Only one of these “épisodes embarrassantes” is mine. And it didn’t happen in France.
Last night a friend and I got to talking about some of the really embarrassing stuff that other people told us.
For example, one of my friends who also grew up in Queens lived in what is called a “Garden Apartment”…a community of low-rise rentals with a patch of grass usually in the middle. As you can imagine, it was close quarters and everyone knew each other and their business.
Two of my favorite embarrassing stories took place in her complex.
One of the other families living there had a pre-teen son who was quite thrifty. He wrote his name on every dollar bill he saved…a fact he never shared with anyone, not even his parents. He kept his stash of cash well-hidden in his room. I forget his name, so let’s just call him Sam.
One day his Mom realized in the midst of baking for her bridge group, who were coming that evening, that she was out of eggs. That was a dilemma in itself, but she also was out of cash. It was the ’60′s, when ATM’s were just a glint in the eye of some inventor and banks closed at 3 p.m. It was now nearly 4 o’clock. Here she was midway through prepping the recipe and had no eggs and no money.
Unbeknownst to Sam, Mom did know his not-so-secret-hiding place and she raided it for a few bucks to get what she needed to finish up dessert for her friends.
At the grocery store she practically ran to the dairy aisle, grabbed a carton and then jumped on the Express Lane. She hurriedly handed the checker a couple of dollar bills to get on her way asap. He took the money, bringing it up close to his face, frowned, turned to her and said in a way-too-loud voice “Does Sam know you have his money?” and showed her the three dollars with his John Hancock scrawled across George Washington’s face…and now her face was red as a beet.
Story #2, also from Bayside, Queens.
Another neighbor came home from the grocery store with several bags and her young son decided to help her unpack. He pulled out a box of Maxi-Pads and asked his mother what these were. Not wanting to get into the whole “Birds and Bees” conversation with an eight-year-old she just told him they were “special napkins.”
Comes Thanksgiving and the same helpful offspring wanted to set the table. Mom, who was up to her ears in cooking in the kitchen, was grateful for his help and told him where the good china and silver were and went back to mixing and fixing.
Yes, you guessed it. Since it was a “special” occasion, Junior had placed a “special napkin” next to all twelve places.
Last but not least, is my story from the ’70′s. (I only picked one, but heaven knows there are far too many and not enough space.)
The Ex and I were out to dinner with friends at a very upscale restaurant. It was back in the days when mini-skirts were all the rage and I still could actually wear one. I needed to visit the rest room just before the entree was served (heaven forbid I should miss a meal!) so I hurriedly washed my hands and headed back to our table in the far corner. It was a Saturday night and every spot was filled. As I weaved my way in and out of the diners to get back to The Ex and our friends, there was almost a hush over the crowd as I passed and I noticed everyone was looking at me. I thought to myself “I must look really nice tonight! Everyone is staring at me!”
When I got back and went to sit down, The Ex said, “Deargodinheaven, please take the back of your skirt out of your pantyhose. Everyone is looking at you.”
Thank goodness I wasn’t wearing only the stockings. And Victoria hadn’t created her “secret” yet (which, to this day, I think was the thong.)
Feel free to share your embarrassing experiences. I bet there are some real doozies out there!