After last week’s post on existentialism, I thought something a bit more light hearted might be in order, especially after I found myself seriously wishing someone had given me a gift certificate last Christmas, valid at any hospital, for a free lobotomy a la Frances Farmer style, so the possibility of feeling any emotion remotely like the acute temporary onset embarrassment I felt this week was just not possible. I mean I’ve been in embarrassing situations before, the most memorable last century when I was sixteen and asked out on my first date.
A boy I’d met at German language camp invited me to the premiere of Star Wars IV screening in Perth city. He lived on the other side of the river with the city in between us so we’d arranged for him to meet me at the central city bus terminal. I took hours to carefully get ready and carefully choose a backless (and thus bra-less) halter-necked yellow dress. I walked down to the beach where the bus stop was and waited patiently for the bus. Finally the bus pulled in and just as I stepped up to the driver the bow I’d tied in my halter-neck chose that moment to unravel itself. Down came the front of my dress and there I stood before driver and passengers topless. Mortified I grabbed my topped up, paid for my ticket and rushed to find a seat. Unfortunately the bus already about six young men on it who took it upon themselves to call out offers of, ‘Do want help with that?’ and ‘You should leave it like that’ etc.
I thought if there was ever a time that I could wish for the ground to open up and swallow me that would be it but no; this week proved that there could actually be a time that surpassed that moment! So there I was, strolling along the main street of our little village, making my way to the post office. I have lost a bit of weight so I wasn’t too amazed to note my knickers were slipping down a bit. Rounding the corner, weaving my way past the tables and chairs of The Edge outdoor cafe, full of people indulging in their morning caffeine fix, those traitorous knickers were suddenly around my ankles. Thinking I could discreetly pocket them and no one would be the wiser, I bent down at the same time as lifting one foot to step out of them. Those damn knickers got all tangled up in my shoe buckle and heel and before I could say hallelujah, I was on the ground at sixes and sevens. When I finally managed to disengage my errant knickers from the war they were waging with my shoes I had a captive audience. I did a quick mental calculation of the possibility of getting out of this alive. I stood up with those damn knickers in hand, let out a big sigh of relief and said ‘Ahhhh! That’s better!’ and strolled off with as much dignity as I could muster under the appalling circumstances.