My pick for this week’s Writer’s Workshop from Mama Kat was prompt #3.) Why were you mortified? Write about a true embarrassing moment as though it was happening in slow motion. (inspired by writingfix.com)
When I was younger I guess I was what you might call a flirt. Heck, people still accuse me of that now, but, at my age, no one wants to reciprocate! But I digress… I flirted with guys my age and even with teachers if it got me leniency. Nothing more than harmless flirting but that was all it took most times.
I remember one specific incident that to me was very mortifying. As most of you are aware, I grew up in a very small town. At this point Walton’s Mountain (aka Schuyler) had a few little country stores but no major grocery stores and definitely no restaurants (hey, nothing has changed!). If we were to venture to go out to eat, which was very rare considering we had no money for it and were too far away to make it convenient, we had to either go to “the big cities” of Charlottesville or Lynchburg, or the smaller towns of Lovingston, Amherst or Scottsville.
Once in a while on a Friday night or Saturday late morning when my mom did her grocery shopping she’d pick up lunch or dinner if we ventured to Lovingston or Scottsville for groceries. One of the places that we would go was this little place in Scottsville called Lumpkins. My dad loved their (I think) fried shrimp and my sister and I usually got burgers. They had a sit down part of the restaurant but we rarely went in to eat. They also had a walk up window outside and we would always order at the window and then we’d go back and sit in the car and they would motion to you when your food was ready and you’d go pick it up.
I remember usually we’d have one or two of those big white Styrofoam square boxes, depending on what my mom ordered and then usually a brown bag with my sister’s and my burgers and fries. This particular time I’m not sure what we could have ordered but it was 4 boxes. That part I remember, vividly.
My mother had sent me up to place the order and after placing our order, I turned to walk back to our car and noticed that the car that happened to be right next to us, right in front of the window had two really cute teenage boys in the car. I was probably around 13 or maybe 15. I smiled and they returned the smile and I made it a point to s l o w l y walk back to the car. You know, bend over, fix my shoe, straighten my jeans, whatever it took to delay getting back to the car. It must have taken me ten minutes to walk about 15 steps. Of course my mom was driving (I’m sure I didn’t even have my license at this point, probably a good thing I didn’t or was at least not driving because I surely would have hit something backing out due to my excessive flirting – I surely would not have had my eyes on the road or where I was going) and I was sitting on the passenger side. I can’t remember exactly but it seems to me that Suzi was sitting in the front seat between us.
The entire time I was waiting for the food I kept stealing stealthy little furtive glances across my sister and mom at the cute boys in the car beside us. Of course they were totally unaware of my newfound crush…NOT. My mom told me repeatedly to quit staring at them and to quit flirting to which I of course denied any such behavior. I swear if there had been a field nearby we would have been running across it in slow motion with my hair slowly bouncing up and down, arms open, rushing to meet my true love. Cue the violins… Yeah, right.
I finally couldn’t stand it any longer and told my mom I thought I had seen the lady motion that our food was ready and grabbed for the handle. My mom said she’d hop out and get the food. So totally unlike her, but, I think I maybe broke land speed records getting that door open to hop out and say I’d get it. I’m pretty sure Suzi probably said she’d go with me to help get the food, but, who wanted their bratty little sister hanging right next to her when she had some serious flirting to do. Being the older sister (and giving her one of those “if you move an inch I’ll kill you” looks) I told them both that I could HANDLE it all by myself.
I hop out of the car and s a u n t e r ever so s l o w l y and sexily up to the counter. Truth be known I probably looked like someone with Parkinson’s because I have never been known to be coordinated and at that age I had no idea what sexy even meant. I just knew I was going to BE sexy when I walked up there. I was going to make those boys WANT ME! For what I don’t know since I was as inexperienced in that department as you could get. I might could have whooped their butt playing basketball since I did know how to play “tackle basketball” (I’ll save that for another post) and all. But as far as being sexy? Puh-leeze… the lamp post was probably sexier. And speaking of lamp posts…. Oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
I saunter up to the window and lo and behold our food isn’t even ready. Imagine THAT! My mom rolls down the window about an inch (it was cold outside, I remember that because I left my coat in the car because I wanted them to see what a sexy body I had and I was about to freeze to death) to tell me to get my butt back in the car. I wanted to glare at her but was afraid she’d jump out of the car and whoop my butt right there in front of the sexy guys and what an impression THAT would have made, so, instead I just sweetly said “Oh, she said it would only be a minute!” Totally lied, but, isn’t true love worth a little white lie now and then?
So, as I’m standing there (freezing my butt off) languidly waiting for our food I turned to face the two guys in the car and leaned back against the post (lamp post, maybe) in front of the building. It wasn’t attached completely and moved a little causing me to almost fall. Real smooth move there Ex-lax (as my brothers used to say), but I wasn’t deterred. I sexily leaned back and tossed my hair to and fro and it lazily blew in the wind (the bone chilling wind that I was about to freeze my butt off in, but who’s keeping track?). I smiled and flirted and they smiled back (or maybe they were laughing?). Of course since I was watching them, the lady at the window could not get my attention to tell me the food was ready so my mom had to roll down the window to tell me to pay attention because our food was up. Great mom! Totally spoiled the mood there! It’s totally her fault that neither of them asked me to the prom because I’m sure one of them was going to! Yeah, right.
I sashay over to the window to pick up our food. Like I said, for some reason this time it was 4 boxes, and our drinks sitting on top of the boxes. And I had the change in my hand. So here I balance the drinks on top of the boxes and pick them up and whirl around so that I can give the guys a few last flirty glances and just like in the movies, in S-L-O-M-O, I swear it took 5 minutes and not 5 seconds! I walked right into the pole!!! I couldn’t see where I was going for the boxes. OMG, how embarrassing! How mortifying!
I am now wearing the contents of the boxes PLUS the drinks all down the front of my blouse! Drip, Drip, Drip, DRIP! Cole slaw dripping off my right boob and tarter sauce dripping off my left and probably fries and hushpuppies in my pants and shoes. I seriously wanted to sink into the sidewalk. To top it off I look over at our car, ready to cry and my mom and Suzi are almost laid out in the front seat laughing hysterically. Laughing so hard they can’t catch their breath. Of course, all my mom said was I shouldn’t have been flirting.
I swear that somewhere, off in the distance, I could hear Taps being played as the sounds of that dying romance languished in the air. Whispering in the wind…. Hey, bro… look at that klutz!