One Last Embarrassing Moment

One Last Embarrassing Moment

It’s the last day of October and that means there’s time for one last embarrassing moment in the #Write31Days project. Whew! I’m so glad it’s over. It was fun and I’ll definitely do it again next year but it’s not easy.

In 1997 Auburn beat Alabama at home and secured a spot at the SEC Championship game. This was the game that Billy laid a big fat kiss on me when time expired even though we’d been swearing to everyone that we were JUST FRIENDS. We’d been swearing it because it was the truth but I guess he just got caught up in the moment.

Auburn beats Alabama 1997

Here we are in the post game euphoria.

Tickets to the SEC Championship were being sold on a first come first serve basis and were going to be very limited for students. We decided to camp out for tickets. Ah, those lovely days before smart phones. I guess no one camps out for stuff anymore. That’s kind of sad. 

Not content to camp out the normal day we decided to involve Yellow Dog in the process. What? I’ve never told you about Yellow Dog? Yellow Dog is the name of a sofa that belonged to Margaret and before her our friend Ben…I think. I’m not really sure where Yellow Dog came from. It got it’s name because it was yellow and smelled like a dog and lived outside.

Carrying a couch to an event didn’t seem like that strange of a thing to do in college. We rode out the all night in style and comfort on that couch! I had a huge exam the next morning and was planning on studying all night. Because studying outside in the cold surrounded by hundreds of college kids makes total sense, right? I mean, when I type that out I see how stupid that sounds but what are you going to do. College.

See the line in this pic from the AU Tigers archives? We were somewhere in it.

Students camp out SEC CHAMPIONSHIP tickets 1997

A reporter came around and Rusty and I got our names and picture in the paper FOR BEING AWESOME. So, yeah, I’m pretty famous. I’d love to show you the picture but I have no clue where it is. Well, I sort of have a clue but it involves a ladder and I’m just not willing to go there. 

So, the totally foolproof plan was study all night, get tickets at 8:00 a.m., make it to class for 9:00 a.m. exam. The problem began when members of the opposite sex showed up. Flirting>Studying, dang it. Actually, I don’t even remember how I did on the exam so it must have been okay. I’d have remembered if I’d bombed it. What I do remember is it was one of the most fun nights in college.

Around 7:00 a.m. the lines turned into a complete mess. People broke the lines, students were everywhere, it was complete chaos. I waited as long as I could and then handed my student ID to Billy with instructions to buy me a ticket and set off for class. As I tried to get through the mob of people I lost my sense of direction (actually happens all the time –  it’s why I could never win the Amazing Race ) and spotted a random school chair in the middle of the mob. I made my way over to it and then stood up on it to see where the heck I was. I spotted Billy and called out to him, and just as I he saw me I got jostled and FELL OUT OF THE CHAIR.

When you fall off of a chair you are standing on amongst hundreds of people you should definitely make sure to yell really loudly beforehand so everyone is already looking at you and can see the fall in all it’s glory.

No, YOU fell out of a chair with hundreds of college students watching! Oh wait, no, it was me. I’d tell you I only fell because I’d been up all night but, come on, you know I’m just clumsy. 

Before I got too stepped on someone helped me up and I made it to my exam in time. After the exam I trudged home, opened the fridge for a glass of OJ, and stood at the kitchen counter and thought about studying again. Suddenly Billy BURST into my apartment, marched into the kitchen and dropped down to his knees and began pleading with me saying ‘I’m sorry! I’m sorry you fell! I’m sorry I didn’t come to your rescue! I didn’t want to lose my place in line.’

I wasn’t even mad. He got the tickets and we had a great time in the ATL for the game. That boy even kissed me again the night before we left for Atlanta. And with that kiss we had to give up on the whole ‘just wanting to be friends’ thing. Friends can’t be smooching each other.

Especially friends who DON’T EVEN GO TO THEIR FRIEND’S RESCUE WHEN THEY FALL OUT OF A CHAIR IN FRONT OF THE COLISEUM!

The Plunger

The Plunger

Monday I went to a funeral at Union Grove Baptist Church. My cousin Laura Lee’s grandfather passed away this past weekend. I’m not talented enough to eulogize Mr Taylor. I don’t have half the words I’d need. Just know that he was an amazing man. And I know you’re probably thinking ‘well, sure, all old people are great’ but when I say amazing I seriously mean amazing.

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Okay. I will say just a couple things:

He was 96 but enjoyed an incredible run of good health until almost the very end. He walked a lot and as he would walk he would collect cans. When he had enough he would turn them into the recycling plant and use the money to take his Sunday School out to dinner. That’s just the kind of man he was.

