I was taking a Masterclass on writing and one of the exercises was to write about a time you were embarrassed or frightened. It's an excellent exercise and one I recommend to improve your writing, with a little bit of therapy thrown in. :-D Recalling one of my more embarrassing days I wrote this:
Being catty makes my throat tickle like I have a giant hairball but I must confess I used to be quite snarky. Until the day it backfired. My public humiliation was served with cake, it was my cake of shame and I'm embarrassed to say I ate it anyway…
Louis was a challenging client. His custody case didn't warrant his endless phone calls and questions but since he had some issues I tried to be patient.
When Louis discovered I was Jewish he imagined we had a kinship. The week of Passover I took a day off but stopped by my office for my paycheck. As I chatted with a co-worker the receptionist buzzed on the intercom to ask if I wanted to speak with Louis. Since he was one of the reasons I needed a day off I couldn't believe she was asking.
"Of course I don't want to speak with Louis," I said, exasperated. "He's the last person I want to speak with!"
"Well, he's standing here with a gift for you," she replied coolly. "And you're on speaker phone."
It was like a bad dream, but worse than dreaming you forgot your clothes or a final exam. I was too horrified to face him. After minutes that seemed like hours I worked up the nerve to go see him. He was despondent as he handed me a Passover cake purchased from a Jewish bakery. For once, he was silent.
I tried to apologize for my rudeness explaining that it was my day off and how I was annoyed with the receptionist. He said he understood but left quickly, head down, convinced he would always be supremely annoying and all the baked goods in the world couldn't fix it.
What did I learn? That being mean leaves a bad taste in your mouth that won't go away. Even if you eat an entire cake in one sitting.