While I'm certain that total public nudity would be waaaaaay more embarrassing, I never seem to be far away from some sort of clothing challenge ending in public humiliation. Like the time I got my heel caught in the hem of my elastic-waist skirt as I was trying to get up from taking communion. The more I tried to stand, the more I pulled my skirt down. So I knelt again, fussed with my skirt until I was convinced I'd unhooked my heel and started to rise only to end up showing the entire congregation more of my underwear. Kneel/fuss/rise/kneel/fuss/rise over and over like some crazy Lutheran trying out for a Catholic genuflecting contest. All the while, the rest of the congregation blithely took their seats until it's just me and one bemused German pastor at the communion railing. Finally, the pastor's wife came to my rescue and I got to walk the mile-long aisle back to my pew.
Yeah. Try living that down when you're 16.
When I was in college, I bought scads of those new platform shoes everyone was wearing. I was five feet tall and dating a guy who was 6’3” - it was like the fashion gods were finally smiling on me. My favorites were sandals with cork platforms. These were serious platforms. Rock-band-with-big-hair platforms. Platforms so high I felt tall - dare I say statuesque, even.. I was trying to cross High Street against the light during noon rush hour once while wearing these shoes and I lost my balance and fell. Just try getting back on your feet with those babies on when you’ve fallen and are wearing a wrap skirt on a windy day. Somewhere in the world there’s an old guy who once lived in Columbus, Ohio, drove a new blue Datsun Z28 and saw my red undies with chocolate chip cookies on them.
Then there was the Sundress Incident. I found the cutest sundress at the mall and couldn't wait to try it on. It was a little tighter than I liked so I opened the dressing room door to see what Annie thought. “Mom,” she said. “You’ve got it on backwards!” Oh my god. She was right. I started to laugh. The lady in the next dressing room overheard us, and we could tell she was laughing too but trying to be real quiet about it. That made us laugh even harder. Then Annie snorted which really got everyone going. It wasn’t long before I was sweaty from all the laughing and also had to go to the bathroom. I ducked back into the dressing room to pull the dress off but got stuck with my arms up over my head and the damn dress half on and half off. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the dress to budge. Annie had pretty much composed herself but when I didn’t come out, she asked what I was doing. What could I say? Nothing. So I said nothing. Annie sputtered “You’re not stuck are you!?” Now it was the lady next door’s turn to snort. I felt certain I was going to spend the rest of my life in the Winkleman’s dressing room wearing a sundress as a tourniquet. I bent over and started feeling my way around for the door and Annie finally got me out of the dress.
I’m sure it’s completely unrelated but Winkleman's did close their stores not long afterwards.
There are other clothing related mishaps in my past but I think I'll stop here. It's almost time for my daily bra battle. I think my bra should take a day off and it thinks it should go with me to the office. We'll just see who wins this morning.