Thursday, May 26, 2011

That funny story about Maria ripping out the butt of her pants on an airplane

'Tis true.

A few years ago, I was going to NYC for a short seminar. I went alone and Bing stayed home and watched Liv.

So, yes...traveling all alone. I had a plane change in Chicago. I was wearing a pair of my most comfy, oldest jeans. A very, very tight wife beater. And a long man's shirt over it.

Ankle high boots with a fairly spiky heel.

As I got up to make my way out of the plane at the stopover in Chicago, I (do I have to admit this? just makes me look so unattractive...) bent over to retrieve my purse off the floor and felt a sudden big...


I stood up quickly and immediately felt behind me. I had somehow split my jeans right down my bulbous dainty butt.

No one seemed to notice as we were all rummaging around grabbing our stuff.

I knew immediately what I had to do and it wasn't going to be pretty.

And you know me, it is all about the pretty.

I hurriedly tore off my man's shirt and wrapped it around my waist. This, of course, left me looking like I thought I was hot stuff from the waist up. I mean...we are talking a TIGHT wife beater.

Ok...this is hard. It was Liv's sleeveless tee shirt. (I can't call it a wife beater when my daughter is wearing it.) She was like...8 at the time. And it looked really, really good when worn UNDER the man's shirt. But worn alone?

It looked like a little girl's undershirt worn by a grown woman who should truly know better.

I walked awkwardly off the plane and let me tell was hard for me to even walk because I was terrified that my pants were going to fall down next. I mean..the ENTIRE BUTT was ripped out.

So, there I am mincing like a lumberjack in high heels. In a way too tight wife beater. A CHILD'S size.

As I careened into the airport, scanning crazily for a bathroom, I noticed all the looks that I was getting. Men were in danger of getting whiplash. Because I looked (and walked) like a very drunk lady of the evening. Women were giving me disgusted looks right and left. Because...well...YOU know why. I looked like I thought I was hot shit and I wasn't even walking properly, I was walking in these baby girl steps like I had either just joined the mile high club and been ridden hard or else I looked like a very slutty looking woman who just might be on the verge of an epileptic seizure.

I know I was wild eyed. I was intensely uncomfortable and wished badly for a fairy godmother to come and whisk me away to a nice changing room with some great looking jeans.

I found a bathroom and lurched into it. I practically fell into a stall and then felt around me to grope myself and see what the damage was.

Oh, this was so very bad.

I took a deep breath and walked out of the stall. I had exactly a half hour to make my next flight. I summoned my brave inner self and looked at the damage in the mirror. Several women who had given me the stink eye when I walked in now gasped in horror.

Three of them surrounded me protectively while the rest made a run for the door. My three brave new found savioresses began giving me suggestions. One asked if I had any baggage at all with me.

I shook my head. Rolled my eyes. If I had a bag, do they really think I wouldn't be searching for ANYTHING to wear right now?

One woman asked if I had checked any of the gift shops for clothing.

Another woman shot her down. No, she told her. All I would find would be long tee shirts...but that might be my best bet. A really long LOOSE tee shirt or sweatshirt to cover my ass. She offered to take money from me to go buy one for me.

I was desperate enough to take her up on it. I glanced at myself in the mirror and felt my face get even hotter. My nipples were standing out erect and proud on my chest in my little girl tee shirt. I looked like Britney Spears when she was feeling really, really slutty and c'mon, you know what she wears on a plain jane day.

Another women sighed and then said quickly, "Ok. You and I are about the same size. I have my overnight bag. I have an extra pair of jeans in there, but honestly, they are MY MOST COMFY PAIR and I love them...but I can't stand how sick at heart you"

She began rifling through her bag and came out with a pair of really great looking jeans and handed them to me. I thanked her profusely and took down her name and address, promising to wash them when I got home again and then mail them back to her. She gave me a long look.

"Please don't be bullshitting me," she said. "Because, lady...I really love those jeans and they are worn in perfectly."

I gratefully took the jeans and went into a stall and spent the next five minutes trying to get my torn jeans off and the new ones on. This involved taking off my shoes and shimmying around in a tiny stall that was not meant to be a changing room, Once, I came perilously close to falling into the toilet.

