We’ve all been there. We blurt out the wrong thing at the worst possible time, we trip and fall in front of someone we want to impress, and two words—wardrobe malfunction. Here are a few moments from some brave staff here at S&C.
I used to be a server at a BBQ restaurant in Tennessee. Most of our guests were men. About six months into my job I had a table of eight guys on lunch from work, most wearing those blue mechanic-type shirts. At the end of their meal I passed out checks and heard another table’s food being called so in my haste I reached into my apron pulled out what I thought was pen and left it on the table. I came back around a few minutes later where they were all sitting silently, the credit card slips not yet filled out. One of them asked to borrow a pen and looked sheepishly at the end of the table where I placed a tampon. Yes, it was unused and still wrapped up, but the entire situation was incredibly awkward for all of us. I grabbed it off the table, mumbled an apology and ran to the back to hide until they were gone.
I suppose one rather innocuous one is the time I was giving a presentation in a meeting in front of a bunch of engineers, and the metal edge of the whiteboard tray caught the seam of my pants at hip level. I turned around, and it ripped the entire seat of my pants out. Like, the ENTIRE seat. If it weren’t for my floral granny panties, my bum would have been on full display. I just froze like a deer in the headlights. Finally, one of the engineers put his knee-length lab coat on me, which I had to wear for the rest of the day.
Bonus awkward that I witnessed, but it was my friend Becky:
We were graduating high school, and the tradition was for the senior class to gather on the soccer field, and a photographer would climb the announcer tower and take an aerial photo of the entire class standing together. We were all standing together waiting, and just as the photographer was about to take the picture and everyone was quiet, a bee flew down the front of Becky’s blouse. She started SCREAMING, and dancing like a crazy person and shaking her blouse to try to get it out. Of course everyone was staring at her, trying to figure out what was going on. Then it started stinging her boobs. She panicked and ripped her blouse off; buttons flying everywhere. When she finally calmed down, she was standing in front of the entire senior class in a bra and skirt, while everyone just stared, open-mouthed. Lucky for her, she’s a trooper. She wrapped herself in the remains of her top, then announced “Thank God it’s graduation day, and I don’t have to see any of you ever again!”
In my early 20s I was working for a major telephone corporation as a data entry clerk and there was a typo on an order that ended up costing a client about $800. The boss said I had to go out and personally tell them the error was fixed (stupid but true—it wasn’t even my error). I had major anxiety, although in those days we called it “shyness.” I was “shy.” Anyhoo, I met with their accounts payable person, and then went to leave their office, but I couldn’t get the door open. I struggled with it, then turned back to the secretary, who was watching my every move, and said, “I can’t get the door open,” and she said, “That’s the closet.” So I ran away and died.
Have you ever had one of those moments during which—for no discernible reason—you’re just overcome with love for someone and you just have to tell them RIGHT THEN? I have those moments often and, as with anything that happens with any kind of regularity, sometimes things get super awkward.
So, back when my husband and I were super-broke college kids, our “I can’t keep looking at homework and I’m going stir crazy” dates often consisted of dinner off the dollar menu and walking around Walmart. During one of our late night walks through Walmart, my husband made a pit stop at the restroom; upon his return, he reached for my hand and we resumed our meandering. As our fingers intertwined, I was struck upside the head with the aforementioned urge and, having so little filter where my emotions are concerned, “I love you” just tumbled right out of my mouth right there between home decor and electronics. My husband, accustomed to these apparently random affectionate outbursts, responded automatically: “I love you, too. My butt itches.” Where I lack a filter on my emotions, my husband lacks a filter on just about everything else, so that automatic, “I love you, too” just rolled right on into what was on his mind at the moment, which was apparently his itchy butt.
I stopped in my tracks, mouth agape; he turns and looks at me and says, “What? I said, ‘I love you, too.’” Apparently, he had no idea that he’d actually said the second sentence out loud; when I told him what he actually said, he just about fell over laughing. Being the ever-so-mature twentysomething I was at the time, as we resumed walking, I told him to tell me he loves me so that I can respond with something equally unrelated so he could see how it felt. So, as we round the corner and head into the toy section, he says, “I love you.” Having recently watched an episode of South Park, I thought I had the perfect retort, so I said, “I love you too. I HAVE SAND IN MY VAGINA!” And as the last syllable took form, this little old lady appeared at the end of the Barbie aisle, her face bright red, her eyes the size of half-dollars, and her jaw nearly on the floor. The poor woman promptly turned her cart around and scuttled back down the Barbie aisle; my husband was pretty damned near hysterics and I was absolutely mortified.
