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mortifying memories

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Filed: Timeline

Whether it happened 20 seconds ago or 20 years ago, embarrassing memories have a way of sticking around, no matter how hard we try to forget. In response to a recent msnbc.com story, readers shared their own humiliations from their past.

"I worked in a department store mailing out customer statements. My hair got stuck in the machine that folded the statements. I couldn't get my hair out and made it worse by trying," writes Rita, who lives in Minneapolis. "I had to lift up the machine — about the size of a small desktop printer2.gif — and carry it — with my hair wrapped around the rollers — into the main office for someone to cut my hair out of the machine. I've actually learned to laugh about this episode and tell it after several stiff drinks!"

In the 5th grade, I was sitting with a bunch of girls who were in the "popular" group. I had been holding back a sneeze and all of a sudden I couldn't anymore and out it came... along with a huge gob of snot and mucus....all over my hand and face. It was disgusting.

Nikki, Maine

During World War II they stopped putting elastic in ladies and children's panties,instead they used a drawstring which had to be tied to keep them up. i was walking home from school one afternoon and all of a sudden my panties dropped down around my ankles. There I was in broad daylight on a busy sidewalk. I pulled them up the best I could and held them until I got home. I was ten years old. I still remember it very well. I felt totally embarrassed.

Mary, Tyler, Texas

In 9th grade, I had to give a talk to an auditorium FULL of my classmates...I bombed big-time...I started laughing & just couldn't stop. It was awful. Yet as an adult, I've become a very good public speaker...strange.

Kay, American Canyon, Calif.

In junior high, there was a bully that decided that I was deserving of his attention. He went so far as to set my locker on fire by stuffing a lit match through the vent slots. Adding insult to injury, I wound up getting in trouble for the fire HE set!!! While I don't think there's any damage that's kept me from functioning in society, I have found myself reflecting on those dark times a lot lately as my children enter into those years.

Scott, Ellington, Conn.

This moment haunts me still to this day. It was 6th grade and we did a talent show. My friends and I did NKOTB The right stuff. The whole class just stood and laughed. Now I'm like, ####### was I thinking??

Senaida, Wenatchee, Wash.

When I was in second grade (in the mid-seventies), I had to go to the bathroom really, really bad. So, I asked my favorite teacher if I could go to the bathroom during class. She said "no". When I finally couldn't hold it in anymore, I peed in my pants at my desk. I was SO humiliated!! I remember seeing my teacher holding a baggy with my wet underwear. I wanted to die. My teacher was NOT happy. It crushed me to see her so mad at me. However, I still remember her fondly.

Debbie, La Verne, Calif.

there's more on the link http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33588698/ns/health-behavior/

what's one of your moments?

Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth.

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