But the jeans fit well. Not perfectly, her butt was a tad bigger than mine and her legs were smaller. Plus, she was about four inches taller, so they drug on the ground.

But, they fit.

I walked out and the three women who had come to my rescue sighed along with me in relief. I actually hugged the jean lender and I am so not a hugger. I don't think she was either because it was a very stiff hug from both of us. But, I was so, so grateful. Two women knelt on either side of me and rolled up the jeans so that I would not break my neck when I tried to walk in my ankle boots.

We all went on our way then, me running through the terminal in jeans that were just a bit too long and snug in the legs and big in the butt. But, hey..I wouldn't be busting through them that way, right? And at last, my tiny wife beater was covered by the big shirt again.

I made my flight with four minutes to spare.

And yes, I did wash the jeans and mailed them back to the wonderful lending woman. I also sent a gift certificate to Borders Books because I had noticed that she had a book in her hands and figured she would be a reader.

And I included my phone number and address and a promise that if she EVER needed a favor if she was ever on the prairie, I was her girl. She never called, but I like to think that she used the gift certificate.

I also made a vow that if anything remotely like this happened to ANY woman and I was able to help, I would.

I haven't had the chance to do my karma yet, but I am sure it will come up.

So..if you are ever in an airport and you bust out the ass of your jeans and you see an older looking woman in the bathroom with Harry Potter glasses or cat eye glasses or John Lennon glasses (I own several pairs)...I will do whatever it takes to assist you.

Because that is what we women are best at. Fixing things. And coming to each other's rescue.

Right? Have you ever been helped by a female stranger? I bet you have....


JY said...

wow! what a story... can't say i have but will take your advice to heart, whether on the giving or receiving end!

That corgi :) said...

comforting to know there were people out there (eventually) willing to help you! what a predicament!! can't think right now of a stranger helping like this but I know a few years back when we were flying home, hubby forgot to pack his pocket knife with luggage and when we went through security, it got confiscated. The lady at security said she would mail it to hubby (since it was a special gift from son). Weeks later we did get it; I'm sorry I didn't send her a thank you note......

enjoy the weekend!


ChiTown Girl said...

Wow. What a great bunch of ladies. Nothing like that has ever happened to me, thank goodness. But, I will think of you every time I'm in an airport now. ;-)

Julie Curtis said...

I cannot help but contrast your experience with what would have happened had you been a guy...

Far from strangers pulling together to help you, they would (guys that is) have 'Wet' themselves laughing at your predicament, then amused themselves by pointing out your discomfort to everybody in the Airport.

/sniff/ On balance, I much prefer it on this side of the fence ;-)

(Oh, and the Karma thing ? the moment will come ... it always does)


Sarahf said...

This story is so funny and heartwarming at the same time. I hope I never find out what that's like.

Rose said...

Once, when I was about 18, I got completely slammed at an outdoor party. While my husband (then my boyfriend) was driving me home, I made him pull into a gas station so I could throw up in the bathroom. I made it to the toilet, but I couldn't pull myself up and back out of the stall. A woman came into the bathroom while I was laying in there, dazed and sick, and she helped me sit up, rubbed my back, washed my face off, and somehow got me back on my feet and to the car where my husband was waiting. I couldn't even tell you what she looked like--yes, I was THAT hammered--but I remember her voice. She was an angel. :-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

That is quite a story! I'm so glad it ended well. I can't think of anything comparable that happened to me, but I managed a domestic violence shelter for awhile, so helping other women is kind of ingrained. I know how much of a difference a helping hand can make, and how important it is for women to overcome any tendencies toward personal competitiveness and especially snide superiority.

sybil law said...

What a great story, though!
I really don't think I've been helped by a female stranger, but I still have time, I guess.

Earth Muffin said...

Great story, laughed my ass off!

