I have written many times about the power of stories,  but today I will give an example of how they can be used to change embarrassing situations into joy.

I am seated in a lunch restaurant a fair distance from my home, with my back to the dining room. As I was eating,  I dropped some crumbs on my shirt, and when I looked down, I happened to notice the collar buttons were on the inside.  I had my shirt on inside out. I felt for the label at the back,  and it is on the outside.


My first instinct was to rush to the rest room and change it, but then I started to imagine the situation from the other side. Not from my perspective of embarrassment, but from the story I was creating for the other diners who may have noticed it.  I had created a story.

arbysA lunch trip to Arby’s isn’t usually a spectacular memory event.  If it’s your first time, then maybe you’ll remember it, or a reunion with an old friend might make it special, but 9 times out if 10,it’s just lunch.

Today however, a few observant divers will have noticed a man in the corner, alone, typing on his phone, has his shirt on backwards.

They’ll point it out to their friends, and perhaps start a conversation about whether I know. I’m not saying it is life changing, or that they’ll remember me for years, or even days, but for a moment, I was a story.

Perhaps a smile.

That’s not embarrassing. That’s a good thing.