Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Embarrassing Moment

A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging out with some new friends and the husband asked me what my most embarrassing moment was. I honestly couldn't come up with one. Oh sure, I have times when I've wanted the Earth to swallow me whole, but I don't guess I have one moment that stands out above all others. First of all, I'm not that easily embarrassed, and second, I was teased and humiliated so much when I was young, that I have developed a defense mechanism which includes me embarrassing myself before anyone else can do it for me.
But my friend's husband's question must have stayed in the back of my mind because a really stupid embarrassing moment hit me last night as I lay in bed, just before I fell asleep. It's really stupid, but since his wife reads this blog, I thought she could pass it along for me...

I was about 9 or 10 at church camp. I hated church camp. Not because I'm an atheist or anything, but mainly because I hated any situation in which I would have to introduce myself to knew people. I didn't have a great situation going on at school and my name seemed to be an easy target for kids who wanted to torment me. I swear (I'm probably exaggerating here), but every time I had to introduce myself to a class or new person, someone always made a comment about my name. Either they didn't understand it or they rhymed it with Grody, or changed it to Dodo or Doo Doo. All of which, to this day, make me fight back tears. Honestly, people...don't make fun of my name unless you want me to hold a grudge against you that will last a lifetime. I can still remember every person in my life who has laughed at my name, including a Kindergartner. And I was kidding about the grudge, but not about remembering it. I'm an elephant when it come to laughing at my name...don't go there.
ANYWAY, (deep seated issue, anyone?) I was at church camp. About to introduce myself to the group. Petrified, not wanting to utter a word. I was sucking on a watermelon Jolly Rancher at the time and about to choke on my watermelon-flavored spit, I was so nervous. But, not wanting to call more attention to myself by not standing up like everyone else, I stood. I said "Hi, I'm Dodi ______ from the Church of Christ in ___________, Oklahoma." But somehow, when I said "Dodi," the Jolly Rancher was stuck to the roof of my mouth and it came out "Jody." The group leader said "Hello, Jody, thank you for joining us here at Osage Hills." I didn't correct him. I've done this countless times in my life and I only started correcting people a few years ago. Jody never got made fun of. Dodi was teased mercilessly. So, I would just keep my mouth shut. Usually, it was an introduction that was made in passing and didn't really matter. But, since this was the first day of camp and the main introduction to all the other campers in my group, it kind of mattered. So for about two full days, I was Jody. I answered to it, I let others introduce me as Jody, the counselors called me Jody. And no one teased me even once. It was pure bliss.
And then I wore my monogrammed Calvin Klein jeans. First of all, I know it's lame to have monogrammed jeans. I don't know if that was popular back then, but my Nana bought me two pair at the Prairie Flower and I loved them. I had a khaki pair with burgundy monogramming and a denim pair with light blue monogramming. And of course, I brought both pair to church camp. (Church of Christ camps wouldn't allow shorts...they are too sexy.) And wore the khaki first. The burgundy stood out fairly well against the khaki, but it never really occurred to me. You know where this is going, right? We were actually at some outdoor activity, when an older boy, a counselor I think, said "Hey, Jody, why do your pants have a D A A?"
Holy crap (yeah, I thought naughty words at church camp.)
"What do you mean?" I said casually?
"I mean, if your name is Jody, how are your initials D A A?" he responded, logically.
Oh my God, if you love me at all, let me die right now.
"My name isn't Jody. It's Dodi. I never said it was Jody." I said, acting as if he was a complete idiot for calling me by the wrong name.
"You told everyone it was Jody. Everyone has been calling you Jody." he said. He wasn't acting mean, but I hated his guts at that moment.
"OH, are they? I hadn't noticed." I said, trying to be cool, but obviously lying.
He then announced to anyone within ear shot my real name, laughing because he was such a dope and had been saying it wrong. I was totally humiliated. I stood there, cringing, as I heard the same old jokes from P-town. "Where did you get a name like that?" "Hey, Dodo, what's happening?" The same people who had been friendly and nice to me for the past two days, suddenly turned on me. I was weird again, different. And Lord knows, being different in the 3rd grade is a curse. The week was ruined.
So, there you have it, B. An extremely embarrassing moment that causes me to sweat and shake even now, as I write about it. I hope you're happy!

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