Why Deb Joanne and dresses are not friends.

Wardrobe Malfunction.  We’ve all had them, right?  A popped button or a torn hem; usually it’s nothing major, but sometimes, just sometimes, they’re doozies like popping a nipple at the Super Bowl.

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.

25 Replies to “Why Deb Joanne and dresses are not friends.”

  1. LOL! Oh, my goodness! I am blushing on your behalf. And of course it just had to be the dad behind you on the stairs, because Murphy’s Law would allow it no other way. Thank goodness you didn’t make all the way down to the middle of the party, though!

    Look at it this way — at least you got a great story out of it. 🙂

    1. You’re right, Linda – all those awkward and embarrassing stories are now fodder for blog posts and scenes in novels. That being the case, I’m blessed with a LOT of material.

  2. Ahhh…I think we all have one of those stories of some kind or another. On the bright side, at least the father wouldn’t likely be chatting about it later to anyone! Of course nowadays it seems these sorts of “accidents” are timed very nicely with movie premieres, CD launches, etc…and perhaps even a new book launch?? Maybe you should dig that number out of the closet Joannie!! LOL You’ll be a household name in no time. HAHA

  3. Oh, that’s a goodie right there. And yes, Murphy’s Law never fails a girl. Never.

    Of course what doesn’t kill us of embarrassment, only makes us stronger…writers. Yeah, that’s how that goes. 😉

  4. I once sat in a spilled drink and didn’t notice it so I walked around a party looking like I wet myself. This must be why I like you- we’re both so classy.

  5. Funny! I would’ve died at that age too, you poor thing. It happens to us all as I learned a long time ago. There was a lady who attended church with me and was the very definition of a Southern Lady…always looked like a million bucks…always said the right things, you know the kind…totally intimidating to me at the time. So there we were in church, she was in the pew in front of us…we all stood to sing…and her skirt slipped right off her perfect hips and hit the carpet. Did she scream or faint from embarrassment? Of course not. She very casually bent down and pulled up her skirt and went on like nothing had happened. A girl standing next to me whispered, “Only Mrs. So-And-So would have a slip on that perfectly matched her skirt! We howled behind our hymnals! No one escapes that which is being human!

  6. Oh, my goodness! The very same thing happened to me. My Dear Departed and I were attending a meeting
    and I left to go to the restroom. When I returned, my skirt was caught in the top of my pantyhose. Luckily
    for me, we were seated on the back row, so Dear Departed was able to put me back in shape with on one
    being the wiser … except for the man who was managing the door. I’ve often wondered what he was thinking
    as I made my way the several steps back to my seat.

  7. Awww, Joanne! I feel your pain. At least he told you? But yeah, you always want the mom doing the discovering of those awkward moments. They always have a way of handling it so gracefully that you never think about again. Dads just don’t have the magic touch.

    Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right???

  8. It is really difficult to write as I am laughing so hard. I can just picture Bernie Saltman doing that he was not dry he was the Las Vegas desert.
    Okay so now that I have kind of stopped laughing, your Mother feels for you, but now I am laughing again sorry.
    Not to worry it happens to the best of us. Strange though it never happened to me but it did happen to your grandmother at your brother Michaels Bar Mitzvah and that was embarrassing especially at Synagogue.
    Just keep laughing it is the funny parts (even though it was embarrassing)of life that keep us going.
    Your Mother

    1. I knew you’d like this one, Mom. I don’t remember that about Bub at Mike’s Bar Mitzvah. Maybe I’ll ask her about it at Hanukkah…

  9. Oh my! I quietly whispered to a stranger at a club once “You’re shirt is inside out.” She smiled and changed in the bathroom – we shared a shrug and a laugh afterward. Laughing is all you can do, isn’t it? Sorry that happened to you!

      1. I’m in super stressed out mode – how can I tell? “you’re” instead of “your” and other similar mistakes in all my typing these last few days – it’s my sign of brain overload.

  10. I was in an airport, and had been wandering all over for a very long time, when a kindly old lady said, “Honey, your skirt is tucked into your panties.”

    Mortified. But yes, better than intimidating dad-of-friend.

    I feel your pain.

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