Category Archives: Embarrassing moments

I Feel a Draft (Another in a series of wardrobe malfunctions)

I walk across the parking lot of our local University. Feel a draft.

I smooth my skirt over my thigh. Yep, still in place.

I catch people looking at me, but I look cute, so maybe that’s it? I check my skirt again. Still there, lying flat against my skin. All is fine, I reassure myself.

I walk across the quad, past the student union and a gaggle of student athletes. You know, the popular people everyone knows, even at a moderately sized university. Football players and cheerleaders. They watch me as I pass. I don’t want them to–I would prefer to be invisible to the popular people. Every time I’ve made their radar, it’s not been for something awesome. It’s always been for something I would prefer no one find out about.

I hear whispers, and, like all shy, paranoid people, I suspect they are whispering about me. I begin blushing furiously.

They’re not talking about me. It’s the epitome of conceit to assume every time anyone whispers it’s about you. I do not have narcissistic personality disorder. Nope. It’s not about me.

But I hear giggles behind me, and can’t stop the embarrassed flush from rising to my cheeks. I run my free hand over my skirt again.

It’s still there, and covering all the important bits.

I walk toward the humanities building, so embarrassed I think I might ignite, though I don’t have the foggiest idea why. Begin to climb the stairs, when behind me, I hear a voice.

“Oh my God, Meggan, you’re gonna die.”

Of course I am.

A girl in one of my classes yanks on my skirt. Hard. So hard I’m worried it will fall from my body. Hey, it’s happened before.

And pulls it out from underneath my backpack.

I’d walked nearly a half mile with my skirt tucked up under my backpack. My skirt had felt fine because I could only check the left side. Unfortunately, it was my right butt cheek that I’d been exposing to the entire world. My right butt cheek, in pink, santiny, granny panties with a well worn elastic waistband.

Yeah, I’m that much of a fashionista. No cute thongs for me. Nope. When I go for exposure, it’s in old underwear I’m embarrassed I even own.

Super awesome.

This is my life. I try to keep as many layers of fabric between my butt and the rest of the universe as humanly possible. I’m loath to wear a bathing suit, but stuff like this happens to my butt. Far too often for it to be accidental.

It ‘s enough to make a girl think the universe is out to get her.

Sad, but true.

Of Nuns and Fruit Loops

This is the story of one of my epic failures as a person.

See, sometimes I can be such a jerk.

I’m not admitting to anything heinous and/or illegal. I’ve never killed a puppy (though one hamster and a series of goldfish did meet untimely and unfortunate demises), I didn’t cheat on my SATs, and I haven’t had so much as a parking ticket in 15 years.

Hell, I barely even speed, and everyone speeds.

So while we’ve established that I’m not a hardened criminal, let’s go ahead and establish my jerkiness once and for all: I refused to give money to an old, crippled, blind nun sitting outside some sort of children’s home in Mexico.

I am loath to call it an orphanage, because that sounds just so much worse, and since it’s my blog and I am uncertain of the familial status of said children, we will be calling it a children’s home.

I’m not making this up—she really was blind, crippled, and old.  Her joints were gnarled, her face wrinkled. The sparse hair of her brows was snow white, and her legs were shriveled up and useless. A little kid stared at me through the bars of the place with huge, dark eyes. When the nun asked me for money, I looked into her opaque eyes and said no, and then pretended I didn’t understand. At the time, I didn’t even feel bad—I was so obliviously selfish that it didn’t occur to me to feel bad. The nun asked me again, this time motioning to the bag in my hands—asking me for food, I suppose (my Spanish is quite wretched)—and again I refused.

I refused, even with the little kid staring at me, as I stood there holding a box of Fruit Loops, of all things, five bucks burning a hole in my pocket. I could have handed it over to them, gone on my merry way and not thought another thing about it, but I had spotted a street vendor on the beach, knew he had a moonstone ring I wanted to buy, and was pretty certain I could talk him down to the five dollars I had left.

