The Art of (in)Discretion


Well, I embarrassed myself the other day.  Again.

I was meeting a friend for lunch at her swanky country club. I’m about as comfortable in a swanky establishment as I am in a thong. It’s not that I don’t feel at home among the Beautiful People; it’s just that I don’t have the proper wardrobe to sit in their midst.  My friend, who bears a striking resemblance to Barbie, has repeatedly assured me that, as of 2008, denim is acceptable apparel at the club. Yet, every time I’ve been there, she and I are the only ones in jeans (or, in her case, Walmart jersey capris that could technically pass for pajamas; however, when worn by a real live Barbie, look like fashion runway chic…ugh, I really must start befriending homelier girls).

As I pulled into the parking lot, I shot her a quick text message to warn her of my shabby appearance:

Wearing denim capris that may or may not have been picked up off the floor this morning.

Only I didn’t send it to her.  I sent it to the client I had met the night before. In those very same denim capris.  He’s a 23-year old cop.

I felt like such a smacked ass.

Unfortunately, that incident wasn’t an anomaly.  A few years ago, I was scheduled to have lunch with the very same girl.  It was a hot summer day and I wore what I thought was a cute, somewhat low-cut, dressy sleeveless blouse (and by ‘dressy’, I mean ‘not cotton’).

Ladies – Did you ever put on a blouse/top/dress and think it looked great, only to sit down and find that your breasts have tumbled out of it?  Yeah.  That’s what happened that day.  Only I didn’t notice it until I was halfway to work, so I quickly shot her a text while sitting at a red light:

I hope you like my boobs because they’re shamelessly displayed today.

Two hours later, my cell phone rang.  The phone number was one digit off from Barbie’s.

That’s odd, thought I.  What are the odds that someone with a phone number so similar to Barbie’s would be calling me?

Me: Hi, this is Donna.
Nervous Man: Uhhh, you sent me a text this morning?

You know horror?  When you can literally feel the blood draining from your head?  Yeah.

Me (MORTIFIED): OhMyGod. That text was meant for someone else.
Disappointed Man: Oh. That’s a shame because you sound like someone I’d like to meet.

Jesus.

Regrettably, I am no stranger to embarrassment.  Most of my embarrassing episodes stem from an almost insatiable need to share information that would be better left bouncing around in my head. It has been a lifelong struggle for me that culminated in what I like to refer to as ‘The Great Salad Bar Debacle of 1987’.

I was a waitress at Steak & Ale at the time.

Side note: I loved being a waitress.  It was hard work and it could be very stressful, but it was fun. Of all the jobs I’ve ever had, that was the one that produced the most enduring friendships.  And my husband – who started out as my friend then accidentally slept with me.  Don’t you hate it when that happens? Neither do I. We were recently discussing pick-up lines with our son (because that’s the kind of family we are):

Mat: What line did Dad use?
Me: He said, ‘I’m going to prove to you that we can sleep in the same bed and not have sex.’
Jack: Heh heh.
Mat: Uugghhh.

As I was saying…

I was a waitress at Steak & Ale at the time.  I had been there for a couple of years and had a few regular customers who would request my table. One couple in particular had recently gotten married and was expecting their first child. They came in pretty frequently throughout the pregnancy and always sat in my station.  One busy Saturday night, I saw them at the salad bar (they had sat in someone else’s station…thank God):

Me: When are you going have that baby? You’re getting big as a house!
[Big as a house, I said.  Big as a house.]
Husband (giggling): She had the baby three weeks ago.

You know horror?  When you can literally feel the blood draining from your head?  Yeah.

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Bats in the Belfry (no, seriously, duck!)


Back in January, I swore I would never complain about hot weather again.  Puh.

It’s only June and I’m already over this heat.

Side note: Delaware’s unofficial motto?  ‘It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity!’

Late yesterday afternoon, I toured a few houses with a client.  It was about 99 degrees with 97% humidity.  As we were walking to our cars after leaving the last house, he asked me a mortgage question.  In the driveway.  Within three minutes, sweat was streaming down my back. I was thisclose to asking him if we could just get in our respective cars and discuss it over the phone.

