Even if you’re the coolest cat in your entire block, we know you’ve had these. We’re talking about those cringeworthy moments, where you look back and just can’t help but wonder, “What in the world was I thinking?” No one is immune to them. The only difference between people is in how quickly they realize they’ve just made a really, really embarrassing gaffe. Some people only figure it out much later – those are the lucky ones, if we’re being honest.
Those less fortunate are the people who realize what a mistake they just made a millisecond after hitting “Send.” Their heart leaps up their throat, and the only thought they can muster is, “Oh, no, what have I done?” The best thing to do in that situation is laugh it off. Or, if you’re an incredibly good sport, share it with the rest of the world. That’s what this Arkansas woman did, and her post exploded and went viral instantly.
Joining memaw’s car insurance
Alyssa Stringfellow, a 25-year-old teacher from North Little Rock, Arkansas, related the story of her very embarrassing mistake on Facebook. It all started with her wanting to join her grandmother’s car insurance policy. As she was young and single, her insurance was pretty expensive. To save some money, she asked her grandma if she could be added to her insurance.
Getting back with the details
Alyssa’s grandmother said she’d look into what needed to be done. Sure enough, she called her back later that day and told her what the insurance company needed. It was quite simple – she’d need to email them her driver’s license number and date of birth. Also needed were a picture straight on and a picture taken from each side.
Waiting to hear back
Eager to have the coverage she needed so badly, Alyssa emailed the information and photos to the agent that night. The following morning, she tried going about her business, but kept checking her mail. Finally, she heard that telltale ding of a new incoming email. It was from the insurance agent! Thrilled, she opened the email. Her smile slowly disappeared.
Not what she expected
She read the email once, and then two or three more times. It really did say what she thought it did. The color drained from her face. How could she have been such a dummy? “Hi Alyssa,” the email from the insurer read. “I’m going to need pictures like you just took, except it needs to be of your vehicle.”
Just what was going on?
Reading so far, if you’re a quicker thinker than Alyssa was, you can probably guess why the car insurance agent was so surprised. If you still can’t figure it out, though, don’t worry. We’ll let the woman herself break it down for you.
The wrong kind of photo
“As you can see,” Alyssa’s post said, “I didn’t send pictures of my car… I sent him pictures of myself.” That’s right, when the insurer said he needed a picture straight on and a picture from each side, she naturally assumed he meant photos of her!
One small irony
Being a teacher, of kids with special needs no less, Alyssa’s job is literally to instruct the young minds under her care. How ironic was it, then, that she failed to follow the very simple instructions given to her by the car insurer?
Laughing at her
Not long after the email, her grandmother texted her. “Alyssa Rachael,” the text began, “did you send him pictures of YOURSELF!? It was supposed to be of your car!” Of course, she wasn’t really mad. She was just really, really amused by her granddaughter’s mistake.
Getting the tipoff
Alyssa later found out that before the car insurance guy emailed her, he had called her grandmother to let her know about the small misunderstanding. Both apparently laughed hysterically for five solid minutes, the embarrassed granddaughter was forced to admit.
The mockery continues
Needless to say, Alyssa was ridiculously embarrassed. Since she was also apparently a glutton for punishment, she shared her little tale with her coworkers. They of course proceeded to have another good laugh at her expense – and misinterpreting such clear and obvious instructions.
Hindsight is 20/20
In retrospect, Alyssa really should’ve seen the writing on the wall. She’d asked her mother to snap the photos, after all. They both found it really strange that a car insurer would need photos of the person being added to the policy. It never occurred to either of them he wanted photos of the car!
Photos for identification
Realizing that the insurer’s entire office had seen her photos – and probably had a good laugh – embarrassed and mortified her at first. She admitted that she thought he needed photos of her, rather than the car, for identification purposes. “He’s insuring the car, not you”, her grandmother helpfully pointed out – and the penny dropped.
Joining in on the joke
As apparently she was a firm believer that if you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing about anything else, Alyssa joined in on the joke. “You either have book smarts or street smarts,” she told her social media followers, “and I definitely do not have the latter!”
