We all have these moments that we wish we could erase, but when you really look back on them, they're all pretty funny. I'd imagine that the many wonderful people in my life who I have known FOREVER could add to this list. If they'd like to, I hope they'll be kind and email them to me first. These were just at the top of my list, and the ones that popped up in my ever-diminishing memory.
Mint Green Half-Slip
When I was in junior high, we had someone important come to the school, I have no idea who it was or why they were important. We students were told to dress nicely on this particular day. I wore a skirt, it was 1982 or so. I borrowed my mom's half-slip, because people used to wear slips back in the olden days. Where have slips gone? Don't get me wrong, I hate them. Slips and pantyhose were highly uncomfortable and the norm for so long! Anyhow...the slip I borrowed from my mom was mint green (why?) and too big. The elastic was probably wearing out as well. After our assembly with our Very Important Visitor, I was standing in the hall outside the office with my then and now best friend, Renee. Something that was said made me enthusiastic and I started to jump up and down. As I did, the slip slipped down my legs and pooled around my ankles in a sad little mint green pile. In retrospect, I feel like my reflexes were lightning fast, I remember I grabbed it quick and stuffed it into my backpack. A lot of people saw though...I don't miss the half slip. Renee will never let me forget the half slip, 30 years later!
Eye of the Tiger
There's a part of me that is twistedly proud of this one. In 7th grade, I was in the marching band as a Tall Flag girl. I remember that our uniforms were atrocious and not just in a "it was 1982" way. We hated them then and begged the powers that were to change them to no avail. The top was white cotton with puffy eyelet sleeves and the skirt was pleated green and white, just above the knee. We marched down Lake Avenue as part of the Old Fashioned Day Parade in Altadena. I should probably be more embarrassed of this than I am: Hand me a broomstick and I can still perform my entire routine to "Eye of the Tiger". Back then, Eye of the Tiger was not a cheesy ironic song, it was NEW and POWERFUL. We were cutting edge. What ever happened to Survivor?
Night Train, Cool Ranch Doritos, and a Yugo
I already wrote an entire post about this infamous night, but it deserves at least a mention. 15 years old, club in Hollywood, a bottle of Night Train, a Big Grab of Cool Ranch Doritos, a friend who bolted, and no ride home. All kinds of cringe-worthy and proof that God exists, merely because my sorry ass survived that night unscathed. Kind of.
This doesn't require a lot of explanation as to why this is horrifying, other than the fact they existed. In college, I had a pair of jeans I wore out partying a LOT. They were awful by today's standard, very high wasted, light colored denim with a button fly. I'm fairly sure they were tapered as well. The jeans themselves weren't to blame, that was the style in 1989-1990. The sad fact is that we named them my Vomit Jeans. Why, you ask? Because nearly every time we went out, I drank to the point of vomiting profusely and I always seemed to be wearing those jeans. I was such a graceful, classy thing. It became part of our ordinary vernacular, as in, "I don't know what to wear tonight, are you wearing your Vomit Jeans?" I remember I wore them one night to a bar in Los Angeles near USC. For those of you who know LA, this is not a safe area. However, we knew the owner of the "502", which is the police code for drunk driving. (Lord, this becomes worse and worse as I remember it.) We referred to it as "The 5-0" because we were cool like that. One night at the 5-0, many, many drinks were handed to me. So I drank them. They were shots of something, I have no idea what it was, other than they were guava flavored. Naturally, due to what we were doing and what I was wearing, I barfed a lot that night, and my jeans were re-christened. Holy moly. To this day, I can't stand the smell of guava, a fact that my dear friend Lisa knows well. A lot of hair products smell like guava. They had fresh guava in Hawaii, people have offered me fresh guava juice. No, no, I'm good. Can't do it. The jeans were finally retired at some point in 1990, due to my many falls which resulted in the jeans (and my legs) being shredded beyond redemption. Yikes.