So I said no, and walked off with my Fruit Loops and five dollars in my pocket.

The guilt didn’t even hit me until weeks later, but I felt like shit when it finally did. My friend and I were playing a morbid game—a game for the really bad drivers of the world—I had named “How many demerit points?” For instance, how many points would you get if you hit a fire hydrant? How many points would it be if you hit an Elvis impersonator, and would you get more points if you hit fat Elvis or skinny Elvis? ** (According to the rules of the game, more points were awarded for fat Elvis, because even though skinny Elvis would be faster, who knew how much damage a rhinestone-studded jumpsuit would actually cause? I grant you, running down Elvis seems improbable, but I live in Nevada, where running over an Elvis impersonator is actually a distinct possibility.) And then, one afternoon as we drove through downtown, we were trying to figure out what the mother lode of points would be when my friend (the driver) finally came up with it:

How many points for an old, blind nun running from a burning orphanage with a child in her arms?

And I thought to myself: How many points if you just refuse to give them money? And what if she’s crippled too? And what if said orphan is looking at you while you refuse to donate?

Oh, God, and what about the damn Fruit Loops?

For six months, I was certain that I was going to Hell, even though I don’t necessarily believe in it. I had too many demerits on the license of my life, and there was no taking another test: I’d already failed. So I volunteered in a dementia ward and entertained old men who would grab my seventeen year-old ass as I walked by. Instead of hauling off and slapping them, I would simply smile, hoping maybe understanding gentleness in the face of such boorish behavior would atone for my mistake.

Incidentally, that only seemed to encourage the behavior. I got comments like, “Hot damn, you’re pretty,” (aww, so sweet), followed by little squeezy motions at my boobs and a slap on the ass. I learned never to put my back to an old man (my butt’s kind of hard to miss, even with the delayed reflexes of the elderly, though some of them are really quite fast). It’s a skill that served me well when I worked in the nursing home.

But I digress.

Right after I graduated from high school, I went to San Francisco for a couple of days with a few friends of mine.  We went into a little deli to get some lunch, and decided to walk around Union Square for a while and eat our sandwiches before going home. And as I was walking down the street, I saw this guy—a vagrant, to be nice about it—sitting on the sidewalk, holding a sign that read:

“Hungry.  Please help.”

And at that moment, I saw an image of myself, refusing to give money to a blind nun outside of a Mexican children’s home while I clutched  a box of Fruit Loops to my chest.  I saw the nun’s nebulous eyes, her shriveled legs, her gnarled hands. I looked down at the moonstone ring I wore, the thing I just had to have so much I refused to help someone who actually needed it, a tangible reminder of my failure as a human being. So I gave the guy the other half of my sandwich.

“Hey, what the hell is this?” he asked.

“It’s a sandwich.”

“I ain’t blind. Why you giving it to me?” He didn’t say it, but he may as well have added, because I certainly heard it: You stupid bitch.

“Your sign says you’re hungry, and that’s all I have. I thought you might want it. It’s not old. I just got it.” I felt my color rise, my heart racing as I tried to explain my honorable intentions, yet feeling miserably stupid about it.

He looked at the sandwich, then to me, and then he looked to small group of business people who were staring at us. “Thanks,” he mumbled. And then he gave me a look that said something quite the opposite.

This wasn’t exactly the reaction I had been expecting. I hadn’t anticipated feeling embarrassed and ashamed. “You’re welcome,” I said stiffly, and then I left, running to catch up with my friends.

I caught up with them at the corner. “Why’d you do that?” my friend asked me, genuinely perplexed, and I felt bad she seemed so confused I would actually do something nice. I’m not that bad a person. My teachers always loved me, and I donated my time to work with the elderly. I read books to little kids after school.

Goddammit, I’m sweet.

Well, sweetish anyway.

I crossed my arms and shrugged. “I don’t know.  He looked hungry, is all.”

