nonetheless I received a pair of spare keys.
The next day, my dad sent my keys out to me via HeliJet. I somehow persuaded a friend to drive me to pick the keys up downtown, and then out to Swartz Bay, where the cherry on top of my ‘adventure’ waited.
One corner of my frozen windshield was carved out, and a fresh $50 parking ticket for not paying an extra day of parking awaited me.
Moral of the story. Don’t be afraid to tell embarrassing stories. Also, take your car keys with you, everywhere you go.