When you think back over your life, no matter how short or long it has been, what sorts of memories make you cringe? What makes you go, “Oh my good, did I REALLY do/say/live that?” I know there’s at least one, and if you’re like me, about one million.
I’ve recently become ADDICTED to Ira Glass’s, This American Life, and I can’t stop listening to the episodes. Today, while doing some website updates, I listened to one appropriately called, “Cringe.” Starts off talking about romantic cringes, then discusses Ira’s horribly embarrassing stint on the set of Mash, and I haven’t yet finished so I’m not sure what else is discussed.
The romantic cringes didn’t get me as much as Ira’s story. There were some parts where I actually put my head in my hands and shook my head. I felt bad for 20-year-old Ira. He, um, should have been stopped.
But when I think back over my own life, dear god, I have soo many cringe moments. I think about when I commented – out loud – about my phonetic teacher’s “Growth Potential” t-shirt, and the subsequent hand written card I gave to him which to this day still has not been responded to. I think about my brief flirt with polyamory, and my whole body cringes. And what about when I ended up dating a guy who had a girlfriend (I didn’t know, people!)… I recall many of the things I have said and done, and really, I don’t know how I manage to get up in the morning and leave the house.
I am, quite frankly, a walking, talking disaster.
I don’t have enough appendages to count the number of times I have tried to force myself to just “not speak,” to just be quiet in order to save myself some embarrassment. It never works.
There are times when I can’t quite possibly figure out what I had to tell myself to convince myself that the crazy thing I had done was a good idea. And therefore, this show, this Ira Glass episode, has unleashed all my cringe-tastic moments in all their ugly glory.
And I am ashamed of myself. Hehe
What can I say? I have worked hard for all this cool, levelheaded judgment. It was nice to hear Ira say that to this day, some of the things that made him cringe almost thirty years ago are things he still struggles with and are things that often get edited out of his seemingly well-delivered performance.
So the hope that eventually I will outgrow this awkward ridiculousness that is me has been dashed, but I can rest assured that maybe one day I’ll just find a really, really good editor.