You know that moment in ‘Dirty Dancing’ when Baby says “I carried a watermelon?” Those moments when you want the earth to open up and swallow you and you wish you could run away from yourself?
Well today, I’m going to be a big brave girl and share a few of my bloopers with you. I live to tell the tale, so they can’t be that bad.
Here goes … head in hand, blushing, fingers hovering reluctantly over keyboard ...
When I was about 18, I was queuing in the bank and, as I opened by bag to get my cheque book out, I dropped a large Dr. Whites (remember those?) sanitary towel on the floor. There was a rather tasty looking guy in the queue behind me and we both stared at it lying on the floor between us. I didn’t bend to pick it up, but simply left it there for him to step over as he made his way along the queue!
At 20 I looked after my boss’s dog for a fortnight and, on our first walk down a busy high street, the stupid mutt squatted and deposited a huge chocolate mountain. Being young (read stupid) I had no poo bags with me so was unable to do anything about it. I’m not proud of myself (and would never do this now) but I walked away. A rather irate (rightfully so) gentleman began to chase me down the road, shouting “Aren’t you going to pick that up?” What did I reply? “It’s not my dog!” Of course this was the absolute truth but what a ridiculous thing to say.
At drama school we received our costumes for a period drama we were performing. Mine was a beautiful cobalt blue and gold and I was delighted with it. A new student, who’d only recently joined us, was lamenting the fact that hers was a vile shade of olive green. In I stepped to make her feel better, with “Yes it is an absolutely disgusting colour, but it matches your eyes perfectly.” Of course I was met with deadly silence. I really hadn’t meant to be unkind - a lovely colour for eyes but not so great in a dress.
At a posh wedding anniversary, I was seated with my ex-boyfriend’s parents and the mother was asking me what desserts were on the various sweet trolleys situated around the room. I explained that there were profiteroles and fruit salad on one, Tiramisu and Crème Brûlée on another and then I gesticulated to another trolley and said “And there’s a ginger tart over there.” Unfortunately this was just the moment that a rather over-hennaed buxom trollop approached the desserts!
Once, when my best friend and I were in our 20’s, we left some friends at a wine bar and caught a mini cab home. For the entire journey we moaned about a particular friend of ours who had the hots for my friend and wouldn’t take ‘No’ for an answer. After we’d been home for about an hour, the phone rang and it was our annoyed friend. He’d been the returning cab driver’s next fare and had been told everything that the last colourful passengers (us) had said, along with our description. The upside was he never troubled my best friend again!
Wearing my hooped and corseted outfit for another period play, I ran on stage for a scene where I needed to be beside myself with excitement. As I ran and jumped with glee, the hooks which held the skirt part to the corset decided to un-catch. I stepped completely out of the bottom part and arrived on stage in the bodice and black tights!
When working as a receptionist in the City, I questioned a gentleman who’d come to visit our MD with “If I could just ask your name?” I was greeted with a very slow and stern “MARK KNOPFLER”. OK, OK, I admit I should have recognised him from Dire Straits but he shouldn’t have been so far up his own bum that he expected everyone to know who he was. Sorry, Mark! Had you been Sting, it would have been a different matter - I’d have been too busy swooning.
At the same job, after a very late night out, I got dressed rather hurriedly one morning - thankfully in a trouser suit - and made up time by getting a cab into work. Slightly hung over, I’d felt a little wobbly on my feet that morning and it wasn’t until lunchtime that I realised I had black court shoes on that looked very similar from the front except one had a high heel and one very low!
Still on the subject of shoes, I stepped off a Tube once and left my stiletto behind in the grating of the floor. As the doors began to close a very kind gentleman managed to shove it through the crack to me.
And finally, to round off my shame, just recently I was looking for a new toilet seat for my mother. My son and I found ourselves in a handy little Asian shop and I thought I’d ask if they stocked any. Asian shop keeper thought I meant toilet paper and when it became clear that she didn’t know what I meant, I mimed sitting on the loo! My son will never let me live this one down, saying “I’m surprised you didn’t make a straining noise!”
There we go - all off my chest - my ‘watermelon’ moments. My face feels a little flushed and my palms a bit sweaty but I hope I’ve given you a laugh.
Fancy sharing any of yours with me? Go on, I dare you!
My debut novel ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’ is on Amazon for Kindle or PC. A tale of not belonging. Now also available in paperback at Lulu.