Who wants to have an embarrassing story contest?
I’ll go first.
In order to truly appreciate this story, you have to understand how the pick up line at an elementary school works. While this story involves the pickup line at my children’s elementary school, all elementary school pick up lines are just variations of the same circle of hell. So, if you’ve experienced one you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, here are the basics:
The children line up on one side of a designated marker, and the parents line up on the other. At our school, its a red rope. You MAY NOT cross the red rope until the bell rings. Your children will jump up and down and whisper-scream “Moooomm! Look! That’s my Mooom!” as though they haven’t seen you in six months rather than six hours, but they may not cross the red rope either.
Once the bell rings, all heck breaks loose. You have approximately three minutes to approach your child’s teacher, wait for her to make eye contact, collect your child, and get back over the red rope before the second bell. Once the second bell rings, the rope gets lifted up. Anyone stuck on the wrong side of it has to stay there while all the other parents who have it together enough to be on the right side of the rope get to leave the parking lot, weaving around your car and thinking judgemental thoughts about you.
Maybe that’s just my perception.
Anyway, I hate getting stuck on the wrong side of the rope. I’m sure it’s not a big deal to normal human beings, but I was born with an extremely overdeveloped sense of embarrassment.
So naturally, I do everything I can to get over the rope in time. This can be challenging when you are doing the approach-eye-contact-collect-kid shuffle three times. No time for long hugs or asking about how the day went. “Yeah that’s a great story, just tell me the rest on the other side of the rope.”
Today was like any other day. Approach, make eye contact, collect. Approach, make eye contact, collect. Approach, make eye contact, collect. Only then, the bell rang. The rope started lifting. “Come on,” I urged the kids, “We’ll have to run for it.”
So we ran.
Hands clutched, backpacks bouncing, feet shuffling, we made it across the red rope. I heaved a sigh of relief, slowed to a walk, and then…I felt it.
Air. Blowing across my backside. My backside, which was hanging free, due to the fact that my shorts had slipped all the way down to my knees in my frantic shuffle-jog to get across the red rope in time.
I felt time slow down to an infinitesimal crawl. The 1.5 seconds it took to drag my shorts back up over my ass were the longest of my life. Maybe nobody noticed? Who was I kidding? Everybody saw. I have never, ever, been so grateful to be wearing clean underwear. You know that nightmare where you’re at school and you look down to realize that you’re in your underwear? It was like that, but in REAL FRICKIN LIFE.
Honestly, I’m still processing. I’m sure with time (like, 17 hours) I’ll be able to show my face in the pickup line again. To all the other parents and unfortunate children who may have gotten a glimpse of my derriere this afternoon, I deeply apologize. And I promise, I’m going belt shopping tomorrow.