Your heart drops into your shoes and works ferociously as it pumps blood from your toes to your hairline. You can feel your neck and cheeks get hot and an alarm sounds in your brain. Everything begins to shut down. You splutter. Tears squeeze out of nowhere. You want to run away.
Maybe you don't react quite to this extreme when you have an embarrassing moment, but most of us can't escape the fluorescent glow to the cheeks and the paralyzing self-consciousness. Such moments are often unavoidable, and they come at the worst possible time. That's what makes them embarrassing. These incidents are sometimes laughable after they occur, but often our stomachs churn for years later at the thought of them.
A few brave teenagers agreed to actually re-live their embarrassing moments.
Marissa Moore, sophomore, Northridge High: "For my birthday party when I was 11 or so we went swimming and while we were dunking each other the top of my swimsuit came down and I didn't even notice for like a minute. I finally found out and I was so embarrassed."
Jamie Spackman, sophomore, Syracuse High: "In eighth grade I was talking to a guy. When I left he tripped me. As I fell, I tripped him and he fell too. I ended up landing on top of him face to face and it was so embarrassing. I kind of liked him."
Chase Vance, senior, Davis High: "Me and my girlfriend were goofing around coming home from an activity and went downstairs to watch TV with her little brothers and sisters. It was the Olympic channel and ice skating was on. Some girl did some amazing jump spinning thing that got her an awesome score and being as cocky as I am I was like, 'I can do that, I'm pro!' She and her little siblings were like, 'No way, not a chance,' so I was like, 'Fine.' So I jumped and slammed my head into the ceiling, knocking myself out and making a huge hole in the ceiling. It hurts to this day!"
Krystal Hassard, sophomore, Syracuse High: "I was in the first 'Brand New Year.' It is a performance put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help the youth keep their high standards. We were performing it live and I ran across the stage singing. I didn't see the stairs and I tripped right when my picture was on the big screen in the Conference Center. I was so embarrassed."
Stephanie Black, sophomore, Northridge High: "I was hanging out with a big group of people and the guy I like and stuff and we were playing soccer. Then all of a sudden I turn around and I get hit ridiculously hard right in the middle of my face with the soccer ball. My nose starts to bleed out of both nostrils and my mouth was bleeding as well, and I had to run past everyone to get to the bathroom and it sucked, and it was just one of those moments where even though you don't want to cry, you can't help it!"
Jo Passman, senior, Ogden High: "On the first day of middle school I had this huge backpack on and it was completely open and I ran into some kid; he was pretty big, probably an eighth grader. All my stuff spilled out and I just felt really stupid because he was really big and I was really small."
Cheyna Field, sophomore, Syracuse High: "I was at (a pioneer) trek and I had my dress tucked into my spandex. No one told me and then a really cute guy walked by. I turned bright red and ran away."
The story that tops them all though, comes from Terra Brinley, a graduate of Bonneville High School, who said she was going tanning and chose one of the more expensive beds at the very front of the store.
There was an accordion-like curtain that separated the bed from viewers, but when Brinley opened up the bed and sat up after her session she realized -- to her horror -- that the curtain had slid completely open, displaying her to everyone waiting in line at the front of the salon. She was not wearing a swimsuit. All she could do was jump up quickly and shut the curtain.
TX. correspondents Cheylie Dotson, Davis High; Lynette Randall, Northridge High, and Michelle Thurgood, Syracuse High, contributed to this story.
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Alexandra Burton is a junior at Ogden High School. You will find her running, reading, writing or playing the violin. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.