My husband (Sherwood Kevin—and they called him Sherwood not Kevin) and I have racked up a fairly impressive list of most embarrassing moments over the past thirty-three years of marriage.
There was the time Sherwood ran out of gas in the drive-through of McDonald’s where he had to push the car up to the “pick-up” window. Then there was the knee surgery/Sodium Pentothal fiasco when Sherwood had a little trouble coming “out of it” and told the Nazis’ (i.e. nurses) in the recovery room that he had four wives and thirty-seven children and a really HUGE . . . um . . . REASON for all those wives. Talk about Big Love. Then there was the bubble gum on the hairy buttocks incident—also Sherwood.
He’s racked up a fairly impressive list of embarrassing moments. But remember I haven’t even begun to discuss the reams of charming, noxious, embarrassing moments involving various body fluids erupting in public places from our children during the “four kids, six and under” years.
The mistake is to assume that once the children are potty trained and the hubby’s knee rehab is over, that it’s finally over—the embarrassment of being alive and breathing various gases which produce—when mixed with, oh say—a Coney Island hotdog other chemical reactions. 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” is almost 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.”
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!?”
“No, what? You let fly with a groan, moan, sigh . . . what?” I paused and embraced the dawning 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, “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.”
“You know how on Mondays I clean house in my big old sweatshirt, and I don’t wear . . . you know, anything . . .”
“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 totes, you know those plastic storage buck-ity things with the lids that I buy by the truckload from WalMart?”
“Yes.” 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 in the lid.”
“You mean, the part not wearing foundation,” he said.
“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. 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) Zern