Yesterday I had the privilege of going back to Baylor University and speaking at an event for the Theta Kappa chapter of Chi Omega. I was initiated there in the spring of 1987 …. in other words, a LONG TIME AGO. The girls could not have been nicer and we had a lovely time.
When they invited me to come they asked if I could tell them a little bit about my speaking and how my experience in Chi O has helped with what I do. While I was preparing it occurred to me that perhaps one of my first public speaking “opportunities” was back in the spring of 1987 during pledging. We had a “get to know you” event in the Barfield Drawing Room (which just so happened to be the same room where last nights event was held). That day I “won” the “You have the most embarrassing moment” game and I “got” to stand up and tell the whole chapter my story.
I was going to stop there last night but then I saw the looks on the girls faces and asked … “you want to hear the story, don’t you?” And they overwhelmingly said they did. It was an unplanned “extra, added bonus” in my speech. It’s only been told to family and a few trusted friends and once at a PTA meeting. In other words, not a lot.
When I mentioned the story on facebook today I almost immediately began getting texts that said .. “DO TELL”.
So, here goes, right here on the world wide web …
I was in the 8th grade. EIGHTH. That’s important to note because this kind of thing should not happen to anyone … much less an EIGHTH grader.
My mom bought me a new pair of pink, wool pants with a flare legs (remember it was the early 80’s although I’m not sure these were a good idea even then). They had an elastic waist and I’m pretty sure they came from the JC Penney sale rack. Apparently I thought they were snazzy because after I tried them on that night I decided to wear them to school the very next day.
I took off the pants, showered and the next morning put the pants back on for school.
I went to the bus stop just like any other day. I went to first and second period and everything was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary. Third period everything was fine too …. until …
I was just sitting there in French class minding my own business. Actually I was probably day dreaming. Our desks faced each other with a big aisle down the middle. I felt something in my pants just above my knee and began to kind of kick my leg. To this day I don’t know why I didn’t STOP. But I kept kicking until all of a sudden OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF MY PANTS FLEW MY UNDERWEAR from the day before.
OH NO!!!!!!!!! OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And they weren’t just any old panties … y’all (and this is where the story gets REALLY bad) … they were GASP …. Raggedy Ann and Andy panties. WHY DID I (an EIGHTH GRADER) HAVE THOSE?!?!?! Someone tell me!??!?
And so I did what anyone in that situation would do … and I started acting like they weren’t mine. I said “EWWWWWW” and “GROSS” and made a scene while fervently praying that no one would ever know they were mine.
The teacher called the janitors office and, as if to add insult to injury, I KID YOU NOT … he came down to our classroom with TONGS. HUGE tongs. GIANT tongs. And he scooped up my panties and they have never been seen again.