Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bottoms Up; An embarrassing church


Those who know me can attest to the fact that I am very clumsy. In fact, simply walking across a room can prove to be an insurmountable challenge. I take care to make life as simple as possible for myself and limit my overall exposure to situations that might lead me to embarrass myself. For example, one will almost never see me in a pair of cute shoes; I favor Dansko clogs, running shoes, and flip flops because they are a stable platform for this unsteady walker.

This last Sunday, I broke with tradition. A dear friend gave me a cute, flirty black dress...the sort of dress that flatters you in all the right places and camoflages any extra 'junk in the trunk.' I rolled my hair and carefully applied makeup designed to make me look dewy, fresh faced, and younger than my 37 years. I looked in the mirror and thought, "DANG....I GOT IT GOIN' ON!" To complete my nearly (but not so) "Desperate Housewives" look, I strapped on a pair of two inch, strappy heels with neat little geometric bows over the toes.

En route to church, I may have actually looked at my husband and said "YOU ARE WELCOME" (thinking he got a great deal in marrying such a fine looking woman). I pranced into church without incident and enjoyed an excellent sermon. Afterward, we picked up our children from the WOW worship facility, which is actually a trailer on blocks with a set of prefab deck wooden stairs. The kids ran ahead of while my husband and I walked slowly enjoying the day. I recall discussing where we would eat lunch as we began our descent from the deck. This conversation was abruptly ended by yours truly giving the Sunday school children an education which is not normally included in their curriculum. Upon reaching the second stair, my sassy two inch heel became wedged between the abutting 2 x 4 boards that make up each step. By wedged, I mean it sunk an inch deep in between the planks. I do not exaggerate when I state that I, or at least my right foot, was stuck!!!

I gave a most unlady-like shriek that served only to alert a larger audience to my distress, flailed wildly at my husband’s bicep, and plummeted face first down the two remaining steps. The only benefit his presence gave me was to slow my progress. In sloooooow motion (I am convinced that time itself did indeed slow to a crawl) my dress flapped, became caught by a divinely sent gust of wind, and exposed my backside to the masses of children and parents exiting Sunday school.

Ladies, I was wearing a thong. Yes you read that correctly! Lest you think I am some wild hussy who has taken leave of her senses, please know that it's a matter of practicality. If you have a derriere as substantial as mine, it becomes an issue of exactly how much fabric do you want crammed up "there." Regardless of what sort of undergarment I choose it's headed North, so I took the Less is More approach in selecting my pantaloons that morning.

Finally, some small shred of good fortune caught up with me at the last instant. My heel popped free and I was able to pirouette so that I landed soundly upon my gluteus maximus. To add insult to injury, I landed with my legs pointing up the stairs. Being the lady that I am in the dress that I was wearing, I clenched my knees together and refused to bend my legs. As far as I was concerned, that first peek was all anyone was going to get of 'the netherlands.'

Like a child needing consolation, I stretched my arms up to my husband and begged, "HELP!" He took hold of my hands and gave a mighty pull. My gravitational inertia was greater than the force of the yanking, and I didn't budge. So he was urgently admonishing me to, "BEND YOUR KNEES!" and I was vehemently refusing between clenched teeth, "AIN'T NO WAY!!!" After a second attempt, and much heaving, he managed to restore me to my feet. I was already painfully aware that I had inadvertently created a scene. The last thing I wanted was for anyone to stop and pay more attention to me.

But, my daughter in kindhearted concern began pointing out that I had a big bruise on my shin. She was terribly worried and completely unaware that she was impeding my escape. I was trying to kindly explain that “I am not worried about my shin and let's all go to the car now, mommy's fine, OKAY?” She continued to question me all while I was trying to limp and shoo her onward. On our way to the car, I noticed that several concerned parents had clapped their hands over their children's eyes. Other church-goers were doing their best not to laugh, and not succeeding at all.

Physically, I am fine. My ego, however, is crushed. And frankly, I feel terrible for all of those poor victims who were inadvertently flashed last Sunday. I suspect more people will remember the sight of my albino fanny, exposed, and flapping in the breeze than will remember the sermon, which by the way I have already forgotten. (They say trauma can cause memory loss and I for one agree.) I am deeply regretful for any offense I caused and am truly sorry for parents who might need to have explanatory conversations with their children.

I suspect God knew how proud I felt that morning. It seems apparent that he wouldn't want me to become conceited for any reason. Most importantly, I'd guess we can all agree that he does indeed have a sense of humor and that pride truly does go before a fall.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious post! I love it. I especially like how you incorporated scripture at certain points...all the up to "the end" (so to speak). Have a great one,
    -- M