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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Life Lessons Learned through My Embarrassing Moments

Life Lesson 1: On Re-Wearing Pants

I have a general rule about laundry: shirts, socks, and underwear may be worn once, sweaters twice, and pants three times before washing.

There are of course exceptions to this rule. For instance, you wouldn’t want to re-wear a pair of jeans that has spent the previous evening in a smoky bar. Not without first applying a healthy dousing of Febreze. Now Febreze doesn’t really neutralize odors as it claims; it just covers them up. But in a pinch it can make soiled laundry pass as fresh.

And sometimes it's ok to re-wear items that are generally only worn once. Like when you go camping, you're not going to be impressing anybody with your cleanliness, so you might as well keep wearing the same clothes until the flies start swarming around you, or until the bears find your tent. Those are pretty good indications that it’s time for some fresh apparel.

So as you see, my laundry rule is generally flexible, and thus it’s never been unusual for me to don a pair of pants several times during a week. I’ve done this my entire life, and I think it’s a fine practice. However, there was one occasion on which a definite drawback of pant re-wearing was brought to my attention.

It was junior high –- what better time to gain life experience by making a fool of yourself? I was in the middle of Mr. Mannsfield's second period band class. We weren't playing our instruments at the moment, because Mr. Mannsfield was taking rolecall. So I was noodling around with the keys on my saxophone and waiting for my name to be called, when I happened to glance down at my feet.

And that’s when my eyes widened, my breath caught, my pulse skipped a beat, and I hoped to god no one else had seen the horror I had just seen: there was a pair of my Hanes Her Way whitey tighties hanging out of my pant leg! They must have still been in my pants when I had grabbed them off the floor in the morning and put them on, and they must have wormed their way down my leg to come to rest on my shoe, where they could mock me in front of god and everyone!

I felt lucky that they had stayed on my shoe for this long. What if they had fallen out while I was walking to class and someone had seen them? I'd have had to change my name and transfer to a different school, and even then the risk of rumor following me would not have been completely assuaged. I was suddenly haunted by images of fingers pointing, eyes staring, faces laughing, and general mockery involving the word "panties".

I knew the only way out of this situation without facing utter social ruin was to try to remain calm. Drawing attention to myself would only increase the likelihood of public humiliation. So I played it cool and tried to keep my attention off the floor. It's somehow easy not to look at something that might give you a mild pulmonary infarction.

Finally the end of class came, and while everyone rustled with their instrument cases, I swiftly and discreetly as possible swept my undies out of my pant leg and into my backpack. I don’t know if anyone saw me, but if they did, they blessed me with their silence.

Life Lesson Learned: Shake the hell out of previously worn pants before re-wearing; or, in the alternative, give up underwear altogether.

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Loralee Choate said...



Sra said...

Glad my little panty episode could put a smile on someone's face :)

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