1. Swiping, waiting and having your debit card come up declined is one of the most stomach churning moments you’ll ever experience. When this happens it’s a lose-lose scenario because if you don’t have the money in the bank, you’re now exposed – and even if it’s your account that’s malfunctioning, defending yourself and appearing bamboozled will still be greeted by funny, judgmental looks.
2. Pushing doors that are built to be pulled and vice versa. It enrages me that I have a 50/50 shot, yet I consistently guess wrong.
3. Slipping and falling in rain. I don’t have an official statistic, but this has to occur like, 94% of the time at store entryways. Seriously, next time it rains, kick your feet up and enjoy the show because at least one person will take a tumble. I’ve done it myself, take a step, slip, suddenly you’re staring at the sky for a moment, then splat — you greet the pavement.
4. Being out and unexpectedly having your flip-flop/sandal break. This is probably karma for laughing at the folks who stumbled in the rain, so just deal with it. Besides, it’s nothing a little super glue, or a lot of Elmer’s can’t solve.
5. Making awkward eye contact with someone as they enter a foul-smelling bathroom, because you know they think you’re responsible, whether you really are or not.
6. Silent room stomach growls. You know how your stomach is. It always waits until the quiet part of the movie, the silence at the table or any moment of stillness to let its rumbling roar be heard at an opportune time.
7. When someone else’s actions are beyond ridiculous but they don’t have the social awareness to sense that they should be embarrassed, so you have to feel humiliated for them.
8. Going to the wrong classroom and sitting there for a lengthy period of time before realizing that the topics of discussion don’t fit and now you’ll look like a bad-mannered student, exiting class just as it began.
9. Accidentally mentioning something to someone that was never actually told to you, but was discovered via your lurking social networks.
10. Confusing a person for something they aren’t. E.g. thinking that someone’s wife is their daughter, or mistaking a beer belly for pregnancy.
11. Falling on a treadmill. If this hasn’t happened to you, feel blessed. Not only is this terrifying, but it’s equally painful on your body and ego. One second you’re running, the next you look down and you’re further back then anticipated. The machine’s speed is too fast for your steps and suddenly you’re slammed against a hot, moving conveyor belt that swoops you off of it like a humiliating ride on Aladdin’s magic carpet mixed with a mechanical bull.
12. Locking yourself out of your car because not only is it embarrassing, it’s a ginormous hassle that we’d rather not deal with. And neither would the unlucky holder of your spare key.
13. Playing DJ and having your iPod land on one of many humiliating, guilty pleasure songs that occupy your gigabytes.
14. Talking to yourself on the road and realizing that the people in the car next to you are staring, terrified of and amused by the nutcase next to them. (A good save is to make your phone visible and pretend to be utilizing speakerphone.)
15. Being scared by ninja runners. When you’re on a peaceful jog and the music blaring through your headphones sucks you into your own little world, you completely forget about your surroundings. So when a ninja runner sneaks up on you and you catch a glimpse of them in your peripherals at the very last second, our natural reaction is to jump in fear – maybe even strike a karate-esque pose. We’ll feel humiliated when we discover that we’re not actually being attacked, and the alleged killer continues running past us. However it is a relief to know that our reaction speed isn’t too shabby.
16. Eye boogers, nose boogers, food in the teeth, stains on clothes – any type of visually off-putting monstrosity that you unknowingly wore all day. Especially terrible after a long day of coming face to face with a lot of people who you just know saw it up close and personal.
17. The unique ringtones set for special people in our lives going off in quiet settings never fails to warrant some shame. From the confines of my own home, I love having “Me So Horny” blare when you call. But in the library? Not so much.
18. Doing something odd when you’re all alone, then thinking “what if” you’re currently being recorded? It’s even more embarrassing when you realize that you seriously considered the possibility that a camera was taping your solo shenanigans.
19. Spilling your alcoholic beverage whether in a bar or at a friend’s home. Either way people are going to cry “party foul,” and make a spectacle of your clumsiness.
20. Accidentally “liking” a Facebook status or double tapping an Instagram image. The moment directly after doing so feels capable of inducing a heart attack. I’ve reconsidered mobile social networking because that’s typically when it happens. We just want to undo what we’ve done hastily, without anyone actually noticing.