|Below you will find e-mails I sent to the American Center for Journalistic
Integrity: Seventeen Magazine. These messages were intended for
a section of their magazine entitled "Trauma Rama," wherein their readership
contributes stories of embarrassment, woe, and angst (sometimes all three
at once!). Unfortunately, my submissions resulted in the receipt of the
following e-mail (I'd gone under the guise of Samantha Delahoyde):
Last year was my freshman year and I was sooooo excited. On the first day
of school I decided to wear this really great top I'd just bought at the
mall with my sister. As I got off the bus and started walking towards my
first class, I saw the cutest guy ever. I kept walking, just staring at
this hot guy, then all of the sudden I was attacked by a swarm of sheep
clothed in small, yet quaint-looking sweaters. It was so humiliating. I'm
glad I was in the hospital for eight months.
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2001 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: An Embarrassing Story That Might Or Might
Not Have Happened To Me, Dependant Upon Your Sources
Although we appreciate entries to Trauma Rama, we go through
about 100 letters a day and would prefer reading stories that are
honest. Please continue to mail us stories if they are true.
This summer I was working at a deli to save up enough money to go on a
trip to Seattle with my school. I was cutting bread when my crush walked
in and wanted to order something. Nobody else was up front so I had to
help him. I was so nervous! He didn't notice me from class and just ordered
a turkey sandwich. While I was making it for him I tried to think of something
to say, but couldn't come up with the courage, so I just turned around
and yelled "What? You think you're better than everyone, Mr. Turkey Sandwich?"
Then I threw the half-made sandwich at his dog. Oh yeah, his dog was there
One time, during volleyball practice, I was serving and wanted to make
sure it went well. I hit the ball up and it started to get into play. Everyone
thought it was a great serve and they made me captain of the team. I was
On a family vacation to Florida, my parents were being major hassles and
weren't letting me go off anywhere by myself. Finally, on one of the last
days of the trip, they said I could go to the beach. I was walking around,
enjoying the sun when this major hottie came up and started talking to
me. We walked for hours around all the shops near the beach. When we walking
there was a truck unloading a bunch of boxes filled with styrofoam cups
into a coffee store. My new crush dared me to steal one of the boxes while
he hid behind the corner, so of course I did it. When I came back, with
the box in hand he asked what I had done. Apparently he'd just asked
"You want to go see a movie?" but I thought he'd said, "Go steal those
boxes of Styrofoam cups, then bring them back here." It was soooo embarrassing.
I'm always doing things like that.
A few days ago, my best friend and I were at the mall when we saw my major
crush hanging out with a bunch of his friends. I'm really shy so
I didn't know what to do, but went up to him anyway and said "Hi."
He turned around and said, "Hey," but I couldn't think of anything
more to say. It was really awkward. Luckily a nineteen-foot cylindrical-disc
shaped object appeared in the mall and started making strange noises and
shooting out beams of light onto the ground. It also started delivering
buffalo via a long rope into the food court, where it would release them.
That made talking to him a lot easier.
All my friends and I were having a sleep over one night and were watching
our all time favorite movie "Grease," when all of the sudden Jamie (my
best-friend) asked me if I'd ever had sex before. I told her "No." Everybody
giggled because they could tell I was eight months pregnant despite all
my efforts to hide it. I was really embarrassed.
At prom this last year was very embarrassing for me. I thought that my
date was this total hottie who was on the baseball team and who I'd been
crushing on all year. When we arrived at the hotel I discovered that it
was only a broom with a balloon taped to the top of it. Apparently
I had forgotten to put my contacts in. I spent the next three days locked
in my room, shame-ridden, full of homicidal rage.
For school we have to volunteer somewhere for a semester. I chose a nursing
home because I like working with people. I was having a lot of fun, until
one day when this man yelled at me for not talking to him. I walked over,
sat down, and started speaking to him just so he'd calm down. Just then
this really cute doctor walked in and sat with the angry old man and me.
We all sat there starring at each other. It was very awkward and strange.
I eventually fell asleep. When I woke up, I was in a closet. I got up and
went home after that.
My mom and I were shopping for tortoise shells for our tortoise, when all
of the sudden the gigantic head of Bea Arthur (star of the Emmy-winning
"The Golden Girls") floated close to us, beckoning us to feel its warm
glow. It offered us a message of peace and joy. After we'd touched
it, it disappeared. We'd been fooled into thinking we had seen God. I was
When I got my license, I was sixteen and I was so nervous. I am really
clumsy, so I knew that it was just a matter of time before I got into an
accident. I was driving by myself on the freeway for the first time when
time stopped altogether. Everything was in mid-movement, but somehow
I hadn't been affected. I got out, still on the freeway and walked among
the frozen people and their cars. I decided to steal all of the wallets
I could get my hands on. Several hours later (or what seemed like it) I
had accumulated one hundred and eighty thousand dollars, then time started
again. I bought a bunch of stuff and never told anyone.
A few years ago, when I was crossing the Atlantic by help of a talking
hovercraft, I realized that my best guy friend was really sweet and that
maybe I should go after him. Unfortunately, when I flew back into Denver
on the back of a gigantic lightning bug, I found that he'd been stabbed
to death in a street war organized by rival gangs. The next day I got my
haircut and the hairstylist cut it way too short and I looked like a boy.
I was so embarrassed; I wore a hat until it grew out.