Is there a word for that emotion where you’re surprised and proud and then embarrassed immediately after? There should be.
When I was seventeen, I spent an evening hanging out with my boyfriend M. and my best friend A. and her boyfriend P. We were at P.’s house, and A. was thumbing through The Book of Questions and reading them aloud. When she asked, “Would you care if when you died, someone just threw your corpse into the woods without a burial?” P. and M. both said “Nah,” but I said, without really even thinking, “I would, because what if some little kid found it?” and suddenly everyone’s face lit up and they all said, “Sarah, that’s really nice!” and I felt really good, and then P. said, “Man, you win the award for nicest person tonight,” and tossed me the hat off of his head as a prize, and I said, “Do I get to keep it?” and he looked uncomfortable and A. said “Uh, no,” and there was this awkward silent moment and then M. said, “Let’s go get something to eat,” and everyone got up at the same time and I was still limply holding P.’s hat because I didn’t know what else to do with it, and there was no way to explain that I was kidding, because I hadn’t sounded like I was kidding, and maybe I wasn’t kidding, but I wasn’t being serious.
I think the word for that feeling should be “seventeen.”