I was helped by a wonderful woman once when it was my first time out to do a week's worth of grocery shopping with Big M., he was probably about 7-8 weeks old. He'd slept through the whole store, but once we reached the checkout he woke up and he was PISSED OFF AND HUNGRY. I felt like the World's Worst Mother as I paid for my groceries. Of course this was the store where you bag the groceries yourself, and I found myself starting to sob as I looked from my mound of groceries to my screaming baby to my leaking breasts. The woman next to me had just finished bagging her own food and said, "Sounds like someone's hungry!" I just nodded at her and to my surprise, she told me to sit down and feed him, she'd take care of my groceries. I couldn't believe her kindness! She bagged all of my groceries while I nursed my baby, then she left her own cart inside to walk us to the car. She told me she was a mother of 5 (FIVE!) kids and she knew the "feed me NOW" cry better than her own name. I had no way of repaying her kindness, she wouldn't take any money, plus we both had cars full of groceries to get home and put away. I asked her how I could repay her and she told me to just pay it forward, help out a new mom in need someday. I've done a few good deeds for new moms in public since then, nothing to the degree that she helped me, but I hope I've honored her request.

We women rock, don't we?! said...

aww, such a good story and some others too. the only thing i can say is to do the same for others. i have had people do for me, so i always do it for others. just pass it on. its the best way to pay it back. thanks for sharing maria. have a great weekend.

sandy shoes said...

I love your story, and Earth Muffin's.

I would totally help a stranger in a similar way, though the opportunity hasn't yet arisen. I have more than once come up with a tampon for a woman in need, does that count?

Anonymous said...

A little late,
but I stumbled on your blog probably over a year ago. You wrote about your Jane Days, and I had been feeling EXACTLY the way you described. I see you as an intricately twisted long lost older sister in a way- your words have been a comfort when I felt like I didn't want to talk to anyone or was feeling low, and have helped me understand some things about myself that quite possibly would have taken me a lot longer to realize if i hadn't read your words. And i think that's an amazing thing.

sentimental as shit, i know (gag).
but it's the gd truth!


KMae said...

Once a man helped me, can't remember any women, but I'll think about it...
I was very young & beautiful & a drug addicted pot head at the time on vacation in Hawaii. I was sitting at the airport bar, waiting for my plane to come in, having a few (too many) Mai Tai's... & enjoying the crazy banter of all the bartenders & cocktail waitresses. When all of a sudden I saw my flight TAKE OFF past the window. Damn, I was shitfaced cause I wasn't used to booze, (being into constant doobies, like I said..) missed my trip, So I'd have to wait till the next day for the next flight home to JFK. Back to the hotel I went in a cab & was able to get the same room I had hours before checked out of. I threw off my travel clothes & went out the door to the ice machine directly next to my room to fill the ice bucket in my little white bikini undies white hollywood vasserette bra - boobs just a poppin'. All of a sudden a strong island wind blew thru my room & SLAMMED the door SHUT. And there I was without my key, locked out in my unmentionables. still smashed. So I staggarded to the elevator, went down to the front desk (with my full ice bucket) & sweetly asked if one of the bellmen could open my room as I had locked myself out... They were like I'll do it, no I'll do it, no I'll do it... So then the nice older head bellman & I gathered back into the elevator with ALL the other guests & went up to my floor. He opened my door & said "now get into bed & don't get up until tomorrow morning..." I dutifully did so & said thank you, he closed the door, shook it to make sure it was locked. And I heard the elevator door chime as he left. I immediately passed out.

The next morning I got up, went to the bathroom & there on the floor in a big puddle of water was my bikini SWIM SUIT. I had obviously gotten up in the middle of the night & gone out to the pool for a nice midnight swim in the moonlight.
I couldn't remember any of it. That part was a total black out. So not cool.

Happy to say I'm 30yrs clean & dry now. But I definately remember the kindness of that old guy who helped me back to my room & didn't even try to take advantage of me.

Avril Fleur said...

Loved this story Maria! Kudos to those women for coming to your rescue!

I have both received and given help from and to others many times, but one sticks out.

When I was about 22 I was in the hospital shortly after having surgery. I was just out of the recovery room and in a semi-private with another girl, who was asleep. Her mother was with her.

Mine had been there earlier, but had gone home.

I started retching as I normally do after surgery, from the effects of the anaesthetic.

There was no nurse around at that moment and I was too weak to buzz for one.

The other girls mother came over and held the kidney shaped tray for me to throw up into, held back my hair and afteward, wiped my face with a cool, damp cloth. Very motherly. I was so grateful for her kindness. It wasn't just her actions, but her gentle manner and kind tone of voice. Not pitying (well, maybe some) but infinitely kind. I felt like I had a guardian angel looking out for me.

I have no idea who she was but I will never forget how she came to my rescue.