11 Times You’ve Made a Fool of Yourself (In Which You=Me)

by Natasha Sinel

(with run-on sentences and in no particular order)

  • When you almost missed the deadline for that April Fools blog post on YA Outside the Lines, but then you figured you’d just write a list of embarrassing stuff really quickly.
  • When you hooked up with that guy the first week of college freshman year, and you had so much fun hanging out, you figured you were now boyfriend/girlfriend. You were very very wrong. Sadly, it took you a long time to learn this. On the bright side? You were persistent.
  • When you had that meeting about your book release party, then got home and realized your fly was down the whole time.

  • When you were seeing “That Todd” guy in your early 20s—and even though your friends hated him, you liked how weird he was plus he introduced you to the lesser-known yet brilliant UB40 album Signing Off (and you still can’t hear “Burden of Shame” without thinking of him and his shaggy blond hair, and wait, didn’t he have a skateboard too? Yeah, he was kind of old for that. OK, your friends may have been right.) Anyway, that’s not really the embarrassing part. That part happened when you called his house one day and his mom said, “Oh, he’s moved to Rhode Island.” Huh? Never heard from him again.
  • When you got home after that party on New Years Eve and your parents weren’t home yet…again, not the embarrassing part…but you kept hearing this scratching noise coming from downstairs, and you were so sure there was someone trying to scratch (?) their way into the front door, that you called 911. And when the police came and checked out the scene, they discovered the gingerbread cookies your mom had made strewn all over the floor along with the box and tissue paper in shreds, and they said “huh, looks like you've got a mouse in the house.” Haha, happy new year to you too.
  • Speaking of police, that time when your sons called 911 and said they couldn’t find you. You were in the shower. You’d told them that you were going to take a shower. All three of them had nodded when you said it. But for some reason (TV), they weren’t listening or forgot and the oldest one panicked, so they all did. And then you heard this man’s voice calling your name and you freaked out when you came out of the shower and saw a giant cop with his big ole belt full of lethal gear next to your itty bitty child, and you immediately realized what happened, and even though he told your son that he did the right thing, and you apologized profusely with your wet tangled hair, you were not just embarrassed, you were mortified. And you pictured your name in the police blotter of the local paper the next week. And after he left, you wondered why it was that on any other day, those same three kids would have no problem walking into the bathroom while you’re in the shower or even on the toilet, but on that day, they just didn’t think to check the bathroom? 
  • That time in 3rd grade when you were, for some reason you can’t remember, in the backseat of a tiny sports car with the coolest girl in 5th grade (it was her mom's car), and after a stop at Burger King, you felt nauseous but the window wouldn’t open and you kept shouting “how do you open the window” but it came out like a whisper because you were trying not to vomit, and then you puked anyway. All over the girl's lap. You wanted to die then. But it actually turned out okay, because when you were a sophomore and got dragged to a senior party, she totally remembered that day in the car and made it into a whole funny story where you were the star. And she was so beautiful and so nice, so everyone laughed and smiled and someone gave you a beer and told you not to puke, haha, and then it was kind of cool that you went to that senior party.
  • When you were in love with one of your best friends freshman year of college, and one night he was too tired to walk back to his dorm, so he spent the night in your bed with you, but he said he had a cold, so he turned and slept the opposite way, with his feet by your head and his head by your feet. And you still didn’t figure out he was gay until he told you like six months later.
  • When you were a debut author and practically everything you had to do to promote your upcoming book made you feel foolish because of the whole sell your own art thing (note to Mom: I get it now).
  • When your son called you an idiot at Dunkin’ Donuts because you said he couldn’t get two donuts, and you knew everyone was looking to see what you’d do, and when you got to the front of the line you bought him two. (Actually, that may have been the other parent. But it could just as easily have been you.)
  • When you brought your kids for a swimming lesson at your gym (where you hadn’t exercised in months) and you saw your trainer, and you wanted to hide but there was nowhere to hide, and she said “Where have you been?” And you said, as you slid your book in front of your Diet Pepsi, “I’ve been swamped with writing stuff, but I’ve been walking every day.” And you had to cross your fingers behind your back because you hadn’t been outside in weeks. Then you just had this feeling she could see the Hershey bar in your bag with her X-ray vision and smell the Tostitos you shoved in your mouth on the car ride over.

Natasha Sinel writes YA fiction from her home on a dirt road in Northern Westchester, NY. She drives her kids around all afternoon, but in her head, she's still in high school, and hopes that no one near her can read minds. Her debut YA novel THE FIX will be out from Sky Pony Press on September 1, 2015.


  1. There's a book waiting just in those moments. BTW, I added the Fix to my wish list as soon as I read the description.

    1. Aw thanks! Not quite ready for a memoir...but, I do have more.

  2. Replies
    1. I guess I should do embarrassing stories more often!

  3. These are awesome. The one where your kids called 911 when you were in the shower. Priceless. Also, I'm wondering where Todd is now. Still in Rhode Island? hmm...

    1. I stopped wondering about That Todd pretty quickly. It's not like he was the one that got away, you know? But the one who got away--that one I wonder about...

  4. So funny, Natasha!! Thanks for sharing. :)


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