Friday, July 19, 2013

If those pants could talk....the ultimate wardrobe malfunction.

There was the time when I was in the 7th grade. Now, the 7th grade is adequately torturous in and of itself, but I was naive enough to wear elastic waisted shorts to school that day to add to the torment. As I reached up for my combination lock (go figure, the shortest girl in the school was assigned a top locker), and without warning, blond haired mischievous blue eyed Tommy flies by at mach speed, grabbing both sides of my shorts, pulling my pants straight down to my ankles. It all seemed to happen in Matrix style slow motion, his haunting evil laughter echoing in the halls. 
I'd been de-pants-ed.

Then there was the time when I was walking through New York City on a hot sunny afternoon in late July with my sister in law. You could cut the muggy air with a knife. Surely a light sundress was in order on such a day as this, especially a vibrant green, black and white bohemian beauty with a black ribbon empire waist. Just as I meandered over one of those grated vents on the sidewalk, a wild gust of air shot up at precisely at the very moment I walked over it, shooting my dress straight up and around in a billowy cloud of dress flair, just like Marilyn Monroe, only I wasn't holding my dress in place...sigh. True story. You can ask the young store owner who walked out the front door to put a sign in the window at the exact moment my half nakedness was on display, him or any one of the other 2,000 eyewitnesses. Yep.

But the time that really stands out took place on a cool fall afternoon about 13 years ago. I was working the support desk for a popular retail catalogue call center. I had just purchased the most svelt techno-suede grayish/electric cornflower blue bootcut pants on the planet. These pants were rock star awesome. All the look and snazz of suede, but in a soft, breathable cotton blend that fit like a glove. The only way in and out of these pants was the side zipper, creatively hidden to look invisible. 
I loved these pants, we had a special connection. 

Now picture this: I had just finished a killer workout at the gym,
 downing nearly a gallon of water. 
As I walked in the front door for my afternoon shift, 
I could feel that water had already made it's way through my system 
and was knock-knock-knockin on bladder's door. 
Alrighty, no big deal. Just drop my stuff down, swipe in, check the vectors, 
make a quick bee line for the bathroom. 

As fortune would have it, the bathroom wasn't packed. 
Easy in and out, and back to my station, I love it when that happens! 
Or so I thought. 

As I locked the bathroom door behind me, and reached for my invisible side zipper, 
my day took a turn for the worst. 
I began to gently tug downward, only to meet resistance. 
Hmmm. Okay, try pulling up and then downward again. 


Okay seriously, what could be the problem here. 
Twisting sideways, looking over my shoulder to the side, 
fiercely tugging up and down, 
side to side, 
trying to pull fabric apart, 
tug, pull, jerk, shake. 

Okay. Let's get a grip here, we can work this out...
I'll just have to solicit some help from one of the girls here, 
maybe the awkward angle of me turning to try to get this zipper unstuck is working against me, 
I murmured as feelings of panic started to rise. 

*nervously clearing my throat* 
"Hey ladies, um, hey can one of you help me out here for a second? 
I can't seem to lodge this zipper loose on the side of my pants." 
A few chuckles emerged, then a response from one of my colleagues 
who sweetly replied, "sure, let's check it out." 

I opened the door and offered a perplexed smile of gratitude, turned to the side, 
and proceeded to squeeze and hold a kegel muscle flex 
with the uttmost maximum concentration necessary to ensure success against 
any potential collateral damage that could occur when you consider all of the jarring. 

Surely one of these women could set me free from the prison of my dice. 

Each workmate carefully got into the zone, secured their footing in place, 
squinted their eyes and put all of their focus and determination into 
"operation free her" no avail. 

This operation has officially escalated to code red status. 

I could feel my bladder expanding like a balloon. 
The pain of urine backing up in the pipes...
This is it. This is how it ends for me, I thought. 
My urine backs up so far that I spontaneously combust. 
Death by spontaneous combustion. 
Just like that. 
Come on, think! 

Time to take this to the next level, off to security. 

As I approached one of the security guards
I could see his casual smile quickly fade into a wincing curiosity. 
Must've been the painfully frantic stricken look on my face. 
Either that or the tense uptight manner in which I was walking towards him. 