A handsome man in an expensive suit looked at me sympathetically. “You know, you shouldn’t give to these people sitting on the street: they make professions out of it. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile,” he said, and I was unable to say anything in response. I’ve never been quick on my feet with the witty retort, and why should I have to defend myself for doing something nice, anyway? We looked at one another for a long second, and when the light changed, and we started across the street, he hurried in front of us, a man with someplace important to go, something important to do. “He’s just a bum.” he called over his shoulder as I stared at his back.

Hey, it was a nice back in an expensive suit. Of course I’m going to stare.

I looked over at the guy who now had possession of my sandwich—roast beef and provolone on Dutch crust, my favorite—just in time to see him toss it into the trash.  Hungry, my sweet ass.  I was tempted to go over to him and bawl him out for throwing away my sandwich: I was still hungry, and I only had twenty bucks to last me until I got home—and that included gas money.


And then I remembered the nun. So that one guy didn’t appreciate my sandwich; in the end, did it really matter? I wasn’t going to starve to death. And even though he didn’t appreciate it, it still proved I was not an entirely heartless jerk.

Not all the time, anyway.

** No nuns, fire hydrants or Elvis impersonators were harmed during the course of this game. It was entirely  hypothetical. We didn’t actually try to run anyone/anything over, though I did once crash into a supermarket. But that was an accident, and a story for another day, and I didn’t get any points for it.

Polar Bear, My Ass

I bought a pair of sweats the other day.

This, in and of itself, is not necessarily of note. However, since boycotting just about everything in regard to my alma mater for almost ten years, I broke down and bought a pair of sweats from said university. I guess I’ve finally gotten over my thesis.

In any case, I meant to get these cute blue sweats that had the name of said university running down the leg. That’s harmless enough.

Instead, as I was searching for sizes, I didn’t notice that the motif had changed. So what I bought were sweats that had the team logo on the ass.

This, even, would be alright, if my ass weren’t the size of Montana. And if the team mascot wasn’t wolves.

See, it has the team logo, along with wolf prints right on the butt. Only, when your butt is the size of mine, it looks less like wolf paw prints and more like, “Oh, my god, I was mauled by a polar bear!”

This is exactly the look I was going for.

I should return the sweats. I really should. But I’m not going to.

Not only is history an indicator (I really don’t return stuff I bought, unless I made a huge mistake with sizing, which happens, precisely, never), but I’ve also worn the things. I’d pulled off the tags before I even noted the polar bear prints right on the butt.

So I’m wearing the infamous sweats.

And proudly embracing the polar bear.

Flounders and Sonnets

This week, we are hearkening back to my youth. High school to be precise. Hard to believe now, but I was an odd little teenager. Granted, I think most teenagers are weird. But I was a little weirder, I think, than an average teenager. Nerdy and quiet, but quirky. Certainly weirder than my brother, who mooned everyone. So that’s why, when a teacher complains of a kid being weird, I always ask, “Weird, weird? Or just quirky?”

I mean, for one assignment, I was supposed to make a gingerbread house. But mine collapsed (probably because of my baking abilities, or lack thereof), so I made a ginger fish. I originally intended for the fish to look like Rainbow Fish (aw, sweet), but instead he looked kind of like Elton John (um, weird. But seriously, if Elton John were a flounder, he’d look like my fish). So I gave him giant rhinestone glasses, named him Freddie, and wrote a story about my fish’s musical talents. In German. And entered it and my fish into the gingerbread house competition, and put it one of the displays. (Strangely, I was disqualified)

For another assignment (same year, even), a friend of mine and I decided to collaborate on writing sonnets (from The Passionate Shepherd and The Maid’s Reply to the Shepherd). She wrote one, I wrote the other. It was actually a clever idea. I meant it to be silly, but as soon as my English teacher started reading it (aloud to the class, though I don’t recall why), I realized how very, very dirty the whole thing sounded. My cheeks flaming, I thought desperately to myself:

“Oh. God. I did not just write a sonnet about… masturbation.”

And then, more desperately, “Please, please, please, don’t let them get it.”

