I believe in the power of reliving ones most embarrassing moments.
4 years ago we awoke to a sound of what sounded like was birds hitting our window.
The next morning we awoke to see large cracks in our foundation and fist sized zig zig cracks in our concrete. Our neighbor came over with a grin on his face and said both our houses fell last night.
Welcome to the house falling parade. Both our houses fell in a mine. Yep in South broadview area of Newburgh, Indiana in the late 1880;s underground mines over 100 feet were dug.
I called my insurance agent and he sent out a senior forensic engineer that proclaimed that our house had water damage and that the house fell from water.
It turns out that I would be financially ruined
since the damage to our house was over $200,000 and water damage was not covered.
Meanwile our neighbors insurance company prompty declared it mine subsidence and their company took good care of them.
I knew I had to act so I started researching
slope failure, mining subsidence and soil
science. I appealed the ruling.
What sustained me in this time of crisis was suprising. I began to relive my most embarrassing moments which made me laugh all over again. The times I remembered in
no particular order.
1. We had a maid that worked in our home
every two weeks Anna Mae. I could hear
Anna Mae getting after me age 5
“sloughy bobby did you just pee your pants
and put dirt on them. You aint foolin anyone
come over here and let me clean them. Sloughy bobby tuck your shirt in you always was a slough. How a girl gonna like you when you dress like that.
2. Age 16 working in a grocery store. I did not play a sport at the time so I approached the job like a sport competitition. It was saturday 4 of the girls I had dated or were dating were working cashier. I heard the bell of a car pulling up. I ran for the door but forgot to duck in the miniature door and wham hit my
head and knocked myself out. The cash registered stopped my manager with a nervous tick helped me up. The store was quiet and then erupted in spontaneous clapping and laughing. I got up and waved to
the customers and co workers. It was like a
hurt football player waving at the crow.
3. Age 14 french class. I never learned french since I kept staring at the pretty girls in class. My teacher asked me in french if I had
a washer in dryer in my bedroom. Since I did not know the words I replied oui, Even after
questioning I did not back down. When she asked me in English I pretended that it was
true to much laughter in the class.
4. Age 48. Went kayaking on a 10 mile trip on
the Paddlefest Wabash River. My biceps were
bulging and I told my friend Geoff that I would
smoke everyone on this trip. I just got a new
sit on top kayak and plugged all the self bailing holes. I told Geoff I was the man. However
the kayak’s storage hatch had fallen off on the trip and the kayak starting taking on water and i began to fall behind on the 90 degree day.
As I was sinking I had to yell out for help and
It was these embarrassing moments that sustained me in my fight with the insurance company.
Later that year the first ruling was overturned and I was fortunate enough to have the home repaired although we went without central air or heat for 6 months.
I believe in the power of reliving the moments in which I was a fool. By laughing at myself
it brought me great comfort.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.