Speaking of Sunday School, he taught Sunday School his entire life. He was still teaching a class at 96. He was my Dad’s Sunday School teacher in 1967 – the year my parents got married.

When his wife died he kept a casserole she’d made in the freezer for over a year because he just couldn’t stand the thought of losing the last thing she cooked.

A man among men.

What does the funeral, which was completely packed, have to do with my thirtieth day of embarrassing stories? To answer that question I won’t tell a story I’ll just present a picture I drew. A diagram, if you will, let’s call it…

The long, long walk between the bathroom I was in and the plunger I needed.

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Did I mention the church was FULL of people? Yeah, I thought I did. 

My Racist Neighbor…

My Racist Neighbor…

Today’s story isn’t funny. Heck, when you are blogging your most embarrassing moments every single day they can’t all be funny. So bear with me while I share this one.

Nothing makes me crazier about myself then when it’s time to put my big girl panties on and I don’t. For instance, I bought a sweater last week at Ann Taylor, paid full price for it, and today, the second time I’ve worn it, I see a big ole hole in it. Now, if I’d gone hiking in it or did some sort of strenuous activity I’d understand but, nope, I just wore it at a conference for a few hours. So, a normal woman would go back to Ann Taylor and get another sweater. Since I’m a big fat baby, though, I won’t because I think ‘oh, I don’t want to cause any trouble,’ I’ll just keep wearing it – hole and all.

Gah! Be a grown up! Stand up for yourself. My Mom is SO good at this. A little too good actually. What is my problem?

Halloween always reminds me of the embarrassment of all the times when I should have said something and didn’t. That’s because I had quite the little life changing event at Halloween several years ago, several neighborhoods ago. Well, if not life changing it certainly made me much more willing to speak up for myself.

Here’s how it all went down: I was sitting in my driveway shooting the breeze with my one of my neighbors when the subject of Halloween came up. It was just a few days away and I was telling her how much I love to see all the trick or treaters on the thirty first. She paused for a moment and said ‘I used to enjoy seeing all the trick or treaters but I really don’t anymore.’ I remarked that ‘Since your kids are grown I don’t suppose it’s as fun as it used to be.’ She leaned in, looked around, and said:

“Well, it’s just that it’s gotten so…URBAN. It’s so URBAN now that we just turn our lights out and don’t give out candy. I’m not a racist but I just liked it better when it was kids from OUR neighborhood and not kids that just come in from outside. Know what I mean?”

Urban. So…urban. Did she just say urban?

So, this is where I should have said ‘That sounds really unfair. Why do you care what color the trick or treaters are?’ But or course I didn’t. Because reacting like that would have been the right thing to do. The grown up thing to do. Instead, I just stammered out a ‘well, other holidays are fun too.’

Other holidays are fun too. What the heck does that even mean? What a ridiculous way to opt out of the conversation, Paula. Now sometimes people excuse racism in the elderly because they say ‘well, it’s hard to change when you’re old,’ but y’all this woman was in her fifties. That ain’t old and she had no excuse. Neither did I though. I should have said something.

I mean, urban, dear Lord, urban? She really just said urban. Sheesh, just say black or latino or whatever it is you actually mean. And anytime someone has to preface something by saying ‘I’m not a racist but…’ Yeah, that’s pretty much a guarantee that whatever you are going to say IS actually racist.

Seriously, people…

And she’s may be the only person who has flat out said ‘urban’ but I’ve heard lots of people complain that kids from other neighborhoods trick or treat in their neighborhood. In our neighborhood.

Why in the WORLD do you care who shows up at your door to trick or treat? You’re handing out candy for goodness sake. Heck, you probably bought the cheap kind. Just give them the stupid candy. And no, since you asked, I don’t care whether it’s a teenager in a costume or a grown up or whatever. If it makes them happy and doesn’t cost you anything extra just do it. Either it goes in their pillowcase or back in your kitchen to sit and get stale.

Hey Christians, it’s the one time people are going to actually COME to your door. How about showing a little love and not worrying about what zip code they come from.

Now look, if you’re that person that just flat out doesn’t like Halloween, for goodness sake, turn your light off. I’m certainly not saying everyone has to like it – I’m just saying please don’t pull this ‘I only want kids from my neighborhood in my neighborhood.’ I just can not possibly think of a reason why it’s okay to say this ever.

I don’t know…maybe I’m so adamant about this because I didn’t grow up in a neighborhood. We always trick or treated with my cousin Eddie and his siblings because they always lived in neighborhoods full of kids.

So, when you complain that trick or treaters from different zip codes are coming in you are complaining that I came in.

How about your promise not to be my racist neighbor and I’ll promise to speak up next time someone say something this asinine.

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 My minions in 2009. Stella is one sneeze away from being dropped in this picture.