Epic Fails

My friend, Brooke Moss (don’t know her? She’s awesome. Check her out) recently posted about her day of epic fails. We all have them. Hers, at least, were varied. Mine tend to revolve around tantruming children and inadvertently winding up half clothed.

This is about the latter (the third installment of “wardrobe malfunctions”).

My winding up with a malfunctioning wardrobe is unfortunate for two reasons. One: I am not a skinny chick. Two: It never happens in the cute underwear. Ever. And it’s always in public. You know that dream you have where you’re standing buck nekkid in front of everyone in your high school class? Yeah, that kind of stuff doesn’t happen in real life. Unless you’re me (granted, I’m not naked. But it’s bad.)

This particular incident occurred when I worked at the hospital. I’d been talking to a couple of doctors about a patient, and I was feeling pretty awesome. Dare I say it? I felt smart. I’d demonstrated some good knowledge on neuroanatomy (one of my favorite topics), and I’d totally gotten my point across about the necessity of speech therapy to address swallow function. I was freaking on top of it.

I should never get cocky. Because the Universe conspires against me every time I start to think I’m fabulous.

Anyway, we discussed this patient while I made my way downstairs so I could get back to the rehab hospital, where I had two evaluations waiting. I said goodbye to the doctors (nice guys, for specialists, who tend to be short with… everyone). Decided I would take the short cut through the ER. This is where we begin with  my fatal mistake.

I should have taken the employee exit. I would have been fine (or, if I hadn’t been, no one would have seen me).

In any case, I walked out the doors of the ER. Heard someone call my name. Turned, took a step and… fell off the curb.

Right in front of an ambulance.

I landed on my face.

And because I was right outside of the ER on a slow day, everyone and their brother rushed to my aid. A couple of ER docs. Two paramedics. A triage nurse.

I was fine. A couple of scratches and bruises and a skinned knee, which was already bleeding through my unfortunately white pants.

What hadn’t survived my fall, you ask. Oh, my pants.

Yep, they’d split right up the center seam, from one end of my waistband to another. Basically, my fall had bisected my pants.


Because they’re used to blood and guts and vomit, my colleagues said nothing. Once I’d assured them that I was fine, that, no, I didn’t need any assistance, they started to go.

Clutching the tattered remnants of my pants together, I started the now-substantially-longer trek across the parking lot to my car.

“Um, do you maybe need… something?” One of the docs asked.

Pants might be a good thing, I thought. But I wasn’t going to voice that thought. “Uh… Yeah. Anyone got an extra set of scrubs? Or a lab coat?”

Let’s face it, a lab coat wasn’t going to cut it. There was no salvaging the remnants of my pants. None. It was heinous.

One of the nurses offered to get me a set of scrubs, and I went back into the ER. Past the two patients sitting in the lobby, a couple more EMTs, and so many CNAs that I started to think maybe crossing the parking lot wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.

Now, I may have mentioned, I am fat. I was fatter then. The scrubs she brought? A regular large. There was nothing regular about my largeness at the time. I was a big girl. Still am, but a smaller version of the big girl than I was then.

It was like six pounds of sugar in a four pound bag. Fat man in a little coat. The Hulk in Bruce Banner’s clothing. Awesome.

I asked for scrubs in a bigger size.

When the nurse returned about half an hour later, she said, “These are the biggest ones I could find. I got them from the waaayyy back.”

Super. Not only had I split my pants in half, but I’d just been told that the scrubs that might fit my fat ass are buried in the back. You know, in the dark corner we don’t speak of. The one with the cobwebs.

I checked the size. It was the same size my father wears. I wanted to die of shame. I’d demonstrated my gracefulness in front of people I work with, split my pants in half, and everyone had gotten a gander at my underwear, but I was also wearing scrubs the same size as my dad, who everyone acknowledges is enormous. And what was worse? They fit.

When I came out of the area I was in, the nurse came to see me before I left. Softly, she asked, “Do you want to be checked out by the OB?”


“The OB says she’ll see you, if you want. It was a big fall.”

Oh. Oh, no. They thought I was pregnant. No wonder they had all rushed to my aid. I’d thought their concern seemed… excessive.

 I wasn’t pregnant. Just fat.

“Um, no, I think I’ll be OK. Just a little tumble.”

Thank Heaven she didn’t press it.

I got to my car to go to the rehab hospital. Drove there, even. Sat in the parking lot thinking of the epic failure that had been my day. Got on my cell phone, called my boss, told her (the basics of) what had happened, and explained I needed to go home.

Called my colleague who was covering outpatient and asked her to do my evaluations.

And I went home, drank some wine, and ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s by myself (yes, yes, it’s a classic fat girl thing to do, and explains how my butt got to be the size it was, but you know why it’s a classic? Because it’s true). When my husband called that night (he was out of town for some reason), I don’t think I even mentioned it to him.

So, there you have one of my epic failures. Awesome, huh?

Tell me, what are yours?


2 thoughts on “Epic Fails”

  1. Hugs. ❤ Also, I doubt I would have handled it so well.

    I don't know if it helps or not to say that a large part of my last job involved me informing my boss when he left his zipper down? He'd go into court that way. All the time. ALL the time. I knew it was time for me to quit when I stopped letting him know until after court.

    1. I had a boss (at the hospital mentioned above, in fact, who used to call me “friend” all the time. Like he was fucking Pooh Bear or something. I knew it was time to quit when I turned to him and actually said, “Dude, I’m just your employee,” and stalked off. I’m not usually so forward, but he said it all the time, in his whiney, Pooh Bear voice, and it made me nutso. Every time he’d say it, I’d grit my teeth.

      To this day, when someone calls me friend, I still grit my teeth.

      As for handling it well, I don’t know about that. A bottle of wine and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s dulled the pain, but it still smarts ten years later. Sad, huh?

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