My Most Embarrassing Moment
By Cameron Peters
Even a first year associate at a fancy law firm gets a long weekend off once in a while. At last here was my chance to be IN the OUTdoors rather than IN my office longing for the OUTdoors. I was young. I was fit. I was ready! So I packed my pickup, got my two best girlfriends (canine) into the front seat, slid Patsy Cline into the CD player and headed for Utah.
I found a great campsite with a clear, shallow stream, a gnarled old cottonwood and enough tamarisks to give us privacy. Turned out we didn’t need the privacy – we didn’t see another soul or even a sign of one. I always felt safer sleeping secured inside the camper shell with the girls, but this spot seemed so secluded and serene that I left the windows and tailgate open.
The next morning dawned a tad warmer than I would have liked, but with the stream nearby I knew we could all splash around to cool off. A hike seemed like a good idea to all of us so I grabbed my daypack and off we went using the stream as our trail. Clear warm water, sandy streambed, no one anywhere in sight. As the sun rose a bit higher and the day warmed even more, it seemed like such a natural thing to do to take off all my clothes and stuff them in my pack. I’d never dared to hike naked, but then I’d never before been in a place so private. The sun fairies caressed me all over, the water nymphs tickled my toes and the elf-breezes got into places – well, never mind.
My reveries ended abruptly when I looked up and noticed something moving. So OK, my distance vision isn’t the very best. It took me awhile, too long a while, to make out that a man and a woman were walking straight toward me. AND they saw me. What could I do? There were no bushes to dive into or boulders to sneak behind. It was way too late to haul my clothes out of my pack.
What would classy Katherine Hepburn do in my place? She’d be very cool and with perfect aplomb, just keep on walking. So I did, but I just couldn’t look those folks in the eye. I’m no Kate and I’m not that cool. When the couple was about three feet away, the man said “Hello, Cameron.” Then I had to look up and straight into the eyes of the C.E.O of one of my law firm’s biggest clients.
Postscript: Mickey turned out to be one cool dude. The following week he had a meeting with the lawyers (including me). He sat across the table from me (all dressed up in my lawyer duds) and he didn’t say a word about our little encounter. That is until our eyes met and a little smile crept across his lips and then a sheepish grin emerged on mine and then he chuckled and I guffawed and pretty soon we were convulsed with laughter until the tears ran down our cheeks.
Post-Postscript: No, the lawyers didn’t fire me. Instead, they elected to make me a partner.