I’ve made mistakes in my time, who hasn’t?

Some of those mistakes have been arse clenchingly embarrassing, like when I wrote “pubic act” instead of public act in my history book at school. Not content with putting a big red line under “pubic” with the words “OOPS!!” written alongside it, the history teacher decided to have a laugh at my expense by revealing my little faux pas to the ENTIRE class.

Course, I can laugh about now, Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, couldn’t then – went home and died.

Then there was the time I underestimated how slippy grass can be in the rain..

A short sharp shower stopped play at a local cricket match and I decided to run and rescue my deck chair, as you do. Needless to say it didn’t end well, tripping and sliding across the outfield in full view of, well, everybody.

Aaaand there was the time when I went to school without my knickers.

Nope, I wasn’t the school tramp, let me explain..

We had swimming lessons first thing on Monday mornings and I used to put my uniform on over my costume to save having to strip at the baths. Only on this occasion I’d forgot to put my knickers in my bag so having confided my lil dilemma to the teacher, she issued me with a skanky pair of PE knickers from out of the lost property box which, by the musty smell of them, had been in there since 1962.

Then I had a near death experience at high school when I got mixed up in the ability groups in swimming and was pushed in at the deep end of the swimming pool by a sadistic SS trained PE teacher (and cow) I nearly drowned. My friend had to jump in and save me (cus the teacher couldn’t be arsed) and I eventually surfaced with more snot on my face than a two year old and, WORSE, my swimming costume around my midriff. Yes, I flashed my Brad Pitts to everybody. Oh, nearly forgot to mention that it was a MIXED session!

Or maybe the time I’d worked up the courage to go to college as a mature student. After many self-help psyching sessions, I marched in the PACKED room, flounced up to the important looking lady sat on the table at the front and announced in my most confident voice, “Hello, I’m T, pleased to meet you. Where do you want me to sit?” to which she replied, “Wherever you want love, the tutor isn’t here yet!” I smouldered my way over to a seat with a set of cheeks that would fry an egg in three seconds flat.

Have you ever wished for a big hole to open up and take you down?

Plenty more little anecdotes from where these came from only I like to limit my posts to under 1000 words!

Then there are the mistakes which eat you up from the inside.

The things I’ve done that I wish I hadn’t.

The things I said.

The things I didn’t say.

But I’m human and to err is human, as they say.

So now I look at my life, my gaffs, my faux pas – my mistakes and acknowledge that they have all been learning curves. Life is one big learning curve and it’s OK to make mistakes.

But what about the mistakes which cost lives? Doctors, police, firefighters, paramedics and military personnel all have the burden of other people’s lives in their hands on a daily basis and then there are other professions which are responsible for the safety of others. They are human beings so it is inevitable that mistakes will be made and while they will no doubt learn from each one, I don’t know how they are able to cope with the knowledge that their action or decision cost a life. It’s an immense responsibility and not one I envy. I accidentally knocked my mate’s tooth out the first time I played hockey and I felt bad enough about that! Yet another mistake!

Mistakes are essential for our personal growth and we’ll keep making mistakes until the day they put the toe tag on because we never stop learning. If you get to the point where you feel you have nothing more to learn, you might as well shuffle off your mortal coil and make some room for someone else.

My mistakes were embarrassing but nobody died. Well I nearly did but in the end I survived to the entertainment of my class. You’re welcome, folks!

Even though I’ve been shifting about uneasily in my chair as the memories have come flooding back, I’m able to see the funny side and laugh at myself even it’s a manically insane, hide the knife, laugh. At the time it would have been a full on crisis because I was a teenager and a teenager’s very existence is fraught with angst over the slightest thing. Such as:

  • Zit = angst
  • Broken pencil = angst
  • Period = psychotic angst
  • Flopping boobs out in front of the class in the swimming pool = kill me now my life is over – angst

I dealt with it by locking myself in my room and playing Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now on repeat.

I was (and still am) a complete disaster zone but, in my humble opinion, there are no mistakes that we can’t learn from – it’s just that some mistakes are harder to live with than others.

Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts. ~ Jim Morrison


43 thoughts on “OOPS!

  1. Too funny! Shouldn’t laugh … but I am.

    The Smiths were the soundtrack to my teenage years and beyond. Well, that and the Benny Hill music for all my shameful faux pas.

    • Hehe..
      Laugh, laugh away. I’m OK with it all now. *twitches*
      It’s definitely Some Mother’s Do Ave Em music for me. In fact, I’ll buy myself a beret and have done with it. 😀

  2. Oh I did feel for your poor teenaged self going through all that! You really had some horribly unsympathetic teachers and it sounds like they were the ones making the real mistakes in being needlessly cruel. And you’re right, making mistakes is part of being human and the most important thing is learning from them. Great post. xx

  3. Oooh, some of those things were a bit of a nightmare weren’t they-the kind of things you read and think ‘thank goodness that wasn’t me’! Sorry. Lovely take on what can be a very complicated topic, as you hinted at x

  4. Your 1962 knickers made me laugh so hard and I’m just about to go into a meeting too 😀 It also reminded me of the day I was about 12 and I dropped my gym knickers in the middle of the whole classroom. I was so embarrassed I bawled for a whole hour

  5. Oh my gosh I feel your pain. I was reading this thinking, yes, I’ve done loads of stuff like that too. I used to wonder why my middle daughter is so clumsy, but when I look back at my youth, I was exactly the same. It is amazing how some incidents still have the power to make you cringe isn’t it. Those are the mistakes you definitely learn from, never to be repeated again, that’s for sure.