My classmates, for what was probably the first time all year, fell completely silent. I wanted to hide beneath my desk. Soon, one head turned in my direction. Then another.  Someone giggled. Soon, the entire class was howling with laughter.

I wanted to die.

Instead, I may have gotten some grudging respect from my peers after that. I was pretty quiet then–I was too shy to even order at McDonald’s. Yet when they heard that poem, thinking I had intended to write on such a subject, suddenly I was more than the quiet kid who sat in the back of the room and hid behind all that hair.

I was the quiet kid who hid behind all the hair, president of German Club, and the girl who wrote about spanking the monkey.

Is it a wonder I write romance novels now?


Stop! Hammerhead Time!

When i was a kid, I had a lot of different dreams. One of my dreams was to be a marine biologist (because isn’t it the dream of every desert-dwelling kid to live a life immersed in water?). I guess I wanted it because I can swim really well… The only thing is, my fat ass doesn’t sink. Literally. I have to force myself to not float like I’m in the Dead Sea when I’m swimming in a pool. I can tread water without doing anything–this is also known as the vertical float. I can’t teach the art of floating to my own children because it’s like teaching them how to breathe. I don’t know  how I do it, I just do

All of this leads into the day the marine biologist dream died.

In all honesty, it had been on its way out for probably a couple of years anyway, since I wasn’t very good in Math. Or Science. I was good at Biology, but I didn’t get Chemistry until about a month ago. 20 years after my last Chemistry class, and I finally got it. The irony.

But I digress.

So, the family went on a vacation down Loreto, Mexico–my parents, my brother, a family friend, and Marit, the foreign exchange student. Marit and I didn’t get along that great (she lived a more sophisticated, worldly life than I did), but I think she was happy to go on this trip.

Anyway, we were two days into the trip when we chartered a boat to go scuba diving. My brother, father, and the family friend were dropped off on one side of an island, while Marit, my mother and I were dropped off on the other to go snorkeling.

I actually wanted to go snorkeling closer into the beach, but no one listens to me. So we went snorkeling in water near a very sheer drop off (the water went from rocks on shore to at least 40-50 feet deep just like that–no beach, no shelf, just deep water). Now, I should have realized this was a bad idea–the rocks were littered with seals. Bathing, barking, doing “seal” things (whatever that may be… in any case, it looks fun).

Here we arrive at Mistake Number One: swimming with shark food when the unsinkable you actually resembles shark food.

To go snorkeling, I had to take out my contact lenses. Given how I was well beyond legally blind when uncorrected, this left me able to make out only indistinct shapes.

Mistake Number Two: Swimming with shark food while shaped like shark food, and blind, to boot.

So, we’re snorkeling around, when I notice something that I took for A VERY BAD SIGN: the seals all began coming in to shore. Not lounging, not loitering. They were coming into shore and launching themselves on the rocks.


I looked up for the boat, which I could make out as a fuzzy white shape barreling toward us. I looked for my mother, who was snorkeling about 20 feet away.

“Mom?” I called. “I want to get out of the water.”

“Don’t be melodramatic,” my mother responded.

But the seals were coming to shore quickly, and launching themselves  out of the water, because, well, they’re smarter than we were. There was nothing slow and gradual about this: they were literally throwing themselves out of the water. Not only this, but the boat, which had drifted away from us, was roaring toward us, and the driver (pilot? boatman?) was yelling at us in Spanish.

I don’t speak Spanish, because my father convinced me in 7th grade that German (German?!?!?!) was more practical.

But I didn’t have to see the wild gestures I was later told he was using,  because I already knew what was about. I may have been blind, but I could recognize a bad situation when I was in one… Not only that, but a very large shadow was swimming underneath me, and, given that seals were flinging themselves out of the water, I was pretty certain I knew what very large shadow was.

And thus, we come to Mistake Number Three: For future reference, trying to crawl out of 40-50 ft. deep water on to rocks covered in barnacles while very large shadow swims beneath you is NOT a good idea. But it will leave your knees and hands and elbows abraded.

