A million years ago I had a job as a Client Services Manager for a marketing software company. That may sound fun or impressive or glamorous (or not), but what it really meant was that I went out to our customer sites and figured out how they were using our software so we could improve it, and help them improve how they used it. It was actually dull as dandruff, and meant that I had to do a lot of flying, which I loathed (and still do).
I was on my way home from a trip to Knoxville, TN. I had been visiting HGTV, which was still in its infancy (and, may I say, had the bitchiest marketing person I’ve ever encountered—Tamara, wherever you are, I hope the Starbucks closest to you sucks, and I totally heard you say you didn’t want to give me a t-shirt, and therefore fuck you), and I was at the airport waiting for my flight. The dress code for client visits was “professional,” and since I had come directly from their offices, I was wearing a blouse and skirt in the same pattern (so it looked like a dress). I would describe the skirt as, “swirly.” Because of the dress code, I was also wearing panty hose (UGH). I slipped in and used the restroom, checked myself very carefully, and skipped out across the concourse to sit down in a row of chairs across from the ladies room.
I hadn’t been seated for more than a minute when a kindly looking grandmother type came and sat down on the edge of the seat next to me. She placed her hand gently on my forearm and leaned forward anxiously, clearly the bearer of distressing news.
“Honey,” she said in a low voice with a sweet Southern drawl, “your skirt’s tucked up in your panty hose.”
The scene of my humiliation
“Oh, thank you,” I stammered, humiliated and no doubt blushing fire engine red, but managing to extricate the skirt from the waistband of the hose with a lot of unladylike wriggling and squirming, which I’m sure made it look like my underwear was the best place I could think of to hide my pet hamster so I could get it through security unnoticed. I prayed that my swirly skirt was voluminous enough that the two sides of it covered my backside as I tripped from the door of the ladies room to my seat (it was possible, but, let’s be honest, probably wishful thinking).
This is not why I was squirming
I was appalled. I mean, I was in the Knoxville airport. I’m confident I’ve never seen any of the people who were on that concourse that day again since. (I could be wrong—maybe last month when I was walking through LAX there was a woman I passed at one of the United gates who nudged her friend and said, “You see that insane looking woman yelling at the four kids to keep it moving so they can get to Disneyland before Labor Day? Well, I totally saw her underpants in the Knoxville airport fifteen years ago.”) And even if I haven’t ever seen them again, it was still super embarrassing.
But that poor woman who came to my rescue—she had to go back to church the next Sunday and face an entire churchful of people who had gotten a good long look at her Hanes for Her. And not one of them said anything to her about it. Can you imagine? Mingling with the rest of the congregation after the service, having a cup of coffee, shaking hands with Pastor Brooks and complimenting him on the sermon, arranging to meet Mabel Ogelthorpe and Viola Hightower for cards on Wednesday. All with her skirt tucked up in her hose, and her panties plainly visible to everyone.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’d have switched religions.