Growing up in the midwest, there is a certain time of year, namely winter, where you get up before the sun and have to leave for work or school before the sun is up. When I was in high school, I had to ride to school with my mom who was a teacher at the high school I attended. This meant that there were plenty of days that I’d have to get dressed in the dark.
Fortunately, I was still able to look as presentable as you’d imagine for someone who went to high school in the late 90’s, knee-deep in the grunge style scene.
There was one slight drawback for getting dressed in the dark. And I never figured it out till it was almost too late.
I suppose it was my own fault. See, I had a habit of wearing the same pair of jeans more than once in a week. Normally, I’d wear the same pair on consecutive days. But back then I also had a bad habit of not shaking out my pants before putting them back on.
I blamed this on how early I had to wake in the morning.
It wasn’t until I was already at school, waiting for class to start, when all my friends were around, that I would make a grim discovery. I’d find a strange bulge in my lower pant leg. Now, because of my leg brace, I didn’t feel anything weird, it was only when I went to pull my legs to my chest when I was sitting down that I’d feel the strange bulge.
But what was it?
In a word, it was, um…….underwear. Dirty underwear to be exact.
Yeah, turns out I hadn’t shaken out my underwear from my jeans from the day before and they were now stuck in my pant leg.
In front of my friends.
Ladies and gentlemen, this would be the alternative dream to the one where you arrive at school naked.
So how did I retain my dignity and not let slip (pun intended) my mistake in getting dressed that morning? By a slow and sneaky sleight of hand maneuver. I’d put my hand over the bulge in my leg and begin rubbing it up and down like I had an itch….slowly working the offending garment down my pant leg and out through the leg hole. I’d scrunch it into a tight ball in my fist and hold it tight while I made a sort of “walk of shame” to my mom’s classroom where I’d hand it off to here and she’d put it in her desk. The thought never occurred to me to put it in my locker. I guess I figured it’d be more likely to fall out when I opened my locker and then I’d really give everyone something to talk about.
In a school of no less than 200 students, a tale of runaway underwear would have spread as fast as the tickets sell out for a Taylor Swift concert.
Now you’d think that perhaps this only had to happen once for me to remember to shake out my jeans when I took them off.
You’d be wrong.
Even 20 years later I can remember this happening no less than 3 times.
So why did I include this story? Well, you see, I got dressed in the dark this morning and am now writing this entry in an isolated corner of the grocery store.
With a balled up pair of dirty underwear in my fist.
Some people never learn.