THE major screw-ups in your life can be healed with time and therapy, but these relatively minor embarrassments will haunt you until your dying day:
Calling your teacher ‘mum’
You were ten. You meant to say ‘Miss’ but tripped up and called your teacher ‘mum’ instead. A simple mistake, especially considering both words start with the same letter and you were a child, but if you had a time machine it would be the one thing you’d go back and fix. Even assassinating Hitler is a lower priority.
Farting at work
We all take the risk, and it was only a little one, but it turned out to be not only unignorably audible but memorably pungent. You still wake up thinking about it most hangovers. What made it worse was that nobody mentioned it, not to your face, but you know your uncontrollable flatulence is still a running gag in WhatsApp groups.
Pushing a door marked pull
The door manufacturers tried to help by writing ‘pull’ on the handle in massive letters, yet cocksure you ignored it and persisted in giving a solid shove. Because you were trying to impress a hot date, so your inability to read a simple instruction cost you the love of your life and your self-respect.
Saying ‘you too’ inappropriately
It’s usually fine to say ‘you too’ at the end of a conversation when someone’s saying it was good to see you or whatever. But you blurted it out when your friend said ‘bless you’ after you sneezed. The confusion and disappointment on their face has been seared into your memory ever since. The friendship never recovered.
Giving a terrible handshake
There are loads of ways to mess up a handshake and somehow you managed all of them at once. Your palms were sweaty, you opened limp then overcompensated by crushing the other guy’s fingers, and to top it off it lasted for a solid minute. If it wasn’t so mortifying it would be impressive.