Photo by Mark Wanzel, The Barrie Examiner
Day 10: Most embarrassing moment(s). Spill.
Somehow, despite being frequently distracted, often clumsy, and occasionally slow-witted or loose-tongued, I have rarely found myself in a mortifyingly embarrassing situation. Oh sure, there are occasional gaffes, where I’d like to turn back the clock and have a do-over, but I try to be philosophical and count those instances as valuable lessons.
I do have a habit of falling in public places, which tends to be embarrassing. I’ve fallen up stairs in train stations, down mountains, over uneven bricks in sidewalks. But the most embarrassing fall I ever took was under a bus.
In high school, I rarely wore skirts (all the other kids were constantly in jeans) but for some reason on the snowiest day of the year, that’s what I pulled out of the closet. They don’t cancel school for snow in New Hampshire, so after a full day of watching the white stuff pile up outside the classroom windows, it was finally time to go home. My best friend and I stuffed our bookbags, retrieved our coats from our lockers, and headed out into the fluffy white world.
The buses were pulled into their usual spots, but their doors faced a thigh-high ridge of snow piled up by the plows that had come down the street a couple hours earlier. My friend stepped carefully in boot-tracks left by the first kids who’d boarded bus and successfully climbed aboard the yellow carriage. I crested the top of the pile with no problem, but hampered by the width of my pencil skirt, I couldn’t leap as she had onto the steps of the bus. My slick-bottomed flats were not meant for navigating down the backside of a sloping pile of ice-crusted snow, and with nothing and no one to grab for support, I quickly lost my footing. Sprawling helplessly on my back, momentum carried me three-fourths of the way under the bus.
Thankfully, as is often the case in traumatic events, the details are fuzzy after that, because I cannot imagine the picture I made trying to scrabble back out from under the bus.
The next thing I remember is sinking red-faced into the seat beside my friend, trying to brush melting road-grime slush off my coat, my skirt, and my bookbag as she asked what had taken me so long. My answer reduced her to a fit of giggles, which hurt my bruised ego more than the fall.
Lesson learned though, because I’ve never fallen under a bus since. Fashion must take a back seat to the weather.