In which MJ can’t be taken anywhere.
The people who know me best know that I have a curse. I’ve had it since I turned 15. I remember the day it fell upon me. I was at WaterWorld in Houston. It was a hot, humid July day. I was having fun going down the water slides and swimming. I recall hanging out in the Lazy River, resting on my inner tube. I stood up to reach over to my step-sister when I heard my friend shriek, “Holy shit! Where’s your top?” I looked down. I was topless. My bikini top had vanished. I was just standing there practically naked. I quickly pulled up the inner tube to cover myself and began searching for my top. It was gone! Where was it? It couldn’t have floated off very far. Could it?
And that’s when I heard it. That unmistakable tone. A teenage boy yelling, “Hey there, you want your top back?” He was swinging it around his head with a most smug expression on his arrogant face. I wasn’t about to fool around with a guy like that. I just found a life guard and informed him that unless he wanted me to strut around a family joint like it was Rio de Janeiro he had better persuade the dude who was holding my bikini top hostage to give it back. I also happened to pick the biggest, baddest looking life guard I could find. Go for intimidation when you can.
That was the beginning of a stellar career of embarrassing moments involving my clothing betraying me–always in public. I have fallen in downtown Minneapolis during rush hour landing face first on the sidewalk resulting in my skirt flying over my head revealing my entire ass for the whole of the viewing public to see. Oh, the honking horns and catcalling. I pretended to be dead for about a minute. I have walked around a crowded restaurant with my fly completely open revealing my very fancy underwear. I have had a halter top come undone in my front yard and flashed my male elderly neighbor while doing yard work. That was spectacular. He didn’t look me in the eye for a month! I have run in the Target parking lot during a storm, and unknowingly my blouse had come partially undone so that only one breast was revealed. I was actually walking around the produce section flashing one boob! I think I even picked out a melon while said breast was exposed. And, yes, a man did say, “Nice melons,” to me. Another man followed me around the produce section the entire time staring at me. And, because I am who I am, I threw down a pear and yelled at him, “Do you have a problem, sir?!” at which point he just stared at my exposed breast and uttered, “Uh…”
The worst thing that’s ever happened? While Grace was in the middle of her prodromal decline, I was in a bad place. I was getting up every morning at 6 AM to take her to day treatment. I was exhausted, scared, and confused. Trying to take care of her as well as my other kids, run a household, pay the bills, be a wife…I just couldn’t do it all. I was getting migraines all the time. So, I would just throw on clothes in the morning, grab Grace, and drop her off. I don’t remember what else I did that summer except survive it. Well, one morning I had a feeling that I had forgotten something very important. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I was anxious. I took Grace to day treatment. I dropped her off. I was driving home through morning rush hour traffic, and I couldn’t get past the feeling that I felt weird. Something was wrong. I turned onto my street, and I almost ran over the UPS man who was standing in the middle of the street! I stopped, rolled down the window, and apologized. He was very nice about it. I pulled up to my house and parked the car. I still felt off. What was I forgetting? I opened the car door and moved to get out.
I recall that I was wearing a shorter denim skirt. Those skirts ride up on the thighs a bit when you’re climbing out of a car or minivan. I try to be conscious of that when I’m climbing out of the minivan. I was just so tired that day. I saw the UPS guy’s truck pulling up next to me in my rearview mirror so I knew to be careful. I was getting out. He was pulling up. He slowed down to wave, and then I saw his face. I’ll never forget it. First, it was shock. He looked well and truly shocked. I waved at him. I remember that I was partially standing with one leg in my van and the other out of the van because I was getting out of the car–like some housewifey, panty-less Captain Morgan. He kind of waved back. His eyes got really wide, and then his mouth just hung open. And he shook his head in disbelief. I think he might have smiled a bit or laughed. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing or why he had stopped the van. He just sat in his big, brown truck and stared at me with that expression of shock and awe pasted on his face.
It was then that I figured out what I had forgotten. And, I froze. Then, I wanted to die. Could I move away? Could I change my name and leave the country? Do the Federal Marshals have a program for women like me?
I had forgotten to put on underwear. OH…MY…SWEET…LORD!
I’d like to say that I never saw him again except that I did. He made a point to deliver every package to our home that summer. I felt like a younger and dirtier Mrs. Robinson. Who forgets to put on underwear? Really?!
So, I thought the curse was broken. I went two years with no incidents. Until yesterday.
We were at a lovely store in our area showing our fabulous house guest around. I was wearing a dress. I seldom wear dresses, and I feel that I will continue to seldom wear a dress after yesterday’s fiasco. I like skirts. I like jeans. I like skinny trousers. Dresses? Sometimes. When you’re a cursed individual as I am, it’s good to have ample coverage in case a light breeze comes along. You never know. Anyway, I was trying to follow my PT’s instructions and wear that damn backpack so that my neck would be in good shape. There we were, walking around, looking at stuff. I was wearing my backpack.
Unbeknownst to me, my backpack was slowly pulling up the back of my dress as I walked. After an hour of walking around, we all decided to go upstairs. Imagine how much fabric my backpack had pulled up after an hour of walking around. My backpack had pulled up the entirety of the back of my dress. I wondered why I was feeling so cold. Imagine me standing on the stairs in front of everyone looking totally covered from the front and bare-assed from behind wearing a backpack! It’s too awful! It’s…like this!!
As we were walking up the stairs I could really feel the air hitting my skin, and that’s when I reached around and felt bare skin. I stopped and tried to pull the dress down, but it was all tucked under my backpack. Fixing this quickly wasn’t that easy, but I did it. Now, my husband was behind me the entire time! When we got upstairs I punched him. HARD.
“What was that for?” he complained, rubbing his arm.
“You didn’t tell me that my dress was completely tucked under my backpack! My ass was exposed! I am so embarrassed! I have a thong on! I look like I was going commando!”
“Sorry. I wasn’t looking at your ass…”
This is the point when our guest stepped in. “A husband should always be looking at his wife’s ass!”
And then Milly stepped in, “Yeah, Dad! You should always be doing that!”
How do you not notice a bare-assed woman tromping around a store? I should probably feel better about myself. If he didn’t notice, then maybe no one else noticed either.
- I am going to replace my backpack.
- Maybe I’m good for another two years now. No more flashing store patrons or UPS dudes until I’m 43. God help them.