Convenient, if you want to chum the water with your own blood. Not so much if you think you might want to, I don’t know, live.

Mistake number three leads almost immediately into mistake number four. At this point, I decided my best bet was to get to the boat, and fast.

Mistake Number Four: Listening to my mother (we’re all guilty of this one at one point in time or another).

I was the first one back to the boat–blind desperation is a GREAT motivator, but my mother insisted I allow Marit to get in the boat first. So Marit took the hand of the driver (there was no ladder to assist us in getting in), climbed into the safety of the boat, and promptly lost her bikini top.

Mistake Number Five: Believing my life might be worth more than ogling a topless, large-breasted German chick (FYI, it’s not).

To this day, I’m not entirely certain she wasn’t trying to kill me. I mean “Whoops, my boobs just happened to fall out of my top at the worst possible moment for you! So sorry!” Really??? Because I guess she hadn’t learned her lesson when she lost her entire bathing suit in Malibu (This begs the question: Who loses an entire bathing suit? Unless the wave that hit her was the special five-fingered kind, and had some help, I’m not seeing it.).

The boat driver completely lost his bearings in assisting said German girl with her top, leaving my mother and me in the water with very large shadow swimming beneath us. But whatever. I was getting into that boat if it was the last thing I did, so I grabbed ahold of the side of the boat and started hoisting myself in.

And then my mother wailed, “Meg, you have to push me into the boat!”

Seriously? Oh, yes, seriously. And pulling her in once I got in wasn’t going to do–I had to stay in the water and push her out.

So much for survival of the species.

Anyway, I looked down, and I could swear very large shadow had gotten bigger–and closer.

So I grabbed ahold of my mother’s bathing suit, and, with strength born of sheer adrenaline and the desperate, illogical fear I would die a virgin, threw her and myself into the boat. By this time, the most pressing concern–that Marit had most of her clothes on–had been resolved, and so, exhausted and terrified, we went back to the other side of the island to pick up the boys.

And the identity of very large shadow? Well, that was a hammerhead shark. This was confirmed by both the boat driver and several scuba divers on the other side of the island who saw it.

The unsinkable Meggan Connors could have potentially become the very edible Meggan Connors. I am sure I would have been tender and juicy, like veal. Oi.

That was the day the dream of becoming a marine biologist died, never to be resurrected. Because as much as I like fish, I don’t want to be fish food.


From Mad Cow to the Clap

For Christmas, Husband got me my very own giant microbes. For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook page, in honor of my blog on syphilis, I bought my father a giant syphilis microbe plush toy. It was awesome, though he didn’t know what to make of it (but Baby Brother laughed pretty hard). Well, Husband bought me my own variations, all with some sort of memory for me.

1. Syphilis (of course), to remind me of kindergarten. Because who doesn’t think of kindergarten when they think of syphilis?

2. Mad cow disease, in honor of my time in Germany. While I was on a train heading to Austria (I think; it might have been when we were leaving Austria to get to Paris),  I claimed to have mad cow disease to keep people out of our compartment (this was at the time of the outbreak of mad cow disease in Britain, where I had defiantly eaten hamburger every day. Ironic, now I’m allergic to beef). Each of us had something to drive others away: Jen had her rock hammer, Naomi had her stinky feet (which, incidentally, I don’t remember as being overly stinky. The stench doesn’t stand out in my head anyway, not like Clint’s cologne does), and I had mad cow disease… It basically consisted of me mooing loudly on the one occasion someone stuck his head in our room and practicing frothing at the mouth a lot. I probably looked like I had rabies, but hey, I was twenty-one. Everyone’s obnoxious at twenty-one. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

3. Staph, to remind me of last year’s illness and how, no matter how much I complain, this year actually is better.

4. And finally, he got me the clap, because… well… I think STDs are funny. I suppose that’s only true if you don’t have them, though…

Anyway, I hope you all had a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a joyous Kwanzaa, or a good solstice. I did.