I have a very low tolerance for heat.  My hair feels like a cat sitting on my neck, I’m (more) lethargic and the bugs are out of control.  Once it’s dark outside, opening the sliding door for the dogs generally results in at least 17 ninja gnats, 2 punchy beetles and at least one very confused, oversized moth flying into the house.

Tonight, things got a little more interesting.  And by ‘interesting’ I mean ‘horrifying’.

Mat: OMG, that’s a bat.
Me: WHERE?!?!?  OHMYGOD, WHERE?!?!?!  AAAEEEEE!!!!
Mat: Calm down.  Outside, look!  There it goes again!
Me: OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!  I DON’T LIKE BATS, MAT!! THEY’RE AWFULLLLLL!!!  (uncontollable willies)
Mat: I like bats.  They eat moths and mosquitoes, so I like them.
Me: SERIOUSLY?!?! Which one would you rather have fly by you – a moth or a bat?
Mat: Probably a bat.
Me: WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!  They’re horrible with their furry little bodies, their pointy little ears, their sick little mouths and THOSE HORRIBLE WINGS!! OHMYGOD THOSE WINGS!!!!  AAAAAEEEEEE!!!!!!

I guess I should be happy that it didn’t get in the house.

I don’t have a good history with bats.  Back in our early 20s, Jack and I lived on the second floor of an apartment on a quiet street.  One evening at dusk, I had just sat down on the sofa to watch TV and caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a flock of birds flying by the window to the right of me.  Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a flock (dozens!) of bats. Never having seen a bat in person, I was pretty freaked out.  Fortunately, they were outside, so I maintained my composure.  Well, if running around the apartment muttering ‘ohmygodbats..ohmygodbats…ohmygodbats’ without screaming counts.

A few weeks later, we were asleep and I was awakened in the middle of the night by a weird squeaking/clicking/clawing noise coming from the bedroom window just above my head.  Upon closer inspection, I realize it was a bat that had somehow managed to get stuck between the screen and the storm window and was trying to climb its way out. I saw his face.  I saw his little teeth. I saw his outstretched wings.  I lost it.

Me (jumping out of bed): OHMYGOD!!  JACK!!!  OHMYGOD!!!  WAKE UP!!! GET IT!!! GET IT!!! OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!!
Jack (semi-conscious): Huh?  Wha?  Wha?
Me (from the other room): WAKE UUUUUUPPPP!!!!  BAT!!! THERE’S A BAT IN THE WINDOW!!! GET IT!!! OHMYGOD!!! GET IT!!!

I spent about five minutes pacing and muttering in the living room while he freed the bat.  Or so I thought.  Upon returning to the bedroom, I found my beloved stretched out on my side of the bed with his feet propped up on my pillow and his arms crossed under his head, staring at the window. The bat was still in the window.  Naturally.

Me: WTF ARE YOU DOING?!?!
Jack: This is really cool. Look at him.
Me: Are you fucking kidding me?

Eventually, the bat freed itself and I was able to move on with my life.

For a while.

Later that summer, we had a party.  At one point,  a couple of our guests were yelling to us from the front of the building.  We opened the window to find out what was wrong and they pointed to the stairwell and said, ‘BAT! There’s a bat in there!’

OHMYGOD!

One of our friends, who was evidently raised by wolves in the wilderness and had no fear of bats, grabbed the broom and said he would take care of it.  After a few minutes, he asked for a paper towel, reappeared with it wrapped around the dead bat and threw it in the trash.  I was at once freaked out and relieved.  The party went on into the wee hours and a good time was had by all.

The next morning, we got up early and headed to the beach for the day.  When we got home that evening, I put the key in the door, turned the knob and opened the door to find the bat – alive and well…and likely PISSED – swooping around the living room.

As you can imagine, I lost it.

Jack, on the other hand, took action.  He grabbed a diaper box, dumped out the diapers, waited for the bat to land on the window, slammed the box over the bat, closed the flap of the box, RAN to the gas station next door, threw the box into the dumpster and RAN back to the apartment.

I have known Jack for 27 years and that was the only time I have ever seen him run. Turns out he didn’t think they were quite as cool without the protection of a pane of glass.  Who could blame him?  I don’t care how many insects they eat or how harmless they are to humans.  Those things are just plain gross.