Not long ago my sister Mary and I were in the car with Little Margaret, my niece, headed to the mountains. Little Margaret asked, “Tell me about some of your most embarrassing moments, Aunt Margaret.”
Mary and I shot back, “No way! We wouldn’t know where to begin and we don’t have time.” It was only a three-hour ride. Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 10.58.12 AM
My family knows that my list of embarrassing stories is vast and absurd, and nothing has surprised them in years. Take my recent falling out the front door of a downtown Charlotte building, spilling my fabulous Banana Republic leather tote, knees, elbows and papers all over the sidewalk because I was checking out the cool aquarium in the lobby. That just barely registers as an awkward moment. I’ve fallen up an escalator (believe me, that hurts) and fallen down stairs and broken my leg at a NASCAR race. I’ve slipped on ice and ended up flat on my back while steadfastly holding a cup of coffee (a few times, actually) while passersby stare. Not helpful! And I’ve gotten my hair tangled in my car antenna while trying to flirt with a guy across a parking lot. Yes, that is physically possible, and how hasn’t that happened to more people?
Accidentally breaking an arm off a mannequin in Old Navy and then having it topple forward onto me wasn’t even my fault. Where’s the help when you need it? That mannequin was wearing the only size small trench coat in the store and kelly green is my best color.
The time in college when I thought my date was dropping me off at the dorm entrance is a mere blip on my humiliation radar. Apparently he was just slowing down to take a left turn into the parking lot, but I released the door handle early. The door swung wide while I had one hand on the door, my other hand on the seat, and both feet on the floorboard while my fanny dragged the ground. My center of gravity kicked in and after 8-10 feet I finally fell out of the car. Maybe my date would’ve heard my escalating screams if he weren’t carrying on with the radio. He needed to turn that thing down.
Now. My girlfriends have taken a vote, however, and they’ve decided that my visit to my cousin’s church is a whole new level of personal horror, and they’re so thankful it happened to me instead of them. The situation was embarrassing – I’m not a robot.
My husband and I wanted to visit the church where my cousin is senior pastor. We raced through the front doors just as the bells rang and the congregation stood to sing the first hymn. Tom, ever the gentleman, told me to go first and choose a pew. I’m never one to sit in the back of a church, so I took off towards the front. I suddenly sensed Tom’s footsteps bearing down on me but pressed on. Before I knew it, he nudged me, forced me really, into a row. I turned to give him the stink eye as we picked up a hymnal and joined in the singing, and he whispered, “your skirt is unzipped.” Well, time sort of stood still as a few puzzle pieces slammed into place for me. I was wearing my favorite skirt with coordinating top. I had fastened the button in back but apparently left the 8” zipper open, showing the world my thong underwear (no panty lines, y’all). Let that sink in a moment. I was still standing and singing and there was a row of people directly behind me. I was red hot with embarrassment as we finally sounded the amen and took our seats. I slowly turned to ask Tom quietly, “How bad is it?” And Tom simply sat stone-faced, staring straight ahead, refusing to answer. Hmm. I think I had my answer, and I liketa died.
It was an hour of listening and praying sprinkled with singing (you get to stand for that!) and even introductions to “those just in front of or behind you.” Best of all, my cousin zeroed in on us immediately after the service to make sure we joined everyone in the fellowship hall. Of course the people directly behind us during the service were seated right next to us at the potluck. Yea, verily.
Yes, I’ve been in some grim situations. Many of my finer moments would have sent a lesser woman screaming for the hills, I know. But I’ve lived to tell about it. And sadly, there are probably more to come.
Buck up, buttercup! as Mary says. Not helpful…