Week Six: Kathy Benson

Write about your most embarrassing moment

When I was a freshman in college I was at an orientation event talking with a small group of other new students. In effort to get to know each other, we were telling each other about our hometowns and why we chose to go to the University of Illinois.

I listened to my classmates’ answers and thought about what I might say when it was my turn. I wanted my answer to be creative and interesting. I wanted to stand out, as opposed to just telling them that I was going to U of I because it was the best deal financially, as well as the most prestigious school that I got into academically.

When it was time for me to share where I was from, I told the group I was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois. Going to an in state school, the majority of my fellow freshmen were also originally from somewhere in the “Land of Lincoln.” Thus, most of my classmates were familiar with the first suburb north of Chicago, which borders Lake Michigan and home to Northwestern University (NU).

After hearing I hailed from Evanston, one of the guys in our group asked me why I didn’t go to NU. I could have been completely honest and straightforward, telling him that it was too expensive, being a private school, and besides that I didn’t even apply, as I knew didn’t have the GPA and test scores to get in.

But instead, I tried to be clever and answered proudly, “I wanted to go to a Big Ten school!” That moment of pride was short lived, as a few of the others quickly interjected that NU WAS a Big Ten school!

As soon as they said that, I knew they were right and turned bright red.  As sometimes happens in life when we are trying to impress other people, at least in my experience, we do and say things to try to be cool and sound interesting.

In this instance, and many other embarrassing moments in my life, I would have been better off if I had answered truthfully and just been myself.

It’s a hard lesson to learn and I will never forget that Northwestern IS a Big Ten school!

What is one of your most embarrassing moments?


Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.

Kathy blogs at Bereaved and Blessed. You can also follow Kathy on Twitter @BereavedBlessed and her Facebook page.


2 thoughts on “Week Six: Kathy Benson

  1. If I had a dime for each time I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth… It always seems as if it is during the moments when I attempt to save my ego from embarrassment when I end up doing something that is even much more embarrassing and unforgettable than if I’d been honest in the first place.

    We’ve all been there Kathy, whether we’d like to admit it or not. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That’s too funny 🙂 I went through a day of sorority rush with the middle two buttons of my dress unbuttoned…my stomach was totally exposed. And no one said ANYTHING!

    Your story reminds me of that scene in “When Harry Met Sally…”

    Harry: “She says (she went to) Michigan State. And this reminds me of Helen. All of a sudden I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack – my heart’s beating fast and I start sweating like a pig.”

    Sally: “Helen went to Michigan State?”

    Harry: “No, Northwestern. But they’re both Big Ten schools.”

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