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Embarrassing Stories: Egos and Kiddy Pools

Always keep your head up
My Grandma Holland called it uppity. You know, too big for your britches, thinking a little too highly of yourself.

I don’t think I’ve ever been an overly-confident person, but I guess there are phases in our lives when we might start to believe our own press. I’ve decided that God has a special radar for these moments and a pretty good sense of humor for issuing corrections.

And being a teenager can make for plenty of embarrassing stories. I was fifteen when I went with my aunt and uncle and cousins to Myrtle Beach one summer. I wasn’t yet allowed to date, sixteen being the milestone for that to occur, but boys had started to act as if they might like to ask me out on a date. And yes, that does do something for a girl’s ego at that age.

Mine was extra puffy that first afternoon at the swimming pool. I was wearing a fairly teeny lime bikini and had already gotten a start on my summer tan.

When everyone else went up to our rooms to get ready for dinner, I decided to stay on a little longer with the book I was reading. I think I was the only one left at the pool. When I heard someone whistling from the balcony above, I wasn’t exactly being conceited in thinking it might be directed at me.

Swimming pool, wooden deck and pink beach shoes with hat

I stayed in my chair another minute or two without taking my eyes off the pages of my book. But then I stood, grabbing my towel and letting myself glance up at the source of the whistles. Three guys who appeared to be seventeen or eighteen years old. Cute, too. Waving now with a, “Hey, baby!”

It was flattering. Who wouldn’t be flattered?

I smiled back at them and set off across the pool, book in one hand, open can of V-8 in the other, deliberately looking out at the ocean to avoid meeting their gazes. I might have secretly liked the attention, but I had no idea what to do with it.

I tried to appear as if this kind of thing happened to me all the time, that maybe I even found it a little boring.

I concentrated on the sound of the ocean waves, the smell of salt in the air. As soon as they realized I was ignoring them, they began whistling again. It was just as I decided to toss them another smile that the tile flooring beneath my feet completely disappeared and turned into water.

At the same time I heard the splash, I realized I had walked into the middle of the kiddy pool, which was all of eighteen inches deep. I landed on the bottom, hard, pitching forward. The remainder of my V-8 emptied into the pool, my book hitting the surface and absorbing the water like a sponge.

The boys didn’t laugh, although I cannot imagine how they managed not to. I also have no idea how I climbed out of that pool with a shred of dignity intact.

As ego checks go, it was darned effective, if not especially subtle. Correction noted.

More truths on being a teenager? Here’s a great post listing 27 of them!

Some quotes about growing up:

The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.

Max Lerner


Maturity is a high price to pay for growing up.

Tom Stoppard


No matter where you are or where you grow up, you always go through the same awkward moments of being a teenager and growing up and trying to figure out who you are.

Aimee Teegarden



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