Hitting a good point
As a teacher, Alyssa had a solid formal education. And yet, when she was faced with a situation she wasn’t familiar with, she completely misread the cues and acted inappropriately. It’s interesting to see how educated people, which most would consider “smart,” can make mistakes people without impressive diplomas never would.
Even more interestingly, Alyssa’s experience clearly wasn’t an isolated incident. If it was, her post would not have gotten the attention that it had. Liked more than 42,000 times and shared more than 24,000 times, it also had some 11,000 comments from people saying how they might’ve made the same mistake!
Her ‘blonde moment’
It’s ironic that Alyssa’s post ended up reaching tens of thousands of people the world over, because she was not actually sure she wanted to post it to begin with! It was just too embarrassing to admit. However, she ended up deciding she wanted to share her “really, really… REALLY blonde moment.”
Not even the first time
Believe it or not, this wasn’t the first time a person won some measure of fame for making that mistake. Some time earlier, a Twitter user named Miranda Santos posted photos of her mom’s conversation with a car insurer. Her mom, Susan, was also asked for front, rear, and side views.
That felt weird’
Sure enough, Susan sent the insurance agent photos of herself. “That felt weird,” she said sheepishly. “Hope those work!” Eva, the insurance rep, somehow managed to keep her cool. “You look very nice,” she lead with a compliment, “but I need pictures of your vehicle.”
Giving us an outlet
That tweet raked in almost 28,000 likes and 18,500 retweets. But what was it about these “blonde moments” that people found so relatable? It might have something to do with the fact that they gave the audience an outlet to admit that sometimes, just sometimes, they make boneheaded decisions too.
Could happen to anyone
We may be onto something here, because the comments to Alyssa’s post had people saying just that they would do something similar. They told her not to feel bad about what she had done – and that it was an honest blunder that could happen to anyone. Oh well, no one’s perfect, right?
A nice change of pace
One commenter named Amy Becker voiced what we all were thinking. The internet’s first rule, as everyone knows, is “never read the comments.” In this case, however, Amy noted that they were “some of the best and most uplifting” that she’d ever read. It was a nice change of pace from the usual internet bullying.
Becoming a marketing tool
Alyssa’s fame rapidly grew – even though we’re sure there were other things she would’ve preferred to be known for! Regardless, such fame often has unintended, hilarious consequences. For example, a company called Money Saving Expert used her story to appeal to people who need help with their insurance.
Consider that up until a decade or two ago, no one outside of Alyssa’s circle of friends and family would’ve heard about her story. The rise of the internet and social media has created a new kind of fame, often called microfame, in which people are famous for about 15 minutes for something very specific.
The darker side of celebrity
On the other hand, reaching a global audience instantaneously isn’t necessarily a good thing. Commenters marvelled how positive most of the comments she got were. But things could’ve easily been different. Just imagine if she’d been flooded with hateful comments saying how stupid she was. Luckily, her story struck just the right chord.
Putting on some love music
Of course, there can be all kinds of mistakes and misunderstandings. Take this dad, for instance, who texted his daughter to say he missed her call. It was because he and his lady friend were listening to some “love music.” She was a bit horrified, so he clarified it was supposed to be LIVE music.
You kiss your mother with that mouth?
In another instance, the shoe was on the other foot. This time, it was the daughter who had an auto-correct mishap with her mom. The mom texted the daughter to ask whether she had a haircut appointment available, so the daughter replied, “No idiot.” It was, of course, meant to be “No, I don’t.”
Problems with the lingo
Older people who got into technology later in life sometimes find themselves behind on all the tech speak. This is a fine example, with a mom capping off her text about a deceased great-aunt with “LOL.” When her son inquired what was so funny, she realized it didn’t, in fact, mean “lots of love.”
Projecting your issues
Technology sure is tricky, isn’t it? This teacher assigned his students an assignment and just web-surfed they were doing it. Little did he know, but his computer was still hooked up to the projector. As you can see by the guy on the right trying not to laugh, he might’ve saved the drama for his llama.
Live and learn
At the end of the day, Alyssa came out the other end of this story a little wiser, a little more famous, and with a few lessons learned. Luckily, she could laugh at herself and take it all in stride. Still, we’re betting that in the future she won’t be taking things quite so literally.