I mean, we all try to do our best with what we have and sometimes we strike gold but occasionally the Gods will deliver a timely slap to remind you that we are all human and mistakes will be made. Don’t worry though because it’s meant to be that way. If everyone was perfect then life would be some horrible utopia where risk, ambition and tomfoolery would be frowned upon.
We have to do stupid things – we’re only human.
Sometimes these stupid things are our own doing. Sometimes we are the victim of misfortune and other times things just won’t go according to plan but that’s fine.
Whenever life deals you a bad hand the trick is to accept the situation and laugh in its stupid face.
1. Making an ass of yourself in public
Everyone has faced public humiliation at least once in their lives – I know I’ve had my fair share.
As a 10 year old I remember the time I accidentally flooded the showers on a school trip, all because I didn’t know how to work the damned thing. (It’s ok I’m more a bath person anyway). Everyone rushed to the scene and I was stood there on the verge of tears as the water levels rose.
I believe everyone has experienced this next one in some form; I was waiting outside the library at college when a cute girl walked towards me and smiled – excellent, right? Well no, not really. I smiled back and said a little ‘hi’ but to my horror some guy walked from behind me and casually embraced, what looked like, his girlfriend. Hmm and I thought that only happened to geeks in the movies.
Safe to say I felt like a right idiot and incidentally I bumped into her recently and mentioned this story. Obviously she couldn’t remember it at all and I made an ass of myself all over again. Go me!
The best though was the time I was with some friends and we were queuing outside a club, but as it was ridiculously busy, we had no chance of getting in for quite some time. This became a problem for our bladders and we decided to ‘relieve’ ourselves in the park opposite the club.
It had rained heavily that day and the ground had become very boggy. As I stood there doing my thing, I noticed I started to sink… but it wasn’t just me; my friends all sank too, at least 12 inches into the ground. Cue lots of laughter and astonishment but soon the reality of the situation dawned on us. We had to walk past the 50 foot queue of people covered in mud and God knows what they thought we were doing in the bushes…
It was truly some moment when 100 plus people all stop talking and watch as you shuffle down the road trying to not make eye contact with anyone.
Why it’s secretly awesome
It keeps the ego in check. You can’t act the tough guy if you’ve just walked slap bang into a plain glass window – there simply isn’t any way you can cover that up. You have to take it like a man (or woman), accept temporary defeat and hope that this is the lowest point of your day.
Almost all of us laugh when people make an ass of themselves so it stands to reason that we should hold our hands up in anticipation for the mockery that is about to launch itself in our direction.
The best part is that most of these humiliating situations will often become funny stories in the future.
2. Being stood up or let down at the last minute
Fortunately I have never been in a situation where I have been properly stood up. Sure I have had occasions where I have waited patiently for someone to show and received a text message saying ‘Holy crap, I almost forgot – be there in 15 minutes’.
Yes you did forget, you moron – now hurry up.
This must happen all the time though. Think about it – someone, somewhere right now is expecting to meet a cute girl or guy but will be left waiting… and waiting… and waiting.
10 minutes will pass and expectation turns to hope.
20 minutes will pass and hope starts to turn into doubt.
30 minutes will pass and doubt will make way for that dreadful feeling of inevitability.
There are people out there that truly suck. People are flakey and there’s not much that you can do about it, aside from creating a voodoo doll and raiding eBay for a lovely set of sharp pins – which would be a lot of fun but probably won’t be of any practical use.
Why it’s secretly awesome
It’s awesome for two main reasons.
Firstly you can use their inability to turn up on time or to adhere to basic social rules as a way to guilt trip them into making it up to you in the future. Yeh it’s a bit sneaky but so what – they just stood you up! If they want to make it up to you by buying you a drink or some form of gift then by all means let them.
Just gently suggest what you want in return for their idiocy and everyone’s a winner.
Second reason why it’s awesome is that if it’s a date that has stood you up then you get a unique insight into their character before you’ve even started. If they can’t be bothered to let you know what’s going on, are they going to be bothered with future dates?
You get to walk away from a potentially troublesome ‘relationship’ safe in the knowledge that someone else will have to deal with that person instead.
3. Losing your job
You will probably spend most of your working life moaning about your boss, how busy you are, why nobody appreciates the effort you put in and how much you’d rather be doing something else, but if the time comes when you realise you might actually lose your job – you would probably do almost anything to cling on to it.
Life is funny like that.
Getting fired or laid off can be one of the most stressful experiences anyone can go through, especially if you have mouths to feed and bills to pay. That feeling of security and a monthly wage is important to many people and rightly so. Most people have no desire to be entrepreneurs or to travel the world as part of the circus – they need something certain – a fixed date when they will get paid, a fixed location that they can call home or work and a life that is linked to all of these things.
