By way of introduction, my husband, Sherwood, and I have racked up a fairly impressive list of most embarrassing moments over the past thirty plus years of marriage. Note: Yes, that is his real name.
There was the time that Sherwood ran out of gas in the line for the drive-through window of McDonald’s, and he had to push the car up to the “pick-up” window. Then there was the knee surgery/sodium Pentothal fiasco when my husband had a little trouble coming “out of general anesthesia” and told the nurses in the recovery room that he had four wives and thirty-seven children and a really HUGE . . . um . . . er . . . REASON for all those wives. Talk about Big Love.
Then there was the bubble gum stuck on the hairy buttocks incident—also the manly man.
The mistake is to assume that once those children are potty trained and the hubby’s knee rehab is over, that it is really and finally over. And by it, I mean embarrassment. It's never over. Ever.
If anything, the relentless march of age just makes for a lot of fun opportunities to be total bags of gas and droopy body parts. Now, “most embarrassing” has become a competition, and I’m thinking I’ve taken the lead.
From a recent phone call confessional:
“Boy, did I have an embarrassing moment today at work,” he confessed without preamble.
Not shocked, I asked, “Now what?”
“Well, I got up from my desk to greet some co-workers, and when I stood up I just let fly with a giant . . .”
Cutting him off, I yelped, “What!?”
I did know, but I didn't want to know. Not really.
"No, what? You let fly with a groan, moan, sigh . . . what?” I paused and embraced the noxious truth. With slow drip horror, I said, “You. Did. Not!”
“Yep! Right there in my cubicle.”
“Did anyone say anything?”
“Nope. But their faces said it all; it was so embarrassing.”
Silence descended over our conversation like a helium balloon filled with methane.
“Well,” I said, at last. “I think I’ve got you beat.”
“I don’t know; that was pretty embarrassing. I’d never met those people before.” Skepticism mixed with humiliation in his voice.
“I’m telling you; I’ve got you beat.” I felt my hand clench tighter around the phone.
“You know how on Mondays I clean house in my big old sweatshirt, and I don’t wear . . . you know, anything underneath . . .”
“Rubber gloves?” he asked.
“No! I don’t wear, you know . . . foundation.” (Foundation is a Southern word for bra. It’s a cultural thing.)
“And you’re not talking about makeup.”
“So, I had some stuff I needed to put in one of those plastic snap Rubbermaid containers, you know, those plastic storage things with the lids. The ones that I buy by the truckload from Walmart?”
“Yes,” he said, but it was a worried “yes.”
“Okay, so after I shoved the junk into the plastic thing, and I went to snap the lid closed,” I said, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, “I snapped the end of my . . . self into the container.”
“You mean, the part of you not wearing foundation." It was not a question.
“Roger that,” I sighed. “But the worst part is that the plastic lid was closer to my waist than my chin when I snapped my . . . self into it.”
“Wow, bummer. Okay, you win. You now hold the most embarrassing moment prize.”
“Don’t thank me," he snickered. "Thank Mother Nature.”
And so it droops; I mean goes, and so it goes. I’ve never been one to herald “the dignity of man” much, because I’ve never found any part of living to be very dignified. Mostly it’s just people pretending that nothing disgusting ever comes out of their noses or other orifices—ever. But it does, and we all know it. Not only does disgusting stuff come out of us all the time, sometimes it lingers in the air and wafts over into the cubicle next to you. So here’s hoping that this week finds you downwind and your droopy bits safe from snappy plastic lids.
Note: If you find these references too obscure please email me, and I’ll be happy to tell you that Sherwood farted in front of some clients he had never met, and I snapped my nipple into a Rubbermaid storage container.
Linda (Flopsy) L. Zern
Linda successfully raised and homeschooled her four children back when homeschooling was considered the equivalent of living in a cave and wearing mastodon pelt shirts. She now tutors eleven grandchildren in reading, science, and the fine art of work, better known as mucking out the barn.
She is the author of an award winning children’s chapter book, The Pocket Fairies of Middleburg, an inspirational book, The Long-Promised Song, a novella for middle graders, Mooncalf. Her award winning humor blog posts/essays have been published and recognized at Humorpress.com.