Everyone has those moderately embarrassing work stories in which you drank a little too much at a company event, your skirt was a little too short for a Tuesday, accidentally hit “reply all” on an e-mail. At least I assume everyone does in order to make myself feel better about how once on a lovely Monday in March, I flashed one of the vice presidents of my company.
I vaguely remember getting ready for work that morning- I had purchased a black, 3/4 length sleeve dress from Target the week before. It was appropriately low cut for both the office and happy hour, covered the tattoo on my arm, was perfectly adorable and soft. It was also almost a complete outfit- dress, tights, shoes and go, very important on Monday mornings in which I was half asleep and running a little bit late. On that particular morning, I slipped on nude tights- sans underwear- the black dress and red heels before chasing the L2 bus down the street to get to work on time.
LATER THAT DAY:
Fighting the mid-afternoon slump, I game planned a bathroom break before foraging through the kitchen for the secret M&M stash. My desire for candy overwhelmed me as I quickly used the bathroom and washed my hands. Walking back into the office, my co-worker Brynn yelled my name from my boss’ office. “Hold on,” I yelled back, not liking her tone of voice and was on a serious mission, thus continued down the hallway to the kitchen.
I caught the eye of the Swedish VP who was seated in the board room as I rummaged around the drawers with no luck. He gave me a funny look- both of surprise and shock. That was strange, I thought, as I accepted defeat and walked back towards my desk. Brynn was still yelling my name.
“WHAT?” I finally yelled, walking into my boss’ office.
She choked words through the laughter, “your dress is stuck in your tights”. I reached behind me to realized my black dress was indeed stuck in my tights, revealing my entire backside to the world. Well, not that world, just specifically the Swedish VP that I’d had in total about 4 1/2 conversations with during the 2 months I’d worked there. Brynn and my boss burst out laughing- the doubled over kind of laugh in which you can’t breathe. I quickly pulled my dress out yelling, “OH MY GOD THAT IS WHY HE WAS GIVING ME SUCH A STRANGE LOOK I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING WHY THE HELL DID YOU NOT CHASE ME INTO THE KITCHEN? THIS IS THE MOST AWKWARD DAY OF MY LIFE” before sitting down and burying my head in my hands.
I realized this was a pivotal point in my life. Shit was in slow motion. I either could laugh right along with them or go hide in the bathroom and cry away my shame. A laughing at me or with me situation, if you will. And I chose laughing- with me, not at me- which eventually turned to laughter induced tears.
15 minutes later people pulled it together and returned to their offices. I couldn’t believe that was not grounds to get the duration of the day off and spent the rest of the afternoon at my desk, people giggling softly every time they walked by me. When embarrassing things happen to me that make my feel a little bit ashamed, I normally react by telling everyone that will listen in a humorous manor, thus reclaiming the embarrassing and little bit shameful event. I responded appropriately by sending out this mass e-mail:
MY DRESS GOT STUCK IN MY TIGHTS AND I MOONED THE SWEDISH VP!!! I HATE THIS DAY!!!
What am I wearing under my tights you ask? NOTHING.
Laugh it up. Everyone else at work sure did.
I know that I was upset, because I used exclamation points and I am morally opposed to exclamation points. I got a lot of responses along these lines:
The Swed looked at me on his way out the door that night, winked and said “today has sure been exciting”. Yes, exciting indeed. One more reason that 9-5 just may not be for me.