There are moments in one’s life that define one (and one’s life).
In other words, there are going to be moments that define you, determine your fate, and are important in you life’s journey. Some might even call these events momentous,* which, I must say, is a really good word to describe such things.
A job interview. A first date. A first kiss. A third wedding… Those kinds of things.
Moments that are etched in your mind forever. Moments that you will never, ever, ever forget… No matter how much you try, and how much time has passed, and how much therapy you have undertaken, and how good your therapist is.
Those kinds of moments.
I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting down.
Not all of these moments are good. Sometimes these moments are really, really bad and also quite embarassing.
If, for some lucky reason, you have never been embarrassed and have managed to coast through life poised and graceful, then I actually feel sorry for you because embarassment builds character (and you can quote me on that).
If, like me, you have not managed to avoid embarassment (the self-conscious emotion dictated by a disconnect between how we feel we should respond or act in public and how we actually respond or act), then you might appreciate this story.
The date was March 30, 2015. The city was Burbank, California. It was around 6pm. My husband and I were meeting some friends for dinner at Adana, a Persian restaurant that had recently been praised by The New York Times writer Mark Bittman. In other words, it was quite a scene**.
The restaurant is in an indrustrial area on San Fernando Road, which is a busy four-lane road. The windows have dark drapes that are kept closed, and you wouldn’t know it was any different from the self storage next door, except for a small sign that says, Adana.
As we walked up to the restaurant, we noticed a Buick LeSabre*** pull up in front and an older gentleman get out of the vehicle. We didn’t pay much mind, because there are approximately seven billion people on earth, and he was just one of them.
I wish I had.
I opened the door, stepped inside the restaurant, and was immediately blinded by no fewer than 100 camera flashes and a very enthusiastic and deafening rendition of “Happy Birthday” that quickly trailed off when they realized I was not the birthday boy.
I stood there, paralyzed with fear, in front of at least 100 Armenians that did not look happy****.
My whole life flashed before me: my first job interview. My first date. My first kiss. My third wedding… And then I thought about how bummed all of these Armenians would be to go through their photos later, and see pics of some stupid white chick.
I reached for my husband’s hand… knowing that we have taken sacred marital oaths and consumated our marriage literally dozens of times, to signify that whatever life brings our way, we will get through it together…
Yeah, he was nowhere to be found. Apparently, when he saw the flashes go off and heard the singing start, he ducked back outside the restaurant, leaving me alone, red-faced, literally***** dying of embarassment.
Finally, a waiter rushed over and pulled me aside, just as Buick LeSabre guy opened the door, and was immediately blinded by no fewer than 100 camera flashes and a very enthusiastic and deafening rendition of “Happy Birthday” that was sung through to completion.
My husband entered the restaurant and rushed over to me, but it was all very momentous and I needed to sit down.
Let’s just say we didn’t consumate our marriage that night.
* If you’re the kind of person who likes to throw around big words to prove to the world (and specific people) that you’re very highbrow and fancy, I would suggest adding momentous to your vernacular. Momentous (if you don’t already know) is an adjective to describe a very, very important decision, event, or change, which is of great importance or significance, especially in its bearing on the future.
** You know, associated with or immersed in a particular cultural scene.
*** I can’t actually remember what kind of car it was, but if you’re telling a story and you need a car make and model, I highly recommend a Buick LeSabre.
**** Okay, full disclosure: some of them looked happy, and some of them did not look happy.
***** Not literally.