Give Me 5 Minutes and I’ll Embarass You

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

On New Year’s Eve 2011 I went to a party with my friends at their neighbor’s house. My friends had just moved to the neighborhood a few months earlier, so they didn’t know the neighbors too well yet and I had never met the neighbors. Everything was going well. I met our hosts Chris and Mandy, they told us to make ourselves at home, bathroom is next to the kitchen and beer pong is in the garage.

I was sitting on the couch next to my friend Vickie talking with some of the other guests when there was a lull in the conversation. What’s the first question that popped into my head? What do you think of the color of the walls? It was teal if you’re wondering.

My answer was that I didn’t care for it and the rest of the room was split on the color. When I suggested that it was a typical Mandy choice everyone agreed that it was. Of course Mandy heard all this going on and decided it was time to come over. She asked why I didn’t like it and I explained my reasoning.

She was satisfied with what I said, but she couldn’t believe that I came up with something so perceptive only minutes after meeting her and that I would bring it up in front of a group of strangers. Her next question for me. Would you like a tour of the rest of the house so you can critique it too?

I promptly accepted her offer and began to stand up until someone grabbed me by the belt and told me to sit down. It was Vickie. I’d embarrassed her and she had seen enough. Not an easy task, but I had done it.

I see Mandy from time to time when I’m there, she thinks I’m pretty cool and we get along quite well. Would she have thought that if I had critiqued the rest of her home? Maybe, but there’s a good chance she would have thought I was just some blabbering idiot. Instead of touring the rest of the house, her and I talked about her work and cooking and other intelligent subjects.

Sometimes we need to stop. Sometimes for no other reason than our own well being. It seems like we’re taught to keep on pushing or to work harder and that will get us through, but sometimes you’re pushing so hard to get the door to open that you don’t stop long enough to realize that it says pull to open. There’s a time for everything. A time to push and a time to pull, but figuring out when is sometimes the hardest part.

When has being stopped been a good thing for you?


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