Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/03/2021
I celebrate my awkward and embarrassing moments because they always teach me a lesson. If you’re doing the same, stupid thing repeatedly—well, you may have a problem (sort of like rooting for the Detroit Lions). However, once we’re aware of our follies they no longer pose a sempiternal threat.
I visit a local, superb men’s store about three times a year and load up on clothing. I’m not a piece-by-piece shopper. My wife directs the procedings and I’m in a cyclonic condition of dressing room changes, selection of styles, approval of colors, and the tailor’s alterations. Two days ago, this triannual event occurred, and at one point I tried on a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly. “Tony,” I said, “I don’t even think these need altering.”
“No,” he admitted, “because I did such a good job last time. These are the jeans you walked in with.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well, it has a belt and your wallet is in the back pocket.”
It occurred to me, once my wife stopped howling, that my speed can, well, be a handicap at times, and perhaps I’d better slow down under certain conditions. A couple of my cars have warning alarms for speed, but I’ve set them at 125 MPH.
I’m not worried, though. My doctor told me that, for example, just because I lose my car keys it doesn’t mean I’m senile. “But,” he said, “if you find that you’ve put them in the refrigerator, come in and see me.”
The best gift you can give yourself is getting over the fear of embarrassment because then you’re completely free to try anything. —Jesse Itzler
For my first show at SNL, I wrote a Bill Clinton sketch, and during our read-through, it wasn’t getting any laughs. This weight of embarrassment came over me, and I felt like I was sweating from my spine out. But I realized, “Okay, that happened, and I did not die.” You’ve got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it. —Tina Fey