October 09, 2010

Week(s) of Fail

Things got away from me for a little while, so I'm about a week behind with this blog right now. Well, I realize I haven't posted in approximately ten years, but that's more because I've had nothing in particular to talk about. I actually three entries for the last couple of weeks, but have not had a chance to post them! So, well, bear with me and pretend that today's entry is coming from a week and change ago.


So I'm calling it. This week (that week) is (was--you know, like I said, let's just pretend this is really happening now) the Week of Fail. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I've just been full of ridiculous, embarrassing, pointless errors all week. These are what I call "that happened" moments, and what my friend M-sensei calls "I did that" moments.

Some of these have been pretty minor, like spilling a container of bacon grease on the stove, or nearly missing the JLPT signup deadline by like, a minute (thank God for nice people on that one). And then...

And then.

And then there was Sports Day.

This week, one of my schools had their Sports Day. This isn't what you'd expect from an American perspective. We're not running around playing volleyball or anything. No, actually, it's more like a good hometown county fair, which you know I've seen a lot of in New York City, with three-legged races and tug-of-war and the like.

This is how seriously they take it, though.
From the moment they announced this event, I thought, "Well, here's a whole well of potential embarrassment for my fat, red-faced, clumsy-ass self." But the spirit of Japanese schools is all about "Do Your Best!" so I went for it. And things were going pretty okay, at first, even if I lost 3/4 of the events I was in.

Things were going pretty okay until someone decided that it would be hilarious to pair me up with the kindly, middle-aged, insanely dignified school principal in a race that involved running while squeezing a balloon against another person's back.

Really not joking on that one. Really.

I'm sure you can imagine what happened next. If you can't, don't worry, I'm imagining it enough for both of us. I'll be replaying it on the inside of my eyelids for months.

He blew up the balloon.

We turned back-to-back.

We started running.

We were out of sync, so he grabbed my arm.

I fell.

And I took him down like a linebacker.

When I realized neither of us were dead, I helped him up, gave him a gun (being a New Yorker and all), and asked him to shoot me in the face. He decided to go for the more humiliating option of being super nice about it and apologizing for making me worry.

Then I decided to quit, cry myself to sleep, wake up, and hurl myself bodily into the sun. Not because I was still embarrassed, but because I just don't know if I can live in a country where I practically dislocate someone's everything and they apologize to me.

This was the first result when I googled "shame." I like it.
 No, okay, what actually happened was that I moaned and groaned for a while, no one actually seemed to care, we finished the day, and my team won! Hooray.

Nonetheless, That Happened, I Did That, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be cringing over it for a good long while. But, on the bright side, I've got an amazing trip to Tokyo with M-sensei to look forward to! And that, I hope, will help kickstart my new "be less of an embarrassing person" campaign. Wish me luck!

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