You know you have one. It’s the kind of thing that you drag out and show old friends, or reminisce about with your family, or try to forget and NEVER bring up again. Sort of like baby photos, actually. I’m an easily embarrassed person, but I also have the lucky ability to forget most everything mortifying that I’ve ever done. With one major, story-worthy exception.
In 2004 I spent the second half the year abroad doing college exchange programs. I traveled to Chile and Spain, and by the end I was getting pretty good at Spanish. I thought so, at any rate. And to cap off all that studying my sister came to visit – she met me in Madrid and we did a little whirlwind European Christmas vacation. To start it off, though, she missed her connection in Philly, and had to meet me there a day late.
So to keep to my master schedule, we had to fit it all in during ONE grueling day in Madrid. And we certainly tried. I took her to the Palacio Real (the royal family’s official residence in the city), on a plaza tour ending at the Plaza Mayor, and to the Prado (only one of the most famous art museums EVER, don’t you know). We were seriously tired by Prado time. I was also starved for a little bit of Americana, so when I spotted a Starbucks across the street, I was able to convince Ginny to stop there to rest our feet and so we could write postcards. Because you know that postcards are the best and cheapest souvenirs, aside from a Latin lover. But that’s a whole different story…
We got our drinks (oh, the bliss!), I chatted and flirted with the barista, and we lounged for a bit (and scribbled to friends and family, after all). Ginny convinced me to go and try to charm another drink out of the guy at the counter. So I did. Grande mocha! After a sufficient revival period, we decided to move on to the next tourist attraction.
We got up to leave. I was reveling in my newfound ‘skills’ and turned to say goodbye to cute Mr. Barista.
And walked straight into the sliding glass door.
Before you ask, yes, it was functioning perfectly. I just came at it at an angle, so it didn’t have the time to sense me before I engaged it in a full frontal assault.
Pretty sure a blush covered my entire body.
The most humiliating thing? I could hear the barista LAUGHING behind me.
I hauled Ginny the rest of the way out of the store in utter mortification,
and almost MOWED OVER an innocent little old lady on the sidewalk.
After that I slowed down and tried to breathe. In and out. Ginny was laughing and exclaiming and generally trying not to die of excess amusement. I, of course, was actively trying to melt into the sidewalk.
Eventually I recovered enough to act like a normal human being. Or as close an approximation as I will ever get to normal or human being. But see if I ever visit that Starbucks again (well, I might if I ever make it back to Madrid)!