Saturday, February 27, 2010

My first memory of feeling embarrassment

Dear Uncle Jim,

Did I tell you when I saw you last what my only childhood memory is of you? I mean, c'mon, give me a little credit - I was only 5 or so when I saw you before moving away - so it's not so shabby;
  1. The extended family was together for Christmas. There was a pool at the house where we all were. (I now know what this means, and can deduce where we were, but as a little one, this is the fundamental marker of our location).
  2. I think it was Uncle Hal who asked me to go find "Uncle Jim" and deliver a message.
  3. I said, "Okay!"
  4. I jetted off enthusiastically - having been given a job to do! I realised somewhere in the hallway that I didn't know who I was looking for. I mean, I hadn't forgotten the name I'd been assigned a few moments prior...but I had forgotten whose face belonged with said name.
  5. Relief! Here's a friendly face! A tall, thin man in the hallway bent over a little and addressed me, "Can I help you? You look lost."
  6. Could he ever! I did need help, and fast! I was on an important mission - find Uncle Jim, stat! And so I sought some directions from the enquiring helpful person I'd come upon, "I'm looking for Uncle Jim".
  7. The enquiring helpful person replied, "I'm Uncle Jim".
  8. I was mortified.
  9. This occasion is also my first memory of attempting to cover my embarrassment...and failing miserably. I've forgotten since what angle I took, but the epic fail has not been forgotten.
What I find most amusing, years later, is the realisation that if a niece or nephew of mine were to forget my name, I wouldn't think, "She/he must be so embarrassed!" but rather, "Humph. Some impression I've made!"

And that, Uncle Jim, is my earliest and only memory of you pre-NZ.

Your niece

P.S. Sorry.
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