On the first morning of the school year, parents and students came to meet the teachers. Last-minute Lucy like I am, trying to fit one more thing in before the bell rings and chugging coffee to roll back the morning fog, I rushed to the girls' restroom with mere moments to spare.
Quickly exiting the stall, I stopped to wash my hands, check my teeth, re-apply lipstick, and make a cursory inspection of my overall appearance. My head nodded in approval.
The night before, I selected my outfit very carefully, looking for something that said, I'm hip and sassy, but sophisticated and intelligent, too. I'll keep your children safe, teach them everything they need to know in second grade, and have fun doing it.
All that came in an above the knee, flouncy hemmed, black with white polka dots skirt paired with a three-quarter length sleeved, white, fitted blouse shirred through the bodice. Smartly beaded half-inch heels finished the ensemble.
I winked self-assuredly into the mirror at myself, complimenting my style. Making my exit into the hallway with confidence and a skip, I did the #1-teacher-walk toward my colleagues flanking the walls outside my classroom, all chit-chatting and practicing their smiles.
Shoulders back, stomach in, I strode past flashing my most intimidating I'm-ready-for-anything expression.
Someone screamed. Someone gasped. Someone laughed. Someone chased me into my classroom and yanked on the back of my skirt. "What?" I exclaimed.
But my fellow faculty member silently quaked, which made me start turning like a dog chasing its tail.
"You're fine, now," she squeaked out.
My friend squatted in the floor holding her sides with one arm and covering her mouth with the other hand. Then she took a deep breath to compose herself, stood, but stooped again wracked with gut wrenching guffaws. Finally she managed to inform me, through giggles and gulps, that I boldly strutted down the hall with the hem of my skirt tucked into the back of my grannified, pink panties, which, she consoled me, plentifully covered my rear end.
I screamed. I gasped. I tried to picture if my underwear had holes or not, since I hadn't put as much effort into choosing it as I had the rest of my clothing. I laughed. I worried. "Did Mr. . . oh my gosh . . . did Mr. . . ohhhh noooo. . ." I hooted. I fretted.
If my day had ended there, I possibly could have put positive spin on it.
Yet, exhausted from the regular routine after a whole summer off, I still had to load my own children into the car and run errands. My kids immediately threw themselves into a full-fledged, inconsequential argument about pencil lead. Snapping, I threatened dire consequences to any one of them who dared say another word.
Well whoa dang if my daughter didn't dare. "I'm going to spank you," I promised.
Next stop, when she hopped out of the car, I turned her around and swatted her fanny.
Almost simultaneously with my forward swing, but too late to interrupt it, I heard, "Hi, Mrs. Adams," from the car next to ours, and looked up to see two students and a parent waving in my direction.
When I related this unfortunate coincidence to the other second grade teacher and told her how I stood there and dumbly smiled, unable to think what to do next, my cohort replied, through throat closing mirth, "You should have tucked your skirt into your panties and run!"
(Lucy Adams is a self-syndicated columnist living in Thomson, GA. Direct any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her blog, www.lucybgoosey.blogspot.com.)