Friday, October 4, 2013

One loses many laughs by not laughing at oneself. ~ Sara Jeannette Duncan

Today is my dear friend Marylou's birthday.  Ahh, Marylou!  She makes me laugh.    A classic Marylou story circa 1998:  She received one of those silly quiz-type emails from a friend, and one of the questions asked her to share her Most Embarrassing Moment.  She took her time with the goofy survey questions, described some humiliating episode, and emailed it to her friend.  Soon after, a response appeared in her inbox--from a complete stranger.  "I think you meant to send this to someone else," it read.  "I guess you have a new Most Embarrassing Moment."  That made me cackle when she first told me about it, and it still makes me laugh.  Almost every conversation with (and email and letter from) Marylou contains a gem like that.  

In her honor, and as a virtual birthday present, I will remind her of--and share with you--another story from around the same time.  After making my way from my college's library to the science center halfway across campus one afternoon, I arrived at the building's door in the usual crush of students all trying to get to class on time, and as I waited to enter it, I saw the reflection of one of the students beside me in the mob:  She was dressed up in this sweet outfit--a long-sleeved white blouse under a sleeveless gray jumper-dress with white tights--and I simultaneously admired her outfit and noticed  that (poor girl!) her dress was tucked into the front of her tights.  Those realizations and my sudden horror for her--a young woman exposed from the hip down in this horde of students!--and my wondering how to tell her--seemingly all swept through my mind in a single instant, and when we got closer to the door and its reflection, I looked up and saw that--The girl was ME.  (I die again as I write this.)  I had walked halfway across campus during the busy class-change time with my oh-so-cute dress hitched up into my tights--IN THE FRONT!--and no one (no one! not even another woman?!) TOLD me.  I had passed people I KNEW on the way to class.  I had  said hello to students and PROFESSORS.  (I die again and again.)  It has been about fifteen years and I am still both laughing and blushing even as I type this.  I don't remember how or where I adjusted my dress and tights--I assume right in front of everyone and right then, since I obviously couldn't go to class like that--and I remember nothing else from that afternoon except that later on, I told my coworkers at the writing center, and they all died along with me--both from the utter horror of it and from laughter.  

A year or so later, when I was settling into grad school, a card arrived from Marylou wishing me luck on my new campus.  Tucked inside the envelope was a handful of coupons for L'eggswear-brand tights.  Ha ha.  :)  

When the Dress-In-the-Tights saga somehow came up in conversation awhile back, Marylou's only comment was a dry "At least you were wearing underwear."  Indeed!  And never let it be said that I don't thank God for small favors.  :)  But still, truly:  GAH! 
 What can you do but laugh.  :)

Sigh.  :)  

'Happiest of birthdays, Marylou.  :) 

11 comments:

Lisa said...

Oh, VAL! I'm laughing with you, and blushing with you! What a story. Hilarious and horrifying all at once.

Nellie said...

What a story, Val! Laughing along with you!

Sending happy birthday wishes to Marylou!

I've been trying to keep up with those Pirates. No TV coverage here on this day, though. We don't subscribe to the MLB channel.:-(

xo Nellie

Val said...

I know--I still wonder how long my dress had been like that before I noticed. {{{shudder!}}} :)

Nellie, my dad had to listen to it on the radio too. No MLB network for him either. And what a shame, when they played so well today! Listening to games on the radio can be nice, but after they lost last night, I'm sure Dad would have enjoyed SEEING today's victory. :)

Anonymous said...

I have tried to post an amazingly poetic ode to your friendship three times now, but "new-fangled technology" has taken it from me three times now!!! :(

Words cannot describe how special your friendship is to me. Of my friends, you have known me the longest.. you have seen me through all of my battles, and you love me just the same.. if not more! Your friendship is a great treasure to me, and although I cannot recall near as many "memorable moments" as you can (did I really send all of those coupons to you?? Oh dear..), I can recall quite a few that can still bring me to tear-filled laughter (do desk-jumping, car ride to h*ll, or cheeseballs ring bells???)... Oh, Val... rest assured, when my kids hear me laughing about some memory, they cannot wait to hear about yet another Val-adventure that I am reliving. It's been a great nearly 20-year run, and I look forward to many more adventures over the years! I am so grateful that our friendship has endured the years (and miles)! Much love, Marylou

Marylou said...

See? can't even figure out how to post as "Marylou..."

Marylou said...

Okay... I think that I just did... another one for the books??? Love you.

Marie said...

Happy Birthday to your dear friend. I know her life must have been immeasureably blessed by your presence in it as well! Loved the stories. I think we all have embarassing moments like these!

Val said...

Ohhh, Marylou, I remember it all. :) Love back to you. ♥♥

Thank you, Marie. :) I'm always an appreciative audience of an embarrassing story. And I got a million of 'em. :)

asmplelife said...

I was just telling a friend that is one of my biggest concerns when I wear a skirt! I'm always checking myself in the mirror, glass doors, anywhere there's a reflection....

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Val

Oh how funny and you can laugh about it now. I think most of us have probably had experiences like this.
Have had the same thing happen to me a pleated skirt that was tucked up at the back. cringe!
Marylou seems like a beautiful friend and good to have friends like her.
Wishing her a very happy birthday.
Hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying the week
hugs
Carolyn

Val said...

Cheryl, you can believe that I've checked myself carefully in all reflections ever since. :)

Carolyn, thank you. And I've had another friend do that with the skirt in the back. :) Argh! :)