Red wine on the carpet, a public stumble or a gash in a priceless painting – what’s your most embarrassing moment?

There are some women who seem able to remain effortlessly poised at all times. Others are more like Bridget Jones, stumbling from one mishap to another. Most women though can probably remember a time when they’ve found themselves cringing with embarrassment, wanting the ground to swallow them up.

If you can remember such a moment – a glass of red wine sloshing onto your friend’s new cream carpet maybe – then you can begin to imagine the mortifying shame that must have been felt by the clumsy art student who this week stumbled and fell into an £80million Picasso, tearing a six inch hole in the canvas.

The Metropolitan Museum in New York, where the accident occurred, have kindly declined to name the student and have offered reassurances that the painting can be restored in time for the Picasso exhibition in April. It still makes you cringe though to imagine that gut wrenching, slow motion split-second where she knows she is falling, but is powerless to help herself.

I had a rather embarrassing moment this week when, driving myself and a friend to a meeting, I misjudged a corner and crashed into a verge. My first thought as I struggled to avoid a telegraph pole, was not for my safety, or that of the car, but for passenger and my ego. Fortunately no one was hurt, but all I could think was how embarrassing to make such an awful mistake and to crash your friend into a hedge.

My friend Lucy has had more than her fair share of embarrassing moments, including a late night tumble that resulted in a trip to the dentist. “I’d been at a party full of important people,” she confessed, “and was very nervous, so I had drunk quite a lot. I was late leaving and could see my bus disappearing round the corner. I ran for it, attempting to leap onto the back, but I missed, and smashed my face into the pavement. I could hear people saying “Oooh!” but I got up and felt fine. When I woke up the next day and looked in a mirror though I realised that I’d knocked out both my front teeth…”

Unfortunately, unless you can maintain a permanent air of Judi Dench like grace, these types of mishaps are unavoidable. It could be that as women we are distracted by our multi-tasking brains, but more likely it is a combination of hormones and high heels, conspiring to turn us into Bridget style stumbling fools. Note to self: the next time you’re feeling clumsy, steer well clear of galleries.

Photo credit: Andrea



  1. 28 January, 2010 / 12:03 pm

    I think my most embrassing moment was back when I did online dating. In my local supermarket with children in tow someone reconised me and instead of politely not saying anything, thought they would be smart and call me by my profile name rather loudly.

    • 28 January, 2010 / 7:50 pm

      God, that sounds awful! I always worried when I was online dating that someone I knew you come across my profile. In the supermarket though…that’s harsh!

  2. 28 January, 2010 / 3:20 pm

    too many embarassing moments …maybe the worst ever was getting drunk at a friend’s christmas party (I didn’t really like her actually) my two kids were there too and I was waiting for my husband to pick me up but he never showed. The friend’s hubby was really annoying playing jingle bells on the guitar and telling terrible jokes and at some point I told friend ‘why are you even married to that idiot’ and slagged him off for a while. Wierdly enough friend did not disagree with me maybe cos she was having an affair and had to placate me. Anyway not sure if her hubby heard comments or not but it was rather embarassing because he had to drive me+kids home in the end and the conversation was strained to say the least ….the very least!

    • 28 January, 2010 / 7:52 pm

      Sounds not at all uncomfortable :-)

  3. Lucy
    28 January, 2010 / 6:36 pm

    I once put my foot on the accelerator instead of the brake while parking, and rammed about five cars. I reacted in the sensible way of course, and went completely hysterical, screaming and screaming and gathering quite a large crowd of onlookers before my husband (No. 1) dragged me out and parked the car properly…

    • 28 January, 2010 / 7:53 pm

      Hahaha! This made me laugh a lot. A very sensible reaction :-)

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