Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction? Not like Janet Jackson’s at the Superbowl but something that caused you a little public embarrassment none the less? Maybe it was a sock clinging to the inside of your shirt that was discovered by a total stranger midway through the day? Or possibly an open button that left your midsection exposed, yet no one bothered to tell you? I had a near miss recently that brought to mind a couple of childhood scars and I thought to myself, ‘Self, you can’t just keep this all bottled up.’ So for no particular reason I decided it wise to share with all of you.
We have a dog named Sacha. I’ve mentioned her a couple of times in my ramblings. I make her eggs every morning and take her for a walk every night. As far as short furry companions go she is great, except she has a dirty little secret. It’s the kind of problem you don’t discuss with anyone outside of our house. Initially we hoped it was a phase she would grow out of but now she is almost a year old and it hasn’t gotten better.
Her problem is rather personal so as not to embarrass her I’ll share using a comparison. If there is pizza anywhere around me it doesn’t matter what diet I might be on or how much I have eaten that day, I can’t help but have a slice or two. If you were to ask what my two favorite things in the world are I would list pizza as one of them. The other I can’t reveal because at least one of my kids would be sad about being beaten out by pizza. Sacha’s pizza is underwear. We found out quickly that if you leave your skivvies where she can get to them they will end up with holes in them. You are probably picturing a pair of underwear (hopefully clean) that have a bunch of little holes in them, almost like a shotgun blast. Sacha however is an artist and likes to use her back teeth like scissors to cut larger holes in the seat. In fact some of her work reminds me of the paper snowflakes we all made in grade school.
This was the root of the near miss I had one day last week. It wasn’t until I went to take a shower that evening that I noticed the underwear that I had been wearing all day had a matching hole on each the cheek. I couldn’t believe it. Questions started racing through my mind. Could anyone make out that I was basically wearing a thong all day? If I had been hit while biking home, what would the EMT’s have thought? Shouldn’t I have noticed a chill back there? Thankfully I made it home safely and no one was the wiser. The last thing I needed was another wardrobe malfunction.
Beyond the splitting of my pants that I already shared two similar but more painful predicaments came to mind.
In first grade we were going to take an assessment test that would track our development through the remainder of grade school. Just before we were to begin everyone was given a restroom break. Much to my dismay my zipper got stuck at the bottom of its track and would not budge. I yanked and tugged with all my might but it wasn’t going anywhere, so I did my best to pull my shirt down as far as it could be stretched and headed back to my desk. Just before the test was to begin I raised my hand.
“Yes Eric, do you have a question” Mrs. McGeorge said in her melodic first grade teacher’s voice.
I asked to come to her desk and then clasped my hands in front of me since I was pretty sure that my tighty whities were peeking through the open barn door. Much to my terror she tried to help me with my zipper, right there in front of everybody. After a few moments that seemed like three weeks she stood up and called the nurse which was a relief because I was starting to have a full blown panic attack. She asked the class to write their ABC’s but it seemed like they were all very content to watch the show. Finally the nurse showed up and they went to work on the zipper, in tandem, like a NASCAR pit crew. A few seconds later they were done and I had the first pair of safety pin fly jeans ever produced. I sulked back to my seat among the snickers and whispers to take the test. I’m still surprised I didn’t get held back based on the results.
Maybe I should stop there as I have probably embarrassed myself enough but the next one is even more painful.
Baptismal is a big step in a young Christian’s life. You meet with a group of peers and pastor for months leading up to the big day when all the hard work comes together and you are immersed in holy water in front of the entire congregation. That was fine, I wasn’t worried, I’m a great swimmer. It was afterwards that things went south. When I got ready to change back into my suit I realized I had kept my underwear on under my shorts… and I had no backups. What was I to do? I could either wear my now soaked undergarment or go back into the House of the Lord with no underwear on. Figuring it was better to be a little damp but properly covered;, I put on my pants and headed back to the sanctuary to sit with my parents. Unfortunately my suit was light blue and the damp form of my briefs was becoming apparent as I approached my mother.
“Why are your pants wet?” she asked in a whispered tone.
I explained my dilemma. She assured me that God would not be offended if I needed to go commando for the remainder of the service. She probably didn’t use those words but you get the point. Unfortunately the damage was already done. I tried swinging my pants above my head to air dry them but that only lightened them a shade or two, so I wrapped my suit jacket around my waist and made a mad dash back to the pew. Once the service was over I tried to remain seated as long as I could but people kept coming up and congratulating me on being baptized. Lucky for me they were all good Church going folk so no one pointed out my damp BVD’s but I know everyone saw them.
I don’t know about you but I feel better now, sometimes it helps to air our dirty laundry. Looking back I am just thankful that I grew up in an era before social media and cellphone cameras. Memories are haunting enough; I can’t imagine seeing video of these incidents showing up on line. I’m pretty sure I’d never leave the house.