It's official


There are many, many things that I have done in my life that are embarrassing. I honestly stopped counting a long time ago because there are so very many. So many, in fact, that attempting to classify my follies is something like unto trying to classify my all-time-favorite classic films; daunting and, I think, pointless in the end.

My favored method for dealing with the ridiculous life I tend to lead is denial. I mean, how embarrassing are things REALLY if you just refuse to accept that they actually happened to you? Blocking out spending an entire major presentation with ones A-line skirt's zipper undone is WAY easier than dealing with it. Laughing about the "special" moments is another great trick of the trade. I found great relief in chucking myself to sleep the other night with my husband while retelling the embarrassment of emailing all of our local friends to encourage them to come out to playgroup despite the sub-zero temperatures last Thursday morning only to arrive and find that the playgroup coordinator was out sick and the church building was locked up with no one coming who had keys to unlock it-- then having to leave everyone bundled in their cars for almost 1/2 an hour while I feverishly went to get keys from someone who had them... really embarrassing, but also mildly humorous in retrospect, right?

BUT- there are a few memorable experiences which, try as I might, I just cannot block out or even laugh at. Losing the top portion of my red cross tankini bathing suit after proudly completing a perfect 1 1/2 flip and dive off the high dive at our local pool during the lifesaving graduation party is one of those that--12 years later-- still makes my stomach turn and face burn when I think about it. Falling asleep in-- what I thought was our cabin's front bedroom-- the first day at a resort full of identical cabins on a trip with the in-laws a while back only to be awakened hours later by complete strangers-- IN MY UNDERGARMENTS-- only to realize that I had fallen asleep in the cabin a row back is another sickening memory that, try as I might, I fail to see the humor in. I mean there are things that are funny-- locking yourself out of your car and having to use the courtesy phone to call AAA for help two weeks in a row from your grocery store- kinds funny. Letting morning sickness get the better of you in a prominent aisle of the same grocery store with three wild kids running around and a basket full of groceries and being asked to wait by the mess to avert anyone tripping in it while the store associate goes to look for help...NOT SO FUNNY.

The phone call I found myself making yesterday afternoon was one of those that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to find funny. You see, I had been busying myself with out ritualistic Saturday afternoon activities. I've found that getting myself, Andrew, and the kids up, fed, and dressed in our Sunday best, our fancy Sunday dinner in the oven to be ready for our return, all of us happy and in a good spirit, AND to church prior to 10am Sunday morning takes some serious Saturday afternoon preparation. It makes me happy when the dinner table is set, the dinner is prepped and in the fridge, our lesson is planned and packed up, and our sacrament meeting bag is packed and ready to go. Andrew indulges my strange need by tidying up with the kids and cleaning, washing, and fueling up the cars. We then let the kids choose their Sunday attire and I accessorize while Andrew presses and we hang everything up and then enjoy movies and games and usually frozen pizza or takeout or something festive. Things were going swimmingly yesterday afternoon. We were even looking forward to going out for the evening with the kids, and I was excited about the plans we were making. The table was set, the lesson was packed up, dinner was in the fridge, the sacrament meeting bag was finished, the cars were cleaned and ready, and the house was tidy. All of the kids outfits were pressed and hung and I was just putting the finishing touches on my attire when I went to get my black wool Sunday coat from its hanger-- only to find it jingle when I took it down. Finding that strange I checked the pockets only to find a set of keys, which, upon inspection I realized were not mine. Strange?! How did I get someone else's keys in my pocket? Important looking keys with car keys and house keys and other official and important looking keys. Hmmm... I racked my brain and ran it by Andrew and the kids-- we were all at a loss. I went back to "my" coat to check the other pockets, to find that they too contained things that I couldn't identify. Flummoxed, I went to hang the coat with the rest of our Sunday things only to realize when putting it onto the hanger that the coat that I was holding was not mine at all. Upon closer inspection I saw that the coat that I had somehow mistaken for my own was--in reality-- not very similar to mine at all. I mean, it was black, and it was wool, but any similarity stopped abruptly there. The cut was different, the style was different, the size was different. Sick to my stomach, I racked my brain trying to decide what to do. I mean, how do you go about returning someones coat (and keys, which, not doubt had been missed during this unusually cold and long week) which you have (innocently-- embarrassingly STUPIDLY) mistaken from your own, when you have no idea who the person could be? Andrew was literally in stitches, laughing so hard he could barely breathe as I stressed and cried and stressed some more about my embarrassing mistake. I mean, WHO STEALS SOMEONE ELSE'S COAT FROM CHURCH??? WHO??? Maybe if the coats were even remotely similar, it would be somewhat understandable... and if only it hadn't been almost a complete week for me to figure it out (how, I wondered, had I taken it down, worn it home, and hung it up without figuring out that the coat was not mine?! The mind boggles.) Anyway, I said a little prayer and went back to inspect the coat. It was then that I saw that behind the coat's tag was a little sticker which had been left by a dry cleaner. On it, there was the last name and first initial of the person whose coat it was. Andrew sweetly insisted that he would call the sweet sister whose coat I had inadvertently thieved and explain the situation-- trying to make me believe that it was most likely him that had grabbed the coat with the kids things after church while I was busy taking care of business, and that it was most likely all his fault- I was not losing my mind, he soothed. But I distinctly remember how cold last Sunday had been- and knew that there was no way that I would have braved the ride home without my coat. I am, after all, the epitomy of a winter whimp. I had to have been the guilty party. There was no other way. I needed to call and explain and offer my apologies. So-- I looked up the number and made the call. Luckily, the sister whose coat I had taken was endlessly understanding and forgiving, and assured me that it had been no problem (what any kind person would do in the situation, I'm sure)... but, nevertheless, I was still mortified beyond belief. Church today was...fun. We returned the coat to the sweet-- very pregnant-- sister (while I imaged how cold and frustrated she must have been every time she had needed her coat or her keys in the last week!) She was so kind and forgiving, laughing it off as something anyone could do... but I was still so ashamed of myself. More so when it seemed that the chatter of the day all seemed to surround itself upon the mystery of the missing coat-- I think I had to fess up to more than 10 different people that I WAS THE CULPRIT... each time feeling more and more ashamed. If we did not have a calling, I think I would have begged Andrew to take me home and let me fester under the BIG rock I was longing find... but we did, and so we soldiered through the end of the day- only to have several well meaning jesters offer me their coats when I went for my own- VERY FUNNY GUYS. Ugh. I fail to see the humor- but it is not lost on Andrew who, I think, really enjoys my little life hiccups (for which I am--in times when I'm thinking rationally about it-- grateful).

