I’m not sure if my mom even knows this story, but she’s going to have a good laugh about it, I’m sure. She’ll even know what party I’m talking about (although she wasn’t there). You’re welcome, Mom.
In my late teens and early twenties, I was friends with a guy named David, and was very often at his house hanging out with him and his family. His mom was a wonderful lady and I enjoyed spending time with her, but David’s father was a very dry, serious English man who I found to be very intimidating. Don’t get me wrong, he was never unfriendly to me at all, he was just one of those men who says little and looks over his glasses and who kind of made me want to run and hide under a bed.
Anyway, David’s older brother got engaged and I was graciously invited to the very swank engagement party at David’s parent’s house. I put on a dress and pantyhose (if you know me at all, you know that I almost NEVER put on a dress and pantyhose, so this was A VERY BIG DEAL) and went to the party.
It was, as I said, a very swank affair, fully catered with silver trays and white-gloved servants (and this incredible cream puff tower thing that I STILL remember, some 20 years later). I was one of the youngest people there, and being that I’m a bit of a wallflower and I knew very few people, the evening was rather difficult for me, especially as David flittered off to spend time mingling with the guests. So, to escape the throng of party-goers, I made my way up to the second floor to steal a few quiet minutes in the upstairs bathroom. After using the facilities, I made my way down the sprawling circular staircase, feeling kind of glamorous in my fancy dress and heels, so down I floated.
To my surprise, David’s father had been up in his bedroom retrieving something, so he followed me down the stairs. He mumbled something, so I turned to give him a smile, but his mumble wasn’t just a greeting. It was a functional mumble, so as I stared at him dumbly, he repeated what he’d said, which was (Imagine this in a crisp British accent): “Your dress is er, caught up there.”
Yes. That’s right. The entire back of my skirt was tucked into my pantyhose. And not fishnets or other nice, sheer pantyhose, but we’re talking MEGA-SUPER CONTROL-TOP PANTYHOSE – you know how ugly those are, right? There is not much on this earth uglier than the kind of foundation garments manufactured to keep things smooth and pretty on the outside while you’re trussed tighter than a Thanksgiving turkey on the inside. So yeah, there I was in all my mortifying glory.
And my best friend’s FATHER pointed it out to me. Not his lovely mother who would have quietly untucked me and said no more about it. His scary, intimidating FATHER.
Can I tell you that I am STILL so humiliated about this pantyhose horror, that I am fiercely blushing as I write this (while my mother laughs heartily, I’m sure).
I should be thankful that no one else saw it, but it was such a perfectly humiliating moment, one that is forever etched in my memory. I’m no longer friends with David – he moved away and we drifted apart (although, if you’re reading this, David, I’d love to catch up!), but the legend of Joanne’s control-topped heinie lives on, at least in my mind (and now yours).
I sure learned to do the skirt sweep after that day. You know the move–you feel around back there to make sure nothing’s tucked up or in where it’s not supposed to be. Yeah, that one. Most times, I do it twice. At really swank parties, I do it three times.