Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – February 27, 2004
My Most Embarrassing Moments – 1
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – February 27, 2004 – Lots of people are plagued by embarrassing moments throughout their lives and expect – that from time to time – that they may be in the hot seat feeling a little foolish.
Others, like myself, have moments of embarrassment so monumental that they may never be surpassed. Sort of like a Babe Ruth record – the kind that stands for years.
I’m going to relate these in the order of their occurrence, not for any specific reason, I just think they get funnier. There is no continuity to these events, but they all happened when I was in my twenties and thirties. If one of them took place today I might still be flustered, but I’d be able to laugh out loud at my predicament, instead of feeling absolutely mortified.
I was home visiting my parents one spring day, when I was about 24 years old. It wasn’t hot, but it was an exceptionally warm day. I had breakfast with my Mom and Dad, and then decided to go down to the local supermarket to buy some food for my two cats, McCabe and Scattergood. I dashed upstairs to change from my shorts and sweat shirt into a skirt and tee-shirt and then slipped on a pair of summer sandals.
I called out to my parents that I was leaving and scooted out to the car. My mother caught up with me in the lane and handed me a list of things she needed from the store. I parked in the lot of the local A & P and zipped inside. I didn’t bother with a cart or a basket because I just had a few items to pick up. A quick stroll up and down the aisles and I’d picked up a bag of dried cat food, a tube of tooth paste, a plastic bag of milk, a loaf of bread, a bunch of bananas and four tins of salmon.
I was wishing I’d stopped for a basket as I headed for the cashier. In this store, as in most of the major food chains, there was an express check out for customers with 12 items or less. I stood behind six other people waiting in the line. My arms were piled high with groceries and I was bent forward a bit so I could wedge my elbows against my hip bones to support the things in my arms and hands.
As always happens at a grocery store when you’re in a hurry, a woman at the head of the line handed the cashier a large spatula without a price tag. “Price check in express line”, boomed over the loud speaker. Those of us waiting in line groaned. Toe tapping wasn’t far behind. A young kid with too much attitude and not enough enthusiasm for my liking, ambled up to the cashier to see what item he needed to check. He took the spatula from her and sauntered away.
At this point I had to readjust my burden a bit, and in so doing I felt the inner button on my wrap around skirt pop off. It hit the floor and skittered along the express lane. Mr. Exuberance returned with the spatula and the check out line moved forward a step. I hugged my elbows a little tighter as I moved, to keep the top half of my skirt in place. Fortunately, as anyone who has ever worn a wrap-around skirt knows, there are two buttons on the waist band. My arms were starting to ache from the load and I was still three people away from my turn with the cashier, and certainly not close enough to put my would-be purchases down on the conveyor belt.
At last – only an elderly man with a couple of items was in front of me, and I leaned forward to topple the loaf of bread off the top of my pile. In so doing I exerted some extra force on the waist band of my skirt, and to my horror the top button, which is at the side of the waistband flew off and shot across the floor. You have to imagine this happening in slow motion.
I was trying desperately to put all my items down on the counter, and grab at my skirt at the same time. I’m not sure why I bothered. Gravity was on the side of my skirt and it unravelled and fell to the floor around my ankles. The last of my goodies tumbled to the conveyor belt, and there I stood, in the A & P wearing only a tee-shirt, summer sandals and white bikini panties imprinted with colourful red roses.
These Are Not “The” Panties – But Certainly Resemble Them
I didn’t react for a few seconds, and in that time I saw the cashier trying to stifle a grin. She must have been biting her tongue, but the humour of the situation won out and she burst out laughing. Once she lost her composure everyone around the front of the store followed suit. People were howling with delight at my state of affairs, not to be mean, but just because it’s a not every day that you see a woman in bikini panties in the check-out line at the local A & P.
I bent over with as much grace as I could muster, picked up my skirt and wrapped it around my body. I stuffed one end of the waistband into the top of my panties and paid the cashier. As I picked up my bags and walked out of the store, the shoppers and staff stopped what they were doing and applauded my exit.
Being a person who has a difficult time not having the last word in the face of extreme embarrassment, I turned around and bowed. Big mistake! My skirt once again descended to my ankles. This time I mustered what little dignity I had left, put down my bags, grabbed my skirt and threw it over my shoulder, retrieved my groceries and strutted out to my car with my head held high, and the sunshine warming the red roses on my bikini undies!
When I got home I walked into the kitchen with shopping bags and skirt in hand. I put the groceries on the counter. My mother was sitting at the table reading. She looked up, smiled and said – “nice panties – there must be a story here”.