Embarrassment is Relative

August 5, 2013

Once upon a time I was in a stage production of Bye Bye Birdie and flashed my laundry day granny panties to pretty much my entire high school theater department while pretending* to pass out and slide down a flight of stairs during a rehearsal.  18 years later I’ve managed to block out most of the emotional trauma associated with that event and I can look back on it and laugh.




I really wish I could say that was the height of my public humiliation and embarrassment but it was really just the beginning of what would be a lifetime of falling down flights of stairs, tripping over my own feet, and graceful face-plants.  Lest you think I am exaggerating:  I once slipped on jello in a workplace cafeteria and reenacted the scene from Bambi where he learns to ice skate in a pair of spectator heels for a crowd of 50.  (Always an entertainer.) On another occasion, after cautiously guiding my roommate down a ladder flight of attic stairs I proceeded to, unintentionally, use those same stairs as a slide, my behind making a drumroll sound all the way to the ground.  (My roommate standing at the bottom, mouth hanging open in awe… before laughing so hard she cried.**)


So, on a day that started with my discovering our largest cat had learned how to remove the bungee cord we use to keep him out of the garbage can and that he had created what I am now referring to as The Great Root Beer Flood of 2013, I should have seen it coming.  I should have known that by 9:30 a.m. I would be calling Kelli and recounting my morning, laughing so hard I was nearly crying, because not only did I have to stop and get gas before driving to my second meeting of the day but it was a windy morning and I was wearing a dress.  And as I stood at the gas station, on the busiest street in the town where I live, the wind (NEVER MY FRIEND, WIND, NEVER) came and lifted my dress up over my head.  As I thrashed around, still holding onto the gas pump with one of the hands I was using to hold down my skirt bottom, I noticed the man coming out of the gas station.  A man wearing a F(emale) B(ody) I(nspector) t-shirt.


Until I overhear someone I know mention they saw “some woman” with her skirt up around her ears while pumping gas I’m ranking this event well below the Bye Bye Birdie incident on the embarrassment sale and well above it on the hilarity scale.


He is an ass.


*Pretending is normal person talk for ”acting”

**The bruise from this event was so shockingly black that when I spotted it in the bathroom mirror days later I thought I had somehow gotten soot on my tailbone. Never in my life before or since have I seen a bruise that dark. If I’d had a camera phone at the time I would be sharing strategically cropped proof.

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