What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done in public?
Embarrassing moments happen to everyone, but sharing them can be a way to bond over our shared humanity. Think about the times you've tripped, spilled something, or had your clothes malfunction in public. What was your reaction, and how did those around you respond?
1. I once peed my pants in public.
I was at a conference and had to get up early for a panel. I went out the night before and had one drink but apparently that was enough to make me not able to hold my bladder.
I was on a panel with 3 other people sitting around a table and suddenly felt like I needed to pee.
It wasn't urgent so I thought I could hold it for 45 minutes until we were done.
But then it got urgent and I couldn't stop it. It started leaking down my leg and I just said, "I have to go." And ran out of there as fast as possible while everyone watched me with their jaws dropped open in horror.
The worst part is, when you pee your pants, your underwear doesn't always absorb all of it so then you're walking around with wet underwear on your legs for the rest of the day. And everyone can see it because you have wet spots on your pants where it leaked through.
The next day at another panel someone came up to me and said, "Hey! You were in the panel yesterday weren't you? The guy with the pisspants?"
2. At Burning Man one year...
I was sitting on a couch outside my camp (we were living in an RV) talking to someone when all of a sudden my fly popped open and all my stuff fell out onto the ground in front of everyone sitting nearby (and walking by).
My friend Chris who was standing behind me saw this happen and just started laughing hysterically. He kept saying, "You're doing this! You're doing this!" But he wasn't helping me at all so I just sat there helplessly as people walked by laughing at me (and staring at my naked body parts).
Finally some people came over and helped me put everything back into place while Chris continued laughing his head off.
This wasn't even close to being the most embarrassing thing that happened that week but it's probably what stands out most in my mind because it happened right after we arrived at Burning Man that year (so nobody knew yet how weird everything would get).
And also because having your penis fall out of your pants in public is pretty much THE definition of embarrassing for a man. It's like having every insecurity about yourself confirmed simultaneously by every person who sees it happen. It takes years off your life if you let yourself think about it too much afterward. Which is why I don't let myself think about it too much afterward..