Reversal of Fortune

Yesterday I managed to crack my own Top 5 Most Embarrassing Moments.  And that’s saying something.

I’ve given it some thought, and I can say with assurance that what happened to me yesterday was more embarrassing than cutting myself out of a velvet party dress.

More embarrassing than walking around a cruise ship for a day with a gaping hole in the seat of my pants.

And yes, it was even more embarrassing, albeit less terrifying, than having a bird mistake my hair for a nest.

Yet, is was less embarrassing than accidentally calling the Personnel Director “bitch” while I was inquiring about the possibility of a job.

Yes, I do believe yesterday’s, uh, episode has landed squarely in the #2 spot of Most Embarrassing Moments

It all began in my classroom, which is currently serving as a dragonfly nymph nursery and has a pungent, swampy smell.  I’m sensitive to smells and so when my stomach felt a little unsettled, I chalked it up to the funk and cracked my back door open for a little fresh air.  I felt much better and worked for another hour or so.

After school I stopped by the pet store to pick up some dragonfly supplies.  The smell of pet stores always makes me a little nauseated and so I thought nothing of it when my stomach gurgled.  I quickly paid for my items, declining the plastic bag offered by the clerk, and shoving the items in my purse as I rushed out the door for some air.

I was just coming around to the driver’s side of my car when my stomach dropped and twisted sharply.  I looked around for a nearby trashcan.  Why didn’t I just take that plastic bag?  Before I could hobble over to the trash can, I felt a revolution rising in my stomach.  I gripped my purse with one hand and the side of the car with the other.  Home was only 5 minutes away.  No way am I going to make it.  And no way am I going to puke inside my car.

And I made the decision then and there to let fly in the parking lot.  Or rather my stomach made it for me.  It’s what competitive eaters call a “reversal of fortune”.  And I was reversing all over the parking lot.

A man with a lap dog was on his way into the pet store.  When he saw me, instead of looking the other direction, he started walking toward me.  Chivalry is alive and well.  That’s what ran through my mind while gasping for  breath and wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.  He patted me on the back.  Incidentally the only thing that makes my stomach turn more violently when I’m puking is having someone touch me.  But this stranger was going out of his way to be nice and so I tried to quell the heat churning in my belly.

“Morning sickness is the worst,” the man said, shaking his head.  Wait, what???

“What?” I said gulping air.

“Morning sickness is the worst.  My wife was sick for three months straight.”

Dear reader, let me pause for a moment and catch you up to speed.  I AM NOT PREGNANT.  I have never been pregnant.  In fact I will never be pregnant.  Apparently I look pregnant, which is just about the worst information to find out while blowing chunks for a public audience.

Believe it or not, that’s when things got worse.

I started to cry.

I turned a deep, radish red.  I was SO humiliated.

And continued to puke, narrowly missing his dog.  I should have aimed better.  There I was: a puking, sweating, crying mess in the parking lot.

I stopped heaving for a moment and the man said something like, “I’ll go inside and get you some paper towels.”  Honestly, I’m not entirely sure that’s what he said.

My embarrassment was too loud.

The second he set foot inside the store, I jumped in my car and sped away, leaving a black tire mark next to my other offerings.  Back at home I had an encore performance and topped it all off with one more crying jag.

While recuperating and setting up my post as Couch Captain, I ruminated on a few lessons from this incident.

  1. Listen to my gut.  Especially when it’s making noises that can only be from the pit of hell.
  2. Men, this one is especially for you.  The only time is it ever okay to assume a woman is pregnant is if you are in the same room actually watching her physically give birth.
  3. This last one is more of a practical tidbit for me to keep in mind should I find myself in this situation again.  Aim better.  Aim for the dog.  No, not that one.  The one who somehow managed to add insult to injury by inadvertantly calling me fat.

Here’s hoping you have a weekend full of good fortune, dear reader, and none of it in reverse.

10 thoughts on “Reversal of Fortune”

    1. Jason, wouldn’t you know it, I’d just cleaned out my purse and removed all potential puke receptacles. This is what I get for getting organized. 😉

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  1. Oh man. So me and my Cockapoo Mindy are walking toward the big pet store when this poor woman starts losing her lunch. Right there in front of me in the parking lot.
    What to do? Walking past seems sort of cruel, but might be a really good option. Me, I never want to have people around when caught up in that compromising ritual. But I just can’t walk by. I feel compelled to do… something.
    “Buick!” she seems to be moaning. “Buick! Buuuuuuick!” Probably not the Kool April Nights carshow kind of Buick. She’s hurling automotive themed epithets to the gods of the gastrointestinal tract.
    Lay a hand on her stooped back. Let her know a fellow human has great sympathy.
    Okay, right away, bad idea. She turns, her face a perspiring red mask that wordlessly communicates clear enough. Got it. No touch.
    Maybe some humor. Sometimes you just have to laugh. I mean think about it. Here we are in this parking lot, strangers meeting under less than optimal circumstances. Pretty funny, no?
    “Morning sickness is the worst. My wife was sick for three months straight.”
    The red mask hardens to a stone with death-rays for eyes. My silly grin drops away. Funny, no.
    “Uh, I’ll just get some paper towels. Be right back.” Me and Mindy make for the pet shop door.
    The clerk is watching from behind the glass doors. “I offered her a plastic bag. She was pale as a ghost.”
    We both stand there watching in silence as the woman feebly gets in her car, and motors out the parking lot.
    ‘She mentioned something about a Buick,” I say.

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    1. Oh. My. Word. Skip, I am rolling!!! “hurling automotive themed epithets to the gods of the gastrointestinal tract” is such a hilarious and pungent turn of phrase. You’ve got to let me post your response as a Part 2 sort of guest post! What do you say, want to be my first guest blogger? If yes, shoot me a comment with your particulars like a short bio and a web address if you’ve got one and I’ll include it with the post. Spot on brilliant comment.

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  2. When he told that story to his wife, she probably let him in on tip #2 also. I, too, hope you are feeling better. A little Couch Captain time sounds like a nice strategy for recovery.

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