The Stripper (gross)
When I was in college in San Francisco, we'd rented a very cool house just a few blocks from school. At one point, a roommate moved out and a putrid one moved in. I continued to live with this putrid roommate in an apartment in Burlingame for a year after graduation. That was 1993-1994, or what I like to call "the worst year of my life". In any case, this was before that. It was my birthday and we were all at the house hanging out. Then a cop knocked at the door and I opened it. My roommates were colorful, and we all did some ill-advised things back then, underage drinking among them. The cop was super convincing and I actually let him in, to have him tell us he'd have to take us in. Yes, the cop was a stripper, ordered up by my putrid roommate. I was not amused in the slightest, I was upset! My heart was in my throat, the lease of that house was in my name, I thought that would be the worst birthday in my life (it must have been my 22nd). The stripper was gross, as all male strippers are in my opinion. Sorry, has never done anything for me, I think they're absurd. I tried to be a good sport, but that was an awful experience. There wasn't enough alcohol in the world to make that night funny to me. I curse you, putrid roommate.
How Lights Work
Sadly, cringe-worthy moments weren't just reserved for my youth. This one happened maybe four years ago. I was in my office at one of my schools, and one of the fluorescent bulbs had burnt out in the ceiling. I had two lights in that office, and now one of them was out and it was way too dim in there. The head custodian is an awesome guy, very helpful, and has always helped me out when I've needed it. He happened to be walking by, so I called out to him. "Hey, sorry to bug you, but when you get a chance, can you replace that bulb? It's a little too dim in here." He looked at me, then reached over to the wall and flicked on the other switch. The light came on. I groaned, "Ohhhh, my god." and put my head on my desk. He laughed. I confided in him that I'm really not that smart and not to tell people! I've been at the school for 8 years now, and he won't let me live that one down, nor should he! (insert 'how many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb' joke here)
The "Other" One
I was still new at one of my schools when this one happened and was still trying to get to know the staff. There are a LOT of teachers and para-educators and administrators to get to know, and I'm usually pretty good with names. I knew that one teacher had gone out the prior year to have her first baby, and this was the first day back in the new school year. We were all lined up, loading up our plates with food the PTO provided for our breakfast. I was next to a teacher who looked familiar and I said, "Oh hey! How is your baby?" She laughed and said, "It's the other one." What did she mean? She meant it was the other black woman teacher who had had the baby and I wanted the floor to swallow me. Nooooooooooo. I clapped my hand over my mouth and said, "Oh no..." and she just laughed. As I tried to apologize, she assured me that it was totally fine and she wasn't offended at all. I remained mortified for the rest of the day and kept trying to think of ways to redeem myself. My wise co-workers and friends assured me that I would make it worse if I tried, so I let it go. Goodness...can I please not be the chick who thinks all black people look the same? Cause I don't, and anyone who knows me knows this. 7 years later, this teacher knows who I am and is a lovely person with a wonderful sense of humor, thank GOD.
Whodini Has No Place in an IEP Meeting
Before I had a smart phone, I had a lot of fun choosing different ringtones for my cell phone. Sometimes I would waste time messing with it and forget what I'd chosen. I'd also often forget to silence my phone while in IEP meetings at work, which tend to be fairly serious affairs most of the time. So I was in one...and my phone rang: "Now the party's jumpin', the place is packed and when the crowd's like this, I'm ready to rap, but before I could bust a rhyme on the mic, freaks are all over me like white on rice..." Yep...I was in the midst of explaining the results of a child's psychoeducational evaluation when my purse started to sing "The Freaks Come Out At Night". I deftly reached into my purse under the table and silenced it, then looked around confused with a "whose phone was that?" look on my face. That will never happen again.
Oh, and today I sat on a bee. And it stung my leg. We were at a birthday party for some of the kid's friends, and I was sitting in a chair eating. Suddenly my leg started to hurt and it puzzled me. What? Wait...did I pull a muscle there yesterday when I was scrubbing my bathroom floor? Man...that really hurts. Weird. I walked inside and went into the bathroom to look in the mirror. Yep, something had definitely happened, as that part of my leg was red and swollen. When I came back outside, I noticed a honey bee flailing about on the ground below my chair. I stomped on him. What is embarrassing about this, you might ask? It's that it took me an extremely long time to figure out what had happened. Honestly, I sat there for 5-7 minutes just wondering aloud why I was in pain.
I scare myself sometimes.