Age: Four I waddle into the bathroom with my short, chubby legs and turn to stare at my father’s razor. My fingers wrap around its handle, and I feel powerful and grown-up. I gently place the razor on my face and pull down, waiting for the triumph to pulse through my body. Instead, I experience a sharp slice and a burning sting on my cheek as blood slowly drips down my face. Shaking with fear, I bellow the loudest I possibly can, hot tears gushing from my eyes. My family, alarmed, peak their heads into the bathroom, wondering what had happened. I expect them to quickly help me, save me from bleeding to death, but instead they just stand there, laughing hysterically. The next day, all my brother does is taunt me, yelling “Where’s your beard? Huh?” or “Who do you think you are? A man?” Now, I waddle with shame.
Age: Ten I wait for my hot plate of spaghetti to come, lazily staring out the window to erase the heaviness of boredom. Soon, I start to leave for the bathroom, but my mother demands that I wait for her. Having done enough waiting, I ignore her and saunter past the dense crowd of people until I reach my destination. But when I strut out of the bathroom with my head held high, proud of being without a parent, I get funny stares. The buzzing of the people decrescendo, the clinking of silverware ends. Then a young waitress whispers to me, “Honey, your skirt is stuffed in your underwear…” I jerk my head around to see everyone staring at my derriere. Now people will be pointing their fingers at me, screaming “Hey look! It’s that underwear girl!” I never want to show my face in public again.
Age: Eighteen It’s 2AM and I still have that physics test to study for. I try to read about Archimedes’ Principle, but I always read the same line: “Archimedes is said to have discovered his principle in his bath…” The word “bath” suddenly reminds me of my attempt to shave my facial hair. It reminds me of that time I kindly exposed my underwear. It reminds me of the total embarrassment I had. Tears start to well up in my eyes from laughing so hard. My eyes are reduced to slits, a goofy smile plastered on my face. Rather than regretting moments of complete foolishness, I’ve learned to move forward, laugh it off, and be thankful that it happened. No matter what setbacks I face, trivial or large, I keep trucking on and take with me what I’ve learned: to never be afraid to put myself out there, to never deplore some silly action of mine. Within a few years, I can look back on these embarrassing moments and have a good hearty laugh. Simply remembering those humiliating moments and cherishing the buffoon within can leave a smile on your face. That’s why I believe in making a fool of yourself.