The online playground of Andrea Schwandt-Arbogast:web design, university web development, animals, books, and other slices of life.

What’s your greatest fear?

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Now onto the good stuff.

( Blush )

After having some great fun embarrassing a new friend in the last couple of days, complete with unflattering photos and references to bodily functions (the old stand-bys never let you down), I got to thinking about what would embarrass me the most.

I have always been terribly afraid of being embarrassed. I don’t know if this has to do with my gender or my chemistry or just my personality, but the thought of making a fool of myself fills me with terror. After having already dealt with the big C and the the big D, I have to say that feeling embarrassed is what I fear the most.

My quest to not embarrass myself has led to claims of shyness, avoidance of public speaking, and various other insecurities and defense mechanisms. I am getting better at dealing with it— I have learned that I often know what I’m talking about and therefore am unlikely to embarrass myself, and when I don’t know what I’m talking about I can fake it with the best of them. (I’m convinced that this is a skill that boys learn early on, but most girls have to practice at it).

But there is still one thing I cannot fake, and that is an ability to sing.

( Tremble )

Like the Schwandts and Hetslers that came before me, when the singing voices were handed ‘round, I must have been otherwise occupied. Listening to my family sing “Happy Birthday” has caused permanent damage to sensitive ears the world over. We can appreciate the finer points of music and we can play instruments, but we cannot carry a tune to save our lives.

This would all be fine if I didn’t have a secret desire to be able to belt out cheesy 80’s tunes (“Careless Whisper”, “Kiss Me Deadly”) at karaoke with my friends that were blessed with prefect pitch (I’m looking at you, Jess).

Now, some of you may know that I’m no stranger to the beer or to the martini, if conditions are right. I usually don’t let things get out of hand, but there have been times when my inhibitions have seemed to be a bit lowered. And I can’t be completely sure that won’t ever happen again.

So my greatest fear is that I will have those lowered inhibitions, a microphone will be at hand, and Anthony will be there will a DVD recorder. I think I would quite simply have to crawl into a hole and never come out again.

Your Turn

What’s your greatest fear? I promise, rational or irrational, I won’t use it against you on the interweb.



Nat writes

May 12 at 08:13 PM #

(The Copycat)

I could rattle off about a million or so examples why the two items you enumerated are at the tippy top of my list-o-fear. (sorry if this racks up your pet peeve meter, but it is one of my favorite intentional grammatical/spelling errors).  If 3 makes a collection, then 2 must constitute a support group.

On the downside:

Me=Singing=Bad News.

Me=Embarassing Moments=Reliving them over and over in my mind until I am ready for some of your happy pills.

On the upsdide:  Parenting has been my own personal fear boot camp.

Talent or not, parents sing…it’s not really a negotiable item.  And I would like to add that it is not mentioned anywhere by Dr. Sears!

As a parent, I am opening myself up for a potentially embarassing moment each and every time I leave the house.  Try keeping cool and collected while your kid has a complete meltdown in the middle of a hip urban establishment.  As I have witnessed it, it is a two-phase plan:  There’s the “hey everyone, look over here!” attention-grabber sequence (crying loudly or knocking something to the ground), then comes the second act—the “show-stopper” (usually going boneless as you try to haul them out).  All the while knowing everyone in the store is thinking “oh that poor mother and her out of control child!”

Parenting = The Great Equalizer.

Disclaimer: This is a personal accounting of a single individual, and is no way an endorsement of unprotected sex as a means of fear management therapy.



goodwitch writes

May 12 at 09:25 PM #

hmmm…which fear of embarassment to admit…i’ll start with this one:

professional: during a formal presentation…typing something like just “whitehouse” in the URL and pressing enter, not realizing that the image displayed behind me has nothing to do with the presidency (although one could have argued that point during the clinton administration!) yes, it actually happened to me.

personal:being made fun of in a malicious way.  i’ve come a long way toward learning to not take other people’s opinions personally…but in reality i’m a big tenderheart and mean people can make me cry.



Andrea writes

May 14 at 12:53 AM #

Nat:  Yes, when you were staying with us I even heard a few “e-i-e-i-o”s escape from my lips, before I realized what I was doing!  What is it about babies and singing?!  I think it may be the same phenomenon as with pets and baby-talk.  And I think “boneless” is pretty cute, even though I know it drives you crazy.  I also like “escape before they get the diaper back on”.

Goodwitch: Wow! I feel for you, although I also kind of would have liked to have seen that, for the pure morbid horrification of it all.  The looks on audience members faces must have been… interesting. I can imagine it would have been pretty hard to go on with any sort of composure after you realized what happened…

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