We all have embarrassing stories we'd rather not tell. However, I'm pretty used to embarrassing myself frequently, so in some sort of self-defense, I've learned how to tell those stories in full, gory detail. For the entertainment of others. I'm generous that way. My amazing Aunt Risky taught me how. You've heard about the kayak, the prayer chain, and the bar stool. I think it's about time for me to tell another.
My late, beloved Grandma had some strange ideas. You know about the jello obsession, and about her teaching me to drink and gamble. Do you know that she used to set me up on dates? She was terrible at it, but this didn't deter her in the slightest. One of the more memorable date fiascos occurred at THE National Theatre. We're talking downtown Washington D.C. (we lived in the suburb of Silver Spring), senators and other politicians and famous people in attendance. We went there to see Evita. I was almost 16.
Grandma's best friend since kindergarden had a 20 year old grandson and the grandmas cooked up this idea that I would go on a date with him while he was visiting from Kansas City, MO. Now why they thought that cultivating a relationship with that age difference, a situation that should it get “out of control", was also illegal, I'll never know. And that's not even considering the geographical difference, should things go well. But she was determined. I was to go with him “to the theater.” I wasn't interested. I had a boyfriend (of course, the fact that my parents didn't know about him kinda complicated the situation.) And I didn't have a dress.
I was a jeans and t-shirt girl back then, too. Oh, I had a few embarrassing dresses picked out by others, but I didn't wear them. I did have an amazing Aunt Risky (yes, I'll probably always use amazing to describe her, perhaps I should capitalize it and incorporate it into her nickname...) so Amazing Aunt Risky was also compassionate Aunt Risky. She had a great dress to let me borrow. (You need to understand that my jeans and t-shirt persona was a direct result of weekly time spent with her. That's another post, though.) This was a soft, drapy jersey dress, very simple, but very elegant. I actually liked it, and I felt OK wearing it because it was hers. All that was needed was shoes. Oh how I wish I'd bought a different pair.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the shoes. They were sexy, black, strappy, high-heeled sandals. Gorgeous. Wrong. Don't ever put a person who breaks her ankle on the take-off for a split leap (another post, you keep track of what stories I owe you) in high heels. You're just inviting what eventually happened. I did practice walking in them, but apparently not long enough.
It's intermission. He takes me to the refreshment stand. (I guess I should throw in that he was a very nice man, and had from when he picked me up made me feel at ease and joked about how happy we were making our grandmothers) “What would you like?” said the bartender. There were beers on tap, wine, and mixed drinks. Drinking age at this time was 18, and I did look the part. However, I hadn't had a drink before, so I was a bit flustered. He ordered. Two cokes. Sigh of relief. I can drink coke. (I didn't think this was the time to mention that what I really wanted was a diet pepsi. I was just so glad he took care of it.)
I decided that a restroom break would be appropriate at this time and proceeded up the Tara style winding staircase to the upper floor. Carpeted, winding staircase with lots of people going up and down. He said he'd be at the bottom waiting for me. When I returned I saw him at the bottom and smiled. And then proceeded to trip, somersault, and roll down the stairs. Head over heels in it's literal sense. Dress flapping, panties and hose showing, spectacular fall down the stairs. Gasps from the onlookers, snickers from the not so polite onlookers. Me wanting to just be swallowed by the floor never to have to show my face again.
It turned out OK though. He was truly classy because he lightened the mood and made everyone laugh. “I thought I told you not to fall head over heels for me!”