My Most Embarrassing Moment

By Ardelle Holden


gatoWhen my children were teenagers, I frequently operated on auto-pilot. Get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, make meals, do the laundry, go to sleep. I avoided shopping trips until absolutely necessary, and when I did ran out to the mall; I really didn’t look in the mirror before I dashed out the door.

On one occasion, I caught a glimpse of myself in a storefront window as I made a beeline toward my objective. Who is that frumpy woman? I thought. She looks like a bag lady. You’d think she’d take a little more pride in her appearance. All this, before I noticed we moved in sync. I made a mental note to take a little more care with my appearance the next time I ventured out of the house.

The “next time” happened to be a Christmas shopping outing. I donned my red coat, my red fedora, my black boots, my black bag and my black gloves. You see where this is going? As I entered the mall, Christmas music, merry voices, happy faces, shuffling feet, and twinkling lights were a sea of Christmas spirit washing over me.

I walked unhurriedly down the mall, pausing to look at the wonderful window displays enticing patrons to enter. I noticed my reflection, and smiled to myself as I thought how well my image fit right in with the window display.

When I passed Santa’s workshop, he was sitting alone on his throne with an empty lap. I looked at him and smiled. He winked and smiled back, “Come sit on my knee Mrs. Claus.” I blushed and grinned, but hurried on my way.

After freshening up in the washroom, I began my shopping in earnest. Halfway down the mall, I stopped to consider if the display garment in this window was suitable for someone on my list. As I stood there, deep in thought, I again caught my reflection in the window. I gave a big sigh and smugly thought to myself how sharp and seasonably festive I looked today.

There was a tap on my shoulder, and I turned to see a very handsome gentleman smiling down at me with a very apologetic look on his face. “Excuse me, madam, but you have something stuck to your heel,” he said and, not waiting for a thank-you from me, he quickly turned and was gone.

I looked down and saw, to my horror, that I was dragging a long, long, long, long, long strip of pristine, glaring white toilet paper down the mall. My head spun like an owl’s to see how many other people had noticed. At the same time, I was frantically scraping the offending item from my heel. I raised my shoulders, lowered my head and skulked to the nearest exit as fast as I my little legs would carry me, with a face as red as my hat, leaving the behind evidence behind.

Hmmmm? In hindsight, at least it wasn’t caught in my waistband!  Ho. Ho. Ho….


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