I was in a meeting of church leaders (about 12 people), and we were all sitting in a circle in couches and lounge chairs. I had on track pants with shorts underneath, and I started to get hot. While my pastor was speaking, I stood up to take off my pants—and my shorts came down with them. Suddenly I was standing in a circle of people with nothing on but my bright, lime-green underwear. The looks on the faces around me were all shock and confusion. I calmly pulled my pants back up, and sat down. We continued the meeting after a few minutes of hysterical laughter (I was lucky enough to be in a room with awesome people, who were confused—but not offended—that I showed them my underwear!
First one: My brother-in-law Ismael sent me down to the market for lunch. They had a taco truck out front. He requested a burrito con adobada (pork marinated in a sauce made from chilis). The guy taking orders was tall, brown and handsome. I wanted to impress him. I ordered in Spanish : “Un burrito con abogada para llevar.” The taco truck and all the people in line burst out laughing. I hurriedly paid and hurried home. When I recanted my tale to Ismael, he, too, laughed in my face. Apparently, I had made the unfortunate mistake of using the word for female lawyer (abogada) rather than adobada. One burrito filled with a female lawyer to go, please!
Second one: I went with a friend to Trans Pride in Seattle for the first time. My friend had organized a meet-up with a bunch of other Trans guys from an online community group, most of which I had never met (in person or online). I was one of three women congregating on a section of lawn. He and I set up food and drinks for the group to enjoy. The music and speeches were incredibly loud. When everything was set out. I enthusiastically proclaimed to the group “We have snacks,” while doing a dramatic sweeping motion with my arms. This coincided with a brief pause in the music. I bellowed into the quiet. Apparently the entire group heard: “We have sex.” I just about died.
When my children were 1 1/2 and 3, I desperately had to use the bathroom at a local Target. Not wanting to leave them unattended in a crowded washroom, I pulled them into the stall with me. Almost immediately, my 3-year-old wailed, “Mommy, somebody smells BAD!” I tried to shush him, embarrassed, as he repeated himself in a voice loud and judgmental enough to humiliate anyone remotely within earshot. Suddenly, I heard a sharp shriek. It was caused by my 1-year-old, who decided it would be fun to explore the stall next to him by falling to his belly and crawling under the divider to surprise the female occupant. I grabbed his foot and pulled him back, ever aware that he was essentially using a public bathroom floor as a slip and slide. He was delighted with himself. I managed, somehow, to hold him while pulling up my pants with one hand. The woman next to me and the kids emerged at the same time as we did, and I made to apologize. She stared straight ahead and I decided my mea culpa would not be appreciated. Bathroom etiquette had been destroyed to the point of no return. That was the longest, most silent hand washing of my life. All of this left me with a profound appreciation of stores with a family restroom.
When I was in high school I went to see Lord of the Rings on opening night with a group of friends and my (then) boyfriend. So after we fought our way to get a whole row to ourselves I went to get popcorn. When I came back the lights had dimmed and I was about 98% positive that I was going in to the right row with a single seat open. I sat down handed the popcorn over, proceeded to complain about the line and take a sip of a soda when it dawned on me. We didn’t have orange soda. I looked up to see a slightly confused and amused guy about my age just looking at me. I had gone a row too far and was the row behind my own.
Not too long ago I was driving to meet my sister for breakfast. I pulled up to a light and was pretty sure she was in front of me. How many people have little blue Geo cars? So I proceeded to honk my horn and wave. When the light turned green I proceeded to go around her so I could yell in her window. Before I could stop myself I yelled “I’m gonna beat you there bitch!”, just as I was pulling by. It was not my sister. It was a little old lady looking thoroughly shocked at my awful behavior. I sped up and turned at the next light.