Sometimes my wife rebukes me because, she claims, I have been embarrassing.  In other words; I’m embarrassing.  I (of course!) have an alternative way to describe the same phenomenon; I’m not embarrassing it’s just that sometimes, some people, including my wife, are embarrassed by my behaviour.  You might think this is hair-splitting, but not so.  In one explanation I’m embarrassing, i.e. I’m the problem, and in the other, some people have chosen to feel embarrassed by something I have said or done, i.e. it’s their problem.  You can guess which explanation I prefer – indeed, insist is correct.

Far from me being embarrassing, I’m often the one who chooses to feel embarrassed.  I once showed my elderly parents round the garden and paused to point out a beautiful clematis in full bloom.  Unfortunately I asked them to admire a beautiful clitoris. Fortunately, they didn’t appear to notice.

Many years before, when I was a newly qualified psychologist keen to impress, I foolishly thought it would help my career along if I read a paper at a conference organised by the British Psychological Society (my professional institute with the power to defrock me etc). Psychologists in those days didn’t mention people; they referred to them as organisms.  I therefore prepared my paper carefully making sure that I included a sprinkling of organisms.  When the day came to present my paper and the first organism loomed up, I had an internal crisis and couldn’t remember whether the word was organism or orgasm.  Of course, in my confusion, I chose the wrong one.

Once, in Brighton, I spotted some glass paperweights for sale in the window of a junk shop.  At the time we collected paperweights (not any more – no room) and so I went in and asked to look at a couple that interested me.  The man duly retrieved them from the display window, huffing and puffing because he had to reach over a large brass eagle.  I examined the two paperweights and asked how much they were.  The man replied, ‘Two fifty mate’.  I chose one and he wrapped it up. I thanked him and put £2.50 on the counter.  He looked at me as if I was mad.  Of course, he meant £250 – a price I considered extortionate.  I scurried out with no paperweight.

Then there was the time I accidentally locked myself out of a hotel room in the early hours with no clothes on, and the time I stepped into a sauna in Germany with trunks on when everyone else was naked, and the time a woman caught me fast asleep in her bath………..

So, you see, I’m not in the least embarrassing but I do often succeed in embarrassing myself.

 

 

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