I See London

11 Apr

Lately, my daughter has been asking about embarrassing moments.  “Mama,” she said, “what was your most embarrassing moment?” I don’t embarrass easily, so I had to think hard. I recalled a truly embarrassing incident in fourth grade when a teacher wouldn’t allow anyone to use the bathroom. I really had to go; the teacher really wouldn’t let me. I waited until lunch period, but we weren’t allowed to use the bathroom at lunch either. So, I got in the lunch line. My bladder reached the end of the line just when I did. I wet my underpants, copiously, as I handed my lunch money to the cafeteria lady.  I understand my dad come to school and ripped the teacher a new one. I take great satisfaction in this.

My daughter, however, was not satisfied. Apparently, wetting my pants more than forty years ago isn’t embarrassing enough. She wanted something more up-to-date, so she supplied it.

You need to understand that I am on a first name basis with my pharmacist. These things happen when you’re on the auto-refill until eternity program. For some reason known only to the god of chaos, my prescriptions auto-refill on different days. For some other reason, known only to the god of reason, this cannot be changed so that I can maintain my version of sanity with a once-monthly visit to “Chris.” Until the planets align, I am at the pharmacy counter at Target a minimum of two times per month.

Last week’s toothache and antibiotics to cure it required an additional visit to Chris. He’s a pleasant guy, always ready to answer a question. As I chatted with Chris about drug interactions and other pharmacy-related topics, I heard my daughter say, “Ewwww!!!”

“What is it,” I asked?

“That!” she said, and pointed to the latest Target flyer. I admit to feeling a little awkward explaining pretty lingerie to my daughter in front of Chris. But I thought I had it covered when I told her that some women like to wear pretty underwear and reminded her that she, in fact, likes to have things like princesses and ponies on her undies.  She didn’t let the subject go, though.

“My mommy doesn’t wear panties sometimes,” she said to Chris.

I had no idea what she was referring to. Really. Honestly. So I said the first plausible thing that came to mind.

“That was only once when I had to run down to the laundry room to get some, Sweetie.” “Sweetie” was the only publicly acceptable name I could think of for her at the time.

Somehow, Chris filled my prescription without looking at me. I managed to pay for it without looking at him.

Two days ago, I remembered what she was talking about.

“Mommy,” the evil mistress of embarrassment said, “you went commando at the Y.”

And she’s right. I did indeed go commando at the Y. See, I can get my kids to school with everything they need from lunches and homework to water bottles and notes to the teacher. Me? Not so much. I am usually stuffing my stuff into my gym bag as I push the kids toward the car. Frequently, I find myself missing some essential workout ingredient. One day—and it really was just one day—I finished my shower and reached into my bag to find no underwear. I looked right, I looked left, then pulled my pants on and got my GI-Joe self home as quickly as possible.

My mother would have been appalled. What if, God forbid, I had been in an accident on the way home? What if I had been grievously injured? What if I had been taken to the hospital where the doctors cut away my pants to find that I had not just failed to wear nice underwear but had failed to wear underwear at all?

Many mothers have the same rule mine did—wear your nicest panties when you go out because you never know when you’ll be in a terrible car accident. My best friend’s mother had that rule. Naturally, my best friend was in an automobile accident on a low-laundry day. She blessed her luck that she wasn’t grievously injured else the doctors would cut away her pants to find her wearing her husband’s tidy whities.

Sometimes wearing panties can be a source of embarrassment. Another friend prides herself on her appearance in public. No gnarly sweats and socks with Birkenstocks for her. She undoubtedly wears nice panties when she goes out. Sometimes she wears them in surprising places. Once, in a hurry, she grabbed a pair of pants from the laundry basket. She tossed them on and ran out the door. At the grocery store, she felt as if she stepped on something once or twice, but thought nothing of it until the third time. She looked down to find a pair of panties peeking out of the leg of her pants. It says something about my friend that she was embarrassed not only about the panties but by the fact that they were her everyday plain old white ones. I have another friend who is as frazzled on her way to workout as I am. She found herself at dance class once with her underwear on over her workout pants.

Wearing thongs is particularly problematic. My best friend reports that her daughter believes women over fifty should not wear thongs. Apparently, we are supposed to suffer VPL in our yoga pants. I gave up thongs with yoga-type pants a few years ago, when I bent down to retrieve something while wearing a pair of lovely pale pink sweat pants. A man standing behind me, who I thought was a gentleman, remarked, “I thought thongs were no longer fashionable with you girls.” My daughter doesn’t believe anyone should wear thongs. I’m following her advice these days.

About three days after I started the antibiotics for my tooth, the phone rang. Though I didn’t recognize the number, I answered anyway. It was Chris, the pharmacist, wondering how I was doing on the antibiotic. I’m betting that isn’t all he was wondering.

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3 Responses to “I See London”

  1. Bobbi Meier April 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    I was laughing out loud! Danielle doesn’t have the hang up about nice panties and car accidents. It’s generational and screwy!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Snide Reply - September 26, 2011

    […] worst I’ve done is go commando thought the pharmacist who knows has moved on to Wal-Mart. Actually, I may be going commando again […]

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