Maria over at Just Eat Your Cupcake shared an embarrassing moment that happened to her, and as i read this particular blog entry, i remembered two that happened to me and one that involved someone else.
The first one i thought of happened when i was living in France for a year, participating in a study abroad program. It was soon after i have arrived in France, and the weather was still warm. I was wearing a tan cotton dress with black and white piping that i had recently bought. I was in class, and we were taking a test. I finished the test, and went to hand in my paper. My professor nodded at me when i handed in my paper, and when i turned around to go back to my desk, the professor said,
"Pardonnez-moi, mais vous avez une tache."
I racked my brain for what the word tache meant. I could only think of the German word Tache, which meant pocket, and why would he say to me, "Excuse me, but you have a pocket?" I happen to notice another student, David whathisname looked embarrassed when our eyes met, and i wondered why.
The professor realized i didn't understand, and he repeated the word again slowly, as you would to a small child. "Tache. Vous avez une tache."
Nope, still didn't register, so he resigned himself to say, "En anglais, je pense que le mot est 'spot.'"
Oh, so i had a spot. Well figures, i had on a new garment, and leave it to me to spill something on it. I thanked him and as i could leave since i was finished with the test, i stopped in the ladies room to attend to my tache.
The mirrors were small, so i couldn't really see anything, and decided to use the loo when i was there. Once in the stall, i found the tache all right. My period had started with no warning whatsoever, and yes, since i was wearing a cotton dress, can we just say that i displayed cotton's absorbency on the light colored dress most vividly. Frantically searching through my pocketbook, i discovered i didn't have any feminine supplies with me. I made do with the small squares of toilet paper, took off my dress and stood at the small basin furiously washing out the stain. It lifted out easily enough, thank goodness, but now i had to put the sodden mess back on and take a metro ride to pick up some feminine supplies (which were on my shopping list to get since my supplies were dwindling and clearly all the way dwindled in my purse) and then take another metro home. The day had threatened rain, so i thankfully had my raincoat with me, which i put on and didn't dare remove for the rest of this story, even though the sun had returned.
I got to the store all right, found the saninaps i needed, and they had only very large packages. That was fine, i was pretty sure i'd have need of all of them before i was slated to return home. I went to pay, and the cashier informed me that she didn't have any bags big enough for them, sorry. I was appalled as i was used to having anything pertaining to feminine supplies being placed in a bag. I had already paid, and at least the large package had handles at the top, so it would be easy to carry, so i nodded, took my package, and fled the store.
On the metro ride home, a good looking man wordlessly flirted with me. It did my heart good, and i nearly forgot my soggy dress and how idiotic i must have looked wearing my raincoat in brillant sunshine. I was also glad i had the sense to turn the front of the package towards me so i didn't have to advertise the product. My stop was before the good looking man's. He flashed a great smile at me as i descended from the car, and i smiled shyly back. I walked from my metro stop back to my place as quickly as i could and once i got home, i looked down at the package. Yes, i had succeeded in keeping the name hidden, but i hadn't looked carefully on the back of the package, where they had a picture seemingly larger than life about how to use these saninaps, since they were beltless. Huge picture of panties and how to peel and place the pad. And i had flirted with a great looking guy all the while holding this for all to see! Good Lord, no wonder why he was smiling so broadly! I never saw him again, which was probably just as well.
The second moment happened 10 years or so later. I was working at a neighborhood bank then, and the borough where the bank was located did not have mail delivery. Everyone had to have a post office box, and one of my jobs was to get the mail every day. I went to the ladies' room before heading over to the post office. We had a lobby full of people, and i wanted to hurry. I was wearing a flowered suitdress with white pantyhose. I had quickly pulled up the pantyhose after using the loo, washed my hands, and hurriedly walked into the lobby to make my way to the front door. The UPS delivery truck was outside, and our usual UPS driver was making a delivery. I had turned when somoene said hello to me, and when i turned back, the UPS driver's face was scarlet. I immediately thought of David whathisname, but i knew this couldn't be tache related. The usually chatty driver pointed at me and stammered, "You--your--you," and our assistant manager cackled.
"Megan, your dress!" she said, and i slowly craned my neck to see what she was talking about. In my haste, i had neatly tucked the back of my skirt inside my pantyhose. Ahem. With a lobby full of people who had now witnessed this and unlike cute metro guy whom i never saw again, these people were friends and neighbors. People i saw every week. I calmly stood there and pulled my skirt out of its pantyhose trap. I didn't see the sense in returning to the ladies' room to rearrange it. I thanked Lisa, the assistant manager who was convulsing with quiet laughter. I turned and thanked the UPS guy who was frozen. I quietly walked out the front door and when i got to the post office, i just howled. It was so embarrassing. But so funny. And it was on our security tapes. One for the ages.
The UPS man did not have direct eye contact with me for a long while afterwards. Since that day, i've never hurried out of a loo stall without first checking the pantyhose situation. EVER.
The third event happened several years after the bad tuck incident. Our office building, which housed several businesses, had to evacuate because of a bomb scare. We had had a rash of these, and soon after this particular day, the school kids who were calling these in were caught.
Anyhow, we all trooped outside, and i was once again amazed to see the number of people working in that building. We could only go back in after the firetrucks arrived and fire fighters had searched the building. It was early in the autumn with a bit of a chill, so i was glad i had thought to grab my coat on the way out. The fire fighters came out of the building and gave the all clear for us to go back inside. People i didn't know from another business on the same floor as our company merged with my coworkers and me as we filed through the doors. I was looking down at the ground and noticed the person in front of me was wearing white slacks. I thought of a number of people who would tsk-tsk about wearing white after Labor Day (early September holiday), although really if one wanted to consider white slacks and shorts as summer wear, i held the personal belief that one could wear them until the start of autumn and be all right. And in places that had mild weather into November, why shouldn't someone wear them? The slacks had a nice cut, and as i was admiring the line up the leg, i happened to notice a small spot of blood on the backside. I wanted to let this poor woman know right away, as it wasn't a huge spot and not all that noticeable, but still, should be taken care of sooner rather than later. I looked up, ready to tap her shoulder, when i saw that it wasn't a woman, but a man.
And here, i confess, dear blog readers, all three of you—well, maybe eleven if those of you who kindly follow do indeed read each entry—that i stopped midway to tap completion. I had no problem letting a woman know, but a man? I chickened out and said nothing. I kept thinking that when he got home or next used a washroom and saw things for himself, he'd most likely hope nobody saw anything. And i fervently hoped that was the case. I knew I wasn't going to say anything.
I have come to laugh about the tache incident, and as previously stated, i was laughing almost immediately afterwards about the pantyhose tuck, but this third event still leaves me ashamed that i couldn't bring myself to let this man know. And until this blog entry, i really haven't mentioned it to anyone. Embarrassing moments can be bad enough without an audience.