I embarrass easily. I even get embarrassed for other people.
I go to see a movie at the theater maybe once a month. It's a good escape for someone like me, who typically feels the need to do a minimum of eight things at a time when I am at home. Unlike other activities, I never see movies alone. Movies are more of a social outing, which can be good, or in my case oftentimes downright awkward. I always seem to end up attending movies with boys when there is an uncomfortable amount of nakedness on-screen.
Titanic: Christmas Day 1997. My family including my parents, younger brother, who was 11 (I was only 12), all saw a fully nude Kate Winslet. Very risque for a PG-13 at the time. It was a great movie, obviously, but uncomfortable as my mother reflexively shielded my brother's eyes at that part. I think we established on the way home that we had both already endured The Talk in school, and didn't need a round two of Birds & the Bees.
Love Actually: around Christmas 2003. I went to see this movie for the first time with my friend ND and my cousin, BH who randomly became friends in college. I was visiting Austin one weekend and had heard good things, so went to see enjoy some good old-fashioned British humor. The scene where the two people are carrying a normal conversation while performing a scene in an adult film, as if what they were doing was so irreverent and not at all intimate, completely caught me off guard. ND raised a hand to shield BH's eyes, as if it were going to help anything at that point.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall: seen in April of 2008 in New York with my roommate KR and MN, a guy who we went to college with and became friends with after we all moved to New York after graduation. Within the first five minutes of the movie (warning: spoiler), there is full frontal male nudity. We all froze staring at the screen, with MN between us, as we weren't good enough friends with him yet to laugh it off or talk about it immediately. Not to mention the movie itself was still playing and there were only stifled giggles in the theater. We laughed it off in a flippant "ahh no big deal, that was awkward, let's not bring this up again until we know each other better" kind of way.
The Reader: I have not seen this movie but I did read the book. I was having a drink after work one day recently with my soon-to-be roommates, MG and KS, who were leaving to go see Slumdog Millionaire afterward. They were asking for my opinion, and when I found out they had seen The Reader, I asked what they thought of it. The first thing they mentioned was, again, the full frontal male nudity. I heard "you see a penis!" from one of them and "it's HUGE!" right after from the other. The two noteworthy features of the film are not the story line nor Kate Winslet's Oscar performance (there she is again!) but the fact that there is a penis in the movie and it is huge. So priceless. My parents saw this movie and let's just say the most I heard from my mother was "oh, it was a bit wild!" Wild. Seriously?
People react reflexively in these situations. No one can look away, no one knows what to do with their hands, no one wants to look at the people of the opposite sex in attendance. In a movie theater as a captivated audience, the awkwardness is shared. Anyone with even the slightest sense of modesty is blushing even though it's dark. People unnaturally adjust clothing, as if to make sure it's still there.
I know everyone has their "this would only happen to me" moments... I should start paying more attention to the disclaimers on movie ratings.
"At least embarrassment is not an imitation.
It's intimacy for beginners..."