"What's wrong?" he said. 
I gave him the cliff's notes assessment of the circumstances at hand. 
With eyes widened and a nod of understanding, 
he awkwardly raised his walkie talkie to this mouth, 
and with head slightly turned, pushed the side button of his communication device. 

*static* "Ahem," *clearing his throat* "uh, we've got a 'situation' here. 
Report to the mechanical room, over." 

Damn straight we've got a situation here, I thought to myself, as I winced in pain. 
I could hear the mottled response through my delirium. 
"Roger that." *static* 

My concentration began to wane as I fought off the overwhelming desire to pass out
Looking down I could see my lower abdomen protruding. 
I swear, I looked 6 months pregnant. 

The security guard led me into an area that could possibly hold 
the keys to my freedom. 

He possessed the disposition of a man that delicately balanced 
complete empathy and concern as he weighed the seriousness of the event, 
while simultaneously resisting the urge to bust out laughing in disbelief. 
One thing's for sure, there had never been 
a "situation" quite like this on the job. I'll tell you that right now.

There I lay, on the "operating" table/mechanical room island. Pliers. Sigh. 
Nothing would budge this stubborn zipper. 
The only other option involved a pair of scissors with one problem. 
I had no back up clothes.

My supervisor had been brought up to speed, and with a sympathetic expression 
graciously offered to let me leave for the day to "address the situation." 
You don't have to tell me twice. 
I ran to the support desk to call my husband to warn him of my pending arrival 
(we didn't own cell phones back then). 
He compassionately said he'd be waiting for me, scissors in hand.

I raced through the parking lot to my car, fumbling with my keys. 
Every pound of the pavement sent an eruption of nausea throughout my body.
Why did I have to drink so much water before my shift????? 
I peeled out of my space, screeched around the corner, 
and jumped on the freeway as fast as I could. 
Please don't let me get pulled over by a cop for speeding. 
Please don't let me get pulled over by a cop for speeding. 
Wait, What's this, TRAFFIC??!! 
By this point, I was hallucinating. This was the longest. drive. home. ever. 
Near 30 minutes later, I thrust into my driveway, flung open the car door 
and bolted to the front door which my husband already had open. 
The desperation in my eyes said it all. 
He, too, tried the infamous zipper, only to meet the same rejection as the others. 

With scissors in hand, he cut me out of my pants. 

I was cut. out. of my pants. 

Yes, this was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. 
Having to be cut out of my pants. 

I'm so glad that at the end of the day, 
I am not the sum of my "most embarrassing moments." 
Aren't you? 
I think if nothing else, those moments are great opportunities 
to learn how to recover gracefully,
 and that Sweet Bellas,
 is a highly desirable skill to have on the resume of life.


  1. You tell a great story, my friend...and I'm so glad you did not spontaneously combust! Happy Friday!

  2. I think I have been cut out of my pants before but it was because of eating an oversized burrito. He he. You have made me smile this morning Bella. I feel your pain, I seem to have more than my fair share of disasters. I guess if you really want to go with embarrassing I just now realized it's Friday. I swear, my head must be on someone else's body these day. Lol. Enjoy your weekend my dear. (Please tell me this isn't just from having children!)

  3. Bella, I always love reading your amazing stories...this one especially is so funny! 7th grade embarrassing moments can make you feel like 'your life is ruined forever'! I know the feeling...been there, just about every year of my entire life; but when you are at your tender teenage years...those are the worst. Now, that I'm 'old and wise-er)...nothing seems to really embarrass me any longer!

    Last summer, I will never forget...I was ready to go down to our swimming pool at my condo, but before I went to the pool (just my bathing suit on)...I decided to put my comforter in the washing machine downstairs. (I should have worn a cover up or shorts) I figured I would just put the comforter in the machine, go upstairs and get a cover-up for my bathing suit...too stuck in the elevator, holding on to my comforter wearing only my bathing suit...ha, ha...very smart! After abt. a few minutes I had to dial 911 for the fire dept. near by to come out because I was stuck in between floors. (btw-I also have claustrophobia)

    By the time they came out it passed at least 25 minutes, took another 10 or more minutes to get me, clutching the comforter...they were looking at me very puzzled, and all I could say was that I brought my comforter along on the elevator in-case I get stuck so I could rest...and for the bathing suit...I said "I wanted to dress light", seriously true story-no embarrassment, accept on the part of my grown children; they were embarrassed for me! Go figure! xoxox



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