Losing your job puts everything in jeopardy. All bets are off. You’re pissing into the wind and who knows if you’re going to be able to dodge the ‘bad stuff’ that comes your way.
I’ve been there, I have been fired and while the initial feeling is that of shock and a little bit of anger, I can honestly say that while nervous about what lied ahead, I was happy that I was given the boot.
Ok, I spent the next 10 months unemployed and had to survive on benefits but the free time I had gave me some awesome opportunities and this is what I want to talk about next.
Why it’s secretly awesome
It doesn’t matter why you lost your job. You could have been fired, you may have resigned, you may have been made redundant – it doesn’t matter, the end result is still the same. You’re suddenly blessed with the ability to throw your alarm clock out of the window and spend your days wearing nothing but your underwear.
Embrace that for starters – not many people get to experience this way of life at all, let alone for a short period of time. There are CEO’s who earn six figure salaries who would sell their Grandmothers for a chance to do absolutely nothing.
It gives you that one thing that most of us don’t have enough of, and that’s time.
Take losing your job as an opportunity to finally do the things you want to do. Yes you should look for another job as soon as possible if that’s what you want, but in the meantime make the most of the time you have.
Get back to painting, start on that novel you’ve always dreamed of writing, have a holiday somewhere, get that dusty guitar out of the cupboard and make some noise, spend more time with the kids, annoy the other half – whatever floats your boat, make it a priority to engage in that activity while you have the chance.
4. Embarrassment in the name of love
Do you remember the very first time you asked someone out? I mean properly, not your pathetic attempts at courtship during the frenzy of that ‘kiss chase’ game in the playground all those years ago.
I do, and it didn’t go very well.
I remember getting home from school and I sat there by the phone, sweaty palms and a heart that was doing its best to break out of my chest, alien style, and run away. In this situation it was only natural that I began to ponder the positive aspects to a life of celibacy and how I didn’t want to go through this ever again.
I picked up the phone and began to dial her number.
Her mum answered and I politely asked if ‘girlwhoshallnotbenamed’ was there.
Ok no problem I’ll ring again later. ARGHHHH. All that build up for nothing. But did I take this as a hint? No of course not – I’m a masochist and I would go through this build up again a few hours later, only this time… she answered.
Shit I wasn’t prepared for this.
Me – ‘Err hi, it’s Jamie… from school’
Girlwhoshallnotbenamed – ‘Oh hi, did you ring me earlier?’
Me – ‘Err yes, probably, maybe’
Girlwhoshallnotbenamed – ‘Oh ok, what’s up then?’
Me – ‘welliwasjustwonderingifyouwantedtogooutwithme?’ (Spoken with the calmness of a crack addict having a heart attack)
Girlwhoshallnotbenamed – ‘…………’
Oh good god what have I done?
Girlwhoshallnotbenamed – ‘Ohhh umm, well thanks but I have a boyfriend but um, sorry…’
Me – ‘Oh ok… um… so how is revision going?’
As you can tell, It was mildly embarrassing to say the least, not to mention that I would bump into her a few days later and her friends knew my friends… you can see where this is going.
Sadly this wasn’t to be my first attempt at being an idiot. A few years later I wrote a ‘love letter’ to a girl I fancied. Yeh I ROCK!
Luckily this was a long, long time ago and I like to think I know what I’m doing these days but as James Hetfield once sang – The memory remains.
Why it’s secretly awesome
It’s a rite of passage that everyone has to go through. Everyone remembers the night they lost their virginity and how goddamn horrific it was but that’s what makes it so special.
The movies try to convince us that our first time should be with the person we love, surrounded by 100 candles and a bit of Lionel Ritchie crooning out of the speakers.
No it’s not like that.
It usually involves lots of alcohol and someone that is willing to tolerate our awful attempts at… whatever it is that you wanna call it.
Then we go and tell everyone about it; either trying to convince everyone how amazing it was or maybe just holding your hands up and admitting it was a total disaster. But that’s the beauty of it. Our funny sexual stories or our embarrassing rejection anecdotes become the glue that binds friendships together.
How many times have you shared a glass of wine or a beer with your best friend and laughed about all of the stupid things you’ve done in the name of love? I bet it’s quite a lot.
Without our bumbling attempts in the dating world, life would be boring.
As with everything else in this list; the majority of your ups and downs are also shared by most other people.
Are you going to laugh about your misfortune or are you going to wallow in self-pity? If you look for the silver lining in every situation then your life will become that little bit easier.
If you have any awful experiences that you can now look back on fondly then share them below!