I’ve been going through my old blog posts for any that need to be updated or corrected, and when I found this one from 2011 (originally titled “Living with Our Mistakes”), I took an unexpected trip down memory lane.
The post was originally about a Japanese relay runner, who, 200 meters from the finish line, took a wrong turn, all caught on film. I then linked to an article from the Ice Skating Institute for developing both physical and mental responses to mistakes (after all, skaters who don’t learn how to bounce back from falls and bad landings won’t skate for long).
Anyway, the original post doesn’t do much for me today, so I started thinking about mistakes and was taken back to the 1970s and a magazine for girls called Young Miss. One of the two other girls in my grade introduced me to the magazine, and I can’t remember if I always borrowed her copies or convinced my parents to let me subscribe.
What I do remember very clearly is always turning first to a column called “Was My Face Red,” in which readers shared embarrassing moments, the kind of gaffes that, as a middle-aged woman, I now wouldn’t think twice about. For a pre-teen or young teen, however, calling someone one wants to impress by the wrong name or—as I once did—taking off my socks in gym only to have TAMPAX in blue ink from a tampon wrapper which I’d stowed in my sock tattooed on my shin was mortifying. The point of the column wasn’t to poke fun or laugh at another’s expense, but to show that other girls, too, did embarrassing things and somehow lived to write about them.
At first I couldn’t remember the name of the magazine, but when I typed “was my face red” in Google, the first three results referred to Young Miss, which I learned was originally “Calling All Girls” and later YM. It began in the 1930s and published its final issue in 2004.
All that from an old blog post.
- “Was My Face Red” (Calling All Girls 1964 issue)
- “Boy! Was my face red” (one woman’s reminiscing as she watches her own daughter’s embarrassment)
- Young Miss Magazine from 1971
- Favorite YM magazine covers 1970-2000