All the secondary teachers in our system converged on the coliseum for the annual kickoff to a new school year pep talk and fashion show. I had it going on: new haircut, makeup ramped up tastefully between “Sunday-Go-To-Meeting” and prom, pedicured toes, and a jaunty skirt. You know, stuff I’d never wear to actually teach in.
I guess I got a little carried away with that new year/new you thing and was due to be taken down a peg or two. For teachers, we’re so tired at the end of the calendar year that most of us just resolve to survive from January to May. That’s why most New Year’s Resolutions for teachers last about as long as it takes us to realize the students are actually returning for the second semester. But August? August is golden! It’s the smell of fresh paint, crayons, and bulletin board paper that’s still bright with possibility. So, yeah. I spiffed up and got ready to approach the school year with gladitude, a buzzword sure to fire the imaginations of the teens I teach.
Yep. I was looking good and sporting that gladitude all the way up through lunch when the universe struck back. I was completely blindsided! There I was feeling full and chummy after the rare treat of a lunch out with my husband who works at a different school and our good friend Tyson. Maybe it was the Coke I splurged on for such a festive occasion. Maybe it was onion rings. Okay…I just went for broke with this lunch with one bad decision after another. I was asking for trouble.
Maybe it was the added pressure of propriety that wearing a skirt instead of track shorts lends to a situation. I stepped off a curb, felt a sudden burst, and the floodgates opened. I thought, “Surely, I didn’t just…oh, crap!”
I got calm. Real calm. It was time to pray to the Good Lord for the continued blessing of strong elastic and the wherewithal to carry a jacket in the Jeep despite the fact that it’s 95 in the shade in August. I wrapped that jacket around my waist and started walking quickly but gingerly back into the restaurant. I would have to walk all the way through the crowded dining room to get back to the restroom. The elastic was giving way! I prayed again that 1. I could make it through the throng of people without whatever hell was pouring out of my rear end running down my legs and 2. that no one was in the bathroom.
I made it! Somehow, I managed to get cleaned up and exited the restroom a few minutes later with my head held high. Oh, I was commando under that skirt, but folks would be none the wiser if I just strutted out of there with confidence. My bravado failed me as we drove away and I had my husband make a quick pit stop at the Dollar General. I just didn’t think I could sit through an entire afternoon of meetings a la Sharon Stone.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, I had to ask where they kept the panties. They didn’t have a single pair in my size, not even the granny specials. I figured it’d be better to go smaller than bigger, so I picked up this little $4 number that fell somewhere between bikini and thong…uncomfortably. Then, I had to ask for the key to the restroom from the young man who just rang up these emergency panties. The Good Lord took care of me there, though, because he was actually a kid I haven’t taught.
At last, I get back into the Jeep and the guys are clued in that I’ve probably had more than a wardrobe malfunction. They ask what happened and I mutter something about explosive diarrhea.
Tyson deadpans, “S**t happens.”
Yes, Tyson, yes it does.
Looks like I’m off to a great start for the school year!