TITLE: Honking Horns and Tanning Beds
By Jan Chapman
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Embarrassed. Em-barr-assed. Even the word itself invoked a quickening of my heart. If allowed to hover in the air too long I felt a warming around my neck that began to bubble and gurgle. Within nanoseconds the coursing blood exploded in my face and I was white hot. If perchance I was actively involved in the actual process of being embarrassed, the feeling of flesh melting triggered my olfactory nerves to slip into overdrive and I could actually smell the scorching skin as it slipped off my face.
Once I was behind a vehicle with a bumper sticker that proclaimed, “Honk if you love Jesus.” Wanting to show my love for the Lord, I beeped and waved. The woman stopped her truck at the traffic light, got out, and stomped back to my car where I was hemmed in behind her and the car that was pulled up behind me. She began slapping my car window while screaming and cursing with spit flying out of her mouth speckling my car window. She screamed that she would go as soon as the blankety blank blank light turned green.
One time I went to the emergency room with such severe abdominal pain that I knew I was going to die. I thought surely I had some exotic disease or at least salmonella as I had been having diarrhea for a week and felt so dreadful I worried if my will was up to date. I had to go through a thousand dollars worth of tests for them to tell me they could not find anything wrong with me. It was upon returning home and discarding the emesis basin into the trash that I saw the last remnants of broccoli and realized the problem. I had hit a plateau on my diet and had been eating broccoli three times a day for a week. That was how I had blown my intestines up like a balloon. I thank God I did not end up with a perforated bowel.
The first and only time I ever signed up for tanning bed visits just happened to be the time that an “electrician” had installed cameras in four of the tanning rooms. Ye-ah, that was fun going to court and testifying that that was me entering the room, disrobing and climbing in and out of the bed ever so gracefully. Uh, ye-ah that was me checking out my tan in the mirror before dressing. Yes, that would be me missing the leg of my panties with my foot and stumbling all over the room trying to grab hold of something so as not to fall and give myself a concussion.
I had to have an x-ray for a health issue that required me to lay on a table completely nude without even a sheet or one of those little paper gowns while the doctor drew all over me with a marker. The techs had to splay open my legs and position them in order for the doctor to continue to draw on my thighs and groin area for a bit of what they call radiation. They videoed this episode so that made the little Hustler layout even more special if you can imagine. What made the whole process so utterly perfect was when a gentleman that goes to my church and whom I had no idea was an x-ray technician entered the room to assist.
I have a little experience in the embarrassment department. Because of it, I have learned that embarrassment, funny or not, is associated with feelings of self-consciousness, humiliation, and shame. I try to remove myself from those feelings quickly by remembering to focus on my Lord and not my circumstances. I don’t dwell on it. Knowing that God will never forsake me helps me face every obstacle with hope and perseverance. I have realized that we survive the experience; we live to tell about it, to look back and laugh at it, and then we let it go. We are a stronger and better person for having gone through it. Sounds like something your mom would say, doesn’t it? It’s true.
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