Posted in writers, Writing for healing

You’ll Never See Those People Again

spotted face copyOne day I was driving to the airport after visiting my kids and grandchild. I’d overslept and was worried about getting through the mountains and over to the  California Central Valley. It was about a four-hour drive to reach Sacramento.  I’d hurried to brush my teeth, throw the suitcase in the car and drive the distance. I arrived on schedule, which usually is absurdly early because I’m a chronic punctual type. I’ve been that way my whole life –until my late fifties when I decided panic was over-rated.

I returned the car without a problem, checked my bags, and got through security. I decided to treat myself to a chai latte. I made small talk with the nice people behind the counter who for some reason were having a hard time looking me in the eye. I suddenly felt older, dumpier, and meaner.

Just to be sure I was all set for boarding, I made a last trip to the bathroom. As I met my face in the mirror to check my hair, I gasped. There was dried white toothpaste near my mouth and chin. I turned to an older woman who’d sidled up to the sink.

“Oh my God, I am so embarrassed. I had toothpaste on my face all this time. Nobody said anything!”

The lady looked at me and said, “Honey, I’ve been all over the world. A few times. You are never going to see those people again. Don’t worry about it. Trust me.”

children's art 2015                                                                        children’s art

Journal prompt: write about one of your most embarrassing moments. How did you get through it? Do you have more than one? When you are ready, define how shame is different from embarrassment.

Discussion: Are you one of those people who will tell a stranger about an embarrassing missed detail, or do you hurry to get away?











I made it this far and plan to keep going. I believe nature heals the soul. I love to journal, to write, do art, and music. I'm not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Solar-powered & drive hybrid. Trying to do my part. Earned my BA at 53. And, I believe, it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

8 thoughts on “You’ll Never See Those People Again

  1. I love this! Funny and well written. In winter after I take off my knit wool hat I don’t know how awful my hair looks until later when I go to the ladie’s room. I guess people think that is my natural hairdo.

    1. Hilarious! I think we women are all hopelessly worried about our looks to some extent. I asked the dear hubby to make sure, no matter whatever happens in life, please don’t let me be seen in public (or the hospital) with “bed head. ” Hahaha.

  2. That lady was right, of course.
    You reminded me of a relevant joke my daughter and I made up on a certain occasion, and still use when someone is annoyingly opinionated: oh yeah, she/he gives such a smart talk but is not aware about the bugger sitting in their nose.
    I am sure everybody has been in your shoes. Just a month ago my daughter and I came home from a party and she noticed a size sticker on my pants… Oh well…

  3. Hi Inese, great to see you! Happy New Year! You’re so right, all people have an embarrassing moment- so trivial in the big picture..

    I can still feel the “properness” of early childhood following me in social situations or in public. As a child in the 50’s we were, of course, taught to wash behind our ears, wear clean underwear “just in case we got hit by a bus” or whatever euphemism was imprinted into our psyches. I think what I am trying to say is women of a certain age have an unshakable backdrop of guilt and shame around the image of perfection. IE if a girl was said to be “in trouble” it meant she had gotten herself pregnant. The unwritten implication is she has a deep character flaw and is now tarnished for life.

    All this analysis stemming from boogers and toothpaste.

    Cheers! Happy photography. ❤

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