  6. Very funny, it’s horrible how your mind replays these incidents even when they happened years and years ago. The cringing memory always feels as bad as it did on the day! You must have been traumatised by swimming for life! I love that Jim Morrison quote.

  7. Lovely lady you are far too hard on yourself, I doubt very highly that you are a complete disaster zone. You’ve told those school stories with a good sense of humour but I know that ground-please-swallow-me feeling only too well from those days… I’m also a big believer in learning from our mistakes to grow, and to move forwards with life. Looking over our shoulder and regretting is a crap way to live xx #ThePrompt

  8. Blimey, makes you wonder how any of us survive into adulthood without actually dying of embarassment at some point! You really do have some corkers there (and no I’m not *just* referring to the Brad Pitt incident 😉 ) I couldn’t do any of those jobs you mention – so much responsibility (although having said that my job does involve preventative policing and my title is actually ‘decision maker’ (which always makes me laugh at the irony!) so me and all my colleagues are constantly having in depth discussions about certain people and situations and how the future might be affected by our action or lack thereof… The thought of being a surgeon though, makes me shudder. Those people must have so much self confidence!! (One would hope!). 🙂 X #theprompt

  9. Oh lovely, yet another post that has had me go from tears of laughter (sorry!) to nodding in agreement. And caused me to remember the swimming lesson where I discovered my swimsuit was see through when wet… *shudder*. Serious design flaw if you ask me 🙂 The teenage years are full of cringe worthy moments, and maybe we need them to make us stronger… I think as we get older it becomes easier to learn from our mistakes; rather than just want to forget they ever happened! Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

  10. Ah yes, mistakes we made as teenagers. They do tend to live with us for the rest of our lives don’t they? I was certainly guilty of a few; starting smoking, telling Lisa I fancied her, drinking the sparkling wine I won at the fete AND a half pint beer tankard of gin and tonic. I could go on, but I fear I’m being frightfully dull. I really don’t feel comfortable admitting that I have anything in common with Jim Morrison, but as a teenager some of my worst mistakes were indeed haircuts. #theprompt

    • “drinking the sparkling wine I won at the fete AND a half pint beer tankard of gin and tonic.”
      “but I fear I’m being frightfully dull”
      Well you haven’t said what happened AFTER you downed the wine, beer and gin. 😀

  11. Tracy, this did make me laugh yesterday, that was an achievement in itself! I will tell you of 2 oops moments when I was trying to be vain and then 1 little story of somebody making a mistake to me.
    VAIN 1…. Family holiday abroad, came out of the sea wearing my bikini (not a good sight in itself) sat on the waters edge to dry off in the sun as always moaning at the kids for getting the towels soaking wet. Sat there, bum on the floor, legs bent in a kneel position, head hanging backwards, trying, yes trying to look sexy. Glanced down at myself and thought wtf is that on my leg……only my blue bloody tampon string stuck to my leg for all to see. Had to kind of gather it up and shove it in bikini bottoms.
    VAIN 2…..Went swimming with family to an indoor swimming theme pool type thing. Thought best wear a swimsuit body is really not to be seen close up. Needed a wee so off I popped to the loo. Now trying to get a wet swimsuit back up is a hard job. Was very very carful to check boobs were properly covered. When walking back to pool, friend was waving at me in a panic, hadn’t checked the downstairs part of the swimsuit, it was only caught halfway in my foo foo, so half a foo foo was there to be seen by all
    SOMEBODY MAKING A MISTAKE TO ME…..went to the local post office and the very nice kind chatty lady said to me in a rather loud voice…”oh congratulations, I didn’t know you were pregnant”……now as this was only about 3 years ago, I had to say…I’m not, I’m just chubby. Poor woman was mortified…..she went very red and tried to make things better which actually was prolonging my pain……got home after laughing there and telling here not to worry…..and burst into tears in the comfort of my own home.
    LESSON LEARNT BY ALL OF ABOVE….. I probably should never venture out!!!!!
    Love you Tracy xxxxxxx

    • PMSL!!
      I’ve belly laughed at those…the tampon, the foo, Dear oh dear that’s made my day!! 😀 Brilliant!!
      The positive of the baby thing is that she considered you young enough to be preggers lol. Take that as a compliment, forget the rest.
      Thank you so much for your hilarious comment. You made I laugh too. 😀 Love you dear lady xXxXx

  12. Your post has made me laugh, school is just the most embarassing of times isn’t it? I think I would have locked myself in my bedroom and refused to come out if is flashed my class at school! xx

  13. As someone who’s made more mistakes than most, like standing up when I thought the erection I got from a particularly bumpy bus ride to school had gone, but hadn’t to giving misplaced advice that led to the hospitalisation and near death of colleagues, I can really appreciate this post. It’s a tongue in cheek message that we all make mistakes but the important thing is that we learn from them and move on. It’s not the mistake that defines us, it’s the lesson we take from it.

    Brilliant post.

  14. Reblogged this on disillusioned dad and commented:
    Mummy Shambles takes a humorous look at the value of mistakes and the importance of learning in life. Please try not to laugh too hard at her anecdotes, she did have to relive them all over again whilst writing this after all!

    I would love to hear what your most memorable mistake has been?

  15. I giggled so much about the oops. Sorry. If it’s any consolation, we had “pubic static main” written on our white board in our office for months until I gave in and added the L.
    Teenage angst was both the best and the worst. It has provided me with hours of entertainment (and blood curdling cringes) in my “adult” years.
    I’m still a psychotic, angsty teenager underneath these wrinkles, scars and mum tum. X

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