Anyway, I just thought you should all know that- although anyone who knows me well has known this sad truth for much longer than I want to even think about- I have finally come to agree that I have, officially, lost my mind. I am a nut. A happy nut. But a nut indeed. So- I give fair warning. Watch your coats and your keys when I'm around. Who knows what I will do with them when my mind is elsewhere?! :) And when isn't it these day?


DeGooyer Family said...

HA! This was such a fun read. =)

Melissa said...

Great. You are normal honey! And you are pregnant. We all act like that when we are prego. At least I do... I once missed 3 doctors appts. in Kirksville in a row at Ionas's office because I was so forgetful. I was so mortified. We all love you and know you aren't a thief! :)

Ashley said...

Ruth, you are a crack up. I loved this story, it brightened my dreary, cloudy afternoon.

Lacey said...

Ruth, it's Lacey Pitts.... do you remember me? I wanted to let you know that you are important to me. I don't think you realize what a difference you made in my life as a dorm mom. Your testimony continues to touch my life even though we're 1300 miles apart. Your children are beautiful and I feel so lucky to have been a part of your life for such a brief moment. Noah is getting so big and I can't hardly believe that he's going to be 6 this year. Emma is a doll (I love the glasses!) She looks so much like you! What lucky kids they are to have a mother who's so strong in the church! You truly have blessed my life and I'm forever changed because I knew you. BTW, I was wondering if it would be okay for me to call you sometime. I was thinking of you the other day and looked you up on Whitepages.com just to see if I could find anything out about where you lived. I found your phone number and thought I might call you sometime just to say hello. We might be coming out that way this summer and I wondered if I could stop by maybe for lunch. I'll talk to you soon hopefully.


Rebekah said...

Aww, Ruth. Now I now why Mary's and my clothes disappeared all the time into your bedroom. ;) I'm not preggie andymore and I'm still forgetful. Since leaving school, it's like my mind and started a slow decent into craziness. With the high enegery, albeit, adorable children you have, plus all of your responsibilities, it's a wonder you can keep it all together and going the way you do. I love you. (And I won't tell you not to stop thinking about these things b/c, try as I might, I still think about my embarrassing moments, too.)

Becca said...

You are too funny. I've done somethings similar. I think you and I should go to the nut house together!

I do look up to you though. I wish that our Sunday's would go smoothly. Will you come show me how you keep it all together on Sunday. I feel like we are always running around wild Sunday mornings.