Ever been in a situation where you just don’t know how to deal with what’s happening? A moment where, in theory, you should be pinching yourself ‘right-about-now’ and waking up from a bad dream? If not, you should consider yourself lucky because I experienced something like it today, and I can tell you now, it was not pretty.
I stood in front of the mirror at about ten o’clock this morning and looked at my hair, which was fluffy and stubborn since I’d washed it the night before. Big bulky bits gathered around my scalp and no matter how many times I smoothed them over, they just bounced right back up. Thank god for hair straighteners, right?
I wanted to look nice because my Grandpa – Mum’s dad who turns 80 next week –is visiting us from Queensland, and we were heading up to Kings Park for coffee at the Botanic Gardens. My extremely fashionable and gorgeous Nanna – Dad’s mother who is recently widowed – was also going to be joining us, which meant that I had to choose a respectable outfit.
Something you should know about my wardrobe is that it is pretty limited. Somehow my money deteriorates as I continue to spend it on clothes, yet the contents of my cupboard doesn’t seem to get any bigger. Go figure. After much speculation and seeked advice from my thirteen-year-old sister, I chose my black blouse, Levi’s denim jacket and groovy white scarf.
We ummed and ahhed about my pants, but eventually I chose the velvet maroon cord ones over the slightly see-through black and white striped leggings. (I mean, leggings as pants – what was I thinking!?) Convinced I’d made the right decision, we left to pick up my Nanna from her home in Mt Claremont.
I volunteered to walk in and collect Nanna –she lives at Lisle Lodge –and I often enjoy walking through the gardens there, as they’re colourful and full of life. She greeted me with a big happy hello and proceeded to show me how she had rearranged her furniture – all by herself, I might add – and began explaining where picture frames were from and why particular colour choices had been made.
I smiled and nodded, always interested and polite when she has something to say. I nonchalantly brushed my hands over the back of my pants, attempting to pull my shirt down, when suddenly I felt something that wasn’t quite right.
My eyes went wide and I tuned out as I tried to figure out if what I feared was indeed true. It couldn’t be; I had to be wrong. I froze in pure horror. The blood rushed to my face and I found myself nodding, switching in to auto-pilot and pretending that everything was a-okay.
“After you,” I said to Nanna, gesturing for her to walk before me on the pathway. “Oh no my darling, you go ahead because I’m slow.” I didn’t argue, but I was shy as I walked in front, afraid that my dilemma might become all the more real. I tugged my shirt down as I squished myself into the car next to my sister.
“I have a problem,” I whispered to her. She asked me what, but in the confinement of a vehicle, I couldn’t say. “It’s really bad.” And then I began to laugh; a wild hysterical chuckle. She awkwardly laughed with me, but she had no idea.
Only I knew what was wrong, only I knew just how bad it was. The only thing I didn’t know was what the hell I was going to do about it. It was one of those situations that you just have to laugh about, because if you don’t laugh, you will most likely cry.
My family were probably wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I had got the giggles and I couldn’t stop. I felt sick in the stomach, wondering how I was going to get out of the car without anybody noticing. I prayed that maybe Kings Park wouldn’t be too busy and I could slip out without anyone seeing me – but of course I was in no such luck, and it was packed.
I turned to my sister, “Tell me if you see anything,” I said, climbing out of the car. She shook her head and I felt a giant wave of relief wash over me. We had to walk to the café though, and I squished my legs together in an attempt to hide my problem, when in reality I was probably making it all the more obvious that there was something wrong. The whole time thinking ‘Dear lord, why me?’
Once we got to the café, I grabbed my sister’s arm and yanked her in to the toilet with me. She was giggling then, but she had no idea what the problem was. I knew she wouldn’t be able to contain herself when she knew the truth.
We crammed into a cubicle and I turned around. “Are you ready?” I asked her and she said that she was. With the green light, I lifted up the back of my shirt to reveal a hole in the back of my pants. Not a tiny, unnoticeable rip – no, of course not. I’m talking a giant gaping hole that reveals black underwear, skin and all.
“Oh. My. God,” I do believe her words were, followed by hysterical laughter, which I couldn’t help but reciprocate.
So there I was, up at Kings Park with not one but two grandparents, however many children and families there are there during school holidays, my mother, my sister and a huge hole in the back of my favourite pair of pants.
But you know what, I’m going to choose to look at the positive side of this. Thank God that I was wearing a long black top, thank God that I didn’t tuck the top in, thank God that I was also wearing a denim jacket that could be tied around my waist if needed. What if I had been wearing a t-shirt, a midriff or a singlet top? Let’s just take a moment to think about that…
Next time that you’re in a situation where you find yourself thinking ‘things couldn’t be any worse’, try to think about the positive aspects of the scenario that life has thrown at you. Maybe you’ll even be able to laugh about it.
I guess I should have chosen the striped leggings after all. Either that, or I should stop eating so much chocolate, stop sitting around watching ‘Friends’ all day on my laptop, stop trying to wear pants that are clearly too small for me, get my lazy ass up, and go for a run!
These are my pants just to prove I’m not kidding.