The Rule for Wearing Panties*

Girl slipping on a banana --- Image by © Liam Norris/cultura/Corbis

I used to think my clumsiness was something I would outgrow. That the fear of walking into a china shop would dissipate with age. It’s only with age that I learned my clumsiness, both physically and socially was simply a part of who I am. I can be careful with the way I move, or the manner or subject in which I speak, but ultimately I will fall (without grace) and I will speak and that proverbial foot will land in my mouth. Both figuratively and I imagine one day, literally.

Based on this, Embarrassment is something I have learned to almost … embrace. It’s my middle name. I am a walking parody of every humiliating cliché you can come up with. Most of them kicked up a notch — or two thousand. I’ve had excruciatingly painful embarrassment, hilarious hide-your-head-in-the-sand mortification, shame-on-you-you’re-caught disgrace and simple shake-your-head, ordinary mill of the day humiliation.

Most of mine is physical, but not necessarily always. Most of it was sober, but not always.  What is almost always guaranteed, is hilarity for those standing nearby when it occurs. I don’t even take offense to it anymore. If anything I think I would appreciate applause.

I’ve bounced down a flight of stairs on my knees. In a very short mini skirt. In front of crowd of 40-50 strangers. Pride forced me to immediately stand up and quickly do the “I’m okay! I can walk it off!” stance, eyes wide with pain and surprise. Only the cringing humiliation fueled me out the door despite the searing pain of my near broken kneecaps. For the record: Had I actually broken the kneecaps, I still would have found a way to get out of there. Quickly.  – Later I wished I had been able to see this happen, because to bounce so perfectly down step by step by step, well I thought it sounded pretty fucking spectacular.

I’ve held the back of my dress closed while walking down a very busy street on a windy day while wearing panty hose sans panties before I realized I wasn’t holding the skirt closed, — but open. To add icing to the cake, prior to hitting the very busy intersection, I cut across a crowded gas station and stood at a cross-walk waiting for the light to change. Just casually holding the wrap around skirt very very open. Again, if only I had been able to see such a sight. I think I would have peed myself with laughter.

I’ve had the person I was idly and possibly even maliciously gossiping about, walk up behind me and overhear me. There is no way out of that one. I cringe when I think of it now.

I’ve said the wrong man’s name to a suitor in a time you really don’t want that happening. I like to pretend that didn’t happen, and I’m deathly afraid of it ever happening again. Because to be honest, I’ve come close again.

I’ve tripped over a hay bale – flying thru the air with all the grace only a very stunned drunk can immediately muster, while realizing that familiar gust of a breeze going up my skirt felt familiar because once again, —  I was going commando.

I’ve slipped on a wet ship floor and flew cartoonishly high in the air, only to land with a thud and a crack, hard on my ass. Fortunately that time I was wearing panties. Unfortunately I had no witnesses to corroborate my story outside of the man I was dating, so there went my million dollar lawsuit. 😉

I’ve tripped over imaginary sticks, rocks, juts in the sidewalk, cracks in the street, and divots in the dirt. I probably have more physical scars than emotional from all of these trips, falls, tumbles and drops. But life affords us lessons, and it’s our job to figure them out. What it’s taught me is fast thinking, faster movement in catching myself, but most of all; To try not to take life too seriously, because around any corner might be a puddle to slip in, a stair to bounce down or a name to get wrong.

Oh – And most important, to start wearing panties.

*apologies to those who hate the P word. I recently learned that along with moist it’s one of the most hated words to say. I myself have always liked it. Panty, panty, panty! 😉


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