Now it’s time to go play with syphilis.


Baby Megs and The Syph

Y’all might wonder why I am the way I am. I swear, there is a reason.

It’s my dad’s fault.

Now, when I was a kid, my dad was almost never around. And I mean it, almost never. When he moved from Alabama out west, six months before we did, it took me about a week and a half to be unable to recall what he looked like. Later, in high school, I came downstairs without my contacts on and didn’t recognize him. Dad was always at work or hunting. Occasionally, taking my brother someplace. I was the token girl and not the scion. That’s not to say my brother got a lot of attention: he didn’t. Neither of us did. But he took Baby Brother fishing and did stuff like that, and when he did, I got left at home.

Interesting, but I love to fish. So dads, take your girls out too. Seriously, I should be a stripper. If I hadn’t had a very rigid set of moral standards, if I hadn’t been painfully shy, if I had been more of an exhibitionist or rebellious, I would be working a pole right now.

Granted, no one wants to see that.

Ironically, though, my sense of humor comes from him. The bawdy sense of humor that knows few boundaries is all him, baby. Though I think I have some sense in regard to boundaries that my father lacks. After all, I have boundaries, I just elect not to use them very often. My dad, on the other hand, doesn’t.

This brings to mind the day I stopped talking in class. I was in kindergarten.

Mind you, it was a Southern Baptist preschool/Kindergarten in the deep south, back in the late seventies, early eighties, back in those days when the switch was still used. Fricking thing hurt, incidentally.

Bear in mind, I was already painfully shy, a fact my mother was aware of, but who knows if my dad knew. In any case, I’d been sick for a few days. And my very pretty, very sweet, very devout kindergarten teacher innocently asks, “Oh, Meg, what did you have?”

In all honesty, I had a cold or something equally minor. My father being a physician, I figured he must know a thing or two about medicine. So, I responded with all the confidence in my five-year-old body,

“I have the syph!”

I watched a number of emotions play across her face, and I knew I’d done something wrong. Something terribly, terribly wrong, and I recall shrinking in my seat. Her voice was very quiet as she asked,

“What did you just say to me, Miss Connors?”

By this point, I’m sure I was blushing like crazy. I was in huge trouble, but I had no idea why. Less certain, I said, “I have the syph?”

I promptly got sent to the principal’s office. Where I repeated exactly what I’d said to my teacher to the principal.

By this time, I knew that whatever I’d said was terrible. Was wrong. I had no idea what was wrong with it; after all, I was just repeating what my dad had told me. It’s what he always told me when he’d look in my throat or at the splinter in my finger or whatever. After all, one had to be sick or wounded to get my father’s attention.

“Baby Megs, you have the syph.” Sometimes, he’d even says, “Baby Megs, you have syphillis.”

I was five. I had no idea what syphilis was, or how one… procured… such an illness.

Anyway, the principal broke out the ruler, had me lay my palms flat. And he hit me with that ruler. Twice.

By this time, I was sobbing. I had no idea what I’d done wrong. I was painfully shy, quiet, and I wanted everyone to like me (yes, all of these things have changed. I’d like it if people liked me, but really, if you don’t, there’s not much I’m willing to do about it). I just wanted to do what everyone wanted. I was asked a question, I answered it, and I was punished for it.

“I have the syph!”

It’s funny now, like everything else… At the time, I was mortified. I’d be mortified again in seventh grade, while I had to lie to the school nurse and tell her that she was misreading the word “syphilis.” I most certainly did not have syphilis. I don’t know what I had, but I told her it was “strep.” Thankfully, my father’s handwriting is so bad that she at least pretended to buy it. By then, corporal punishment in school was illegal, so I dodged a bullet there.

But I digress. In any case, I can trace most of my reluctance to speak in class to that very moment. For years, I never volunteered information. Hell, I don’t think I began talking in class in earnest until college.

All because of syphilis.