Saturday, February 19, 2011

Helpless and embarrassed

Being helpless and embarrassed is a fact of life. It happens suddenly, the rug is pulled out from under you in a crowded space. Everyone turns and laughs.

At the UJIMA fashion show, an incident like that occurred. One of the more elegant and attractive models came out and did her walk. She had been running the catwalk like it was her business. She was currently in a flowing dress, working her heels, and looking good. She made her way back to the curtain and was about to exit when she made a final turn to the audience. It looked good until her face contorted, promptly disappeared in a sea of cloth, and was replaced by a pair of long legs and the point where they intersect. Both items were presented to the audience in a fashion unaccustomed to most of us in a public setting, unencumbered by spankies, underwear, leggings, stockings, undergarments, or anything of that nature.

Alicia and I had no idea what to do. We had been watching the tragedy or comedy, not sure what it was, unfold before us. We sat on the couch together, contemplating how to disappear completely. Our plan had been to hide in our shirts until the awkwardness of the moment passed. It wasn't working. Claire had probably had too much to drink and some sleazeball was hitting on her pretty hard. Claire has a bad habit of being really nice to people she is trying to get rid of. I have watched it many times. It's like Mean Girls. I was helpless. Alicia was embarrassed. Katie and Jess took action and set to get the guy out. The two basically pushed him out of the house, curtly told him good night, and slammed the door in his face. Claire breathed a sigh of relief. Alicia and I slowly emerged from our shirts.

In mediation training, Duke Fisher tells his students to be fearless. I say it all the time. I work hard to live up to it. Sometimes I do not achieve it. But I try. Be fearless.