Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's better to hear it from me first

I am still in Paris. I should be sleeping as our flight to return to the United States, tomorrow, warrants an early rising. However I keep blogging in my head and the best remedy for that is to just get it out.

See, the thing is, something happened in our last day in Paris that I made Kevin promise not to tell anyone about until I had had a chance to share my version.

No, it is not scandalous. It is, however, utterly humiliating. Possibly, no, definitely, the most embarrassing moment of my life to date. Just beginning to think about writing it, and ultimately sharing it with the whole world, brings the blood up to my cheeks causing an avoidably pink hue and an intense wishing I could hide in some undisclosed corner.

Why even share such an emotionally distressing event?

Because, unfortunately for me, it is also extremely funny........that and Kevin cries himself silly with laughter every time we make a mere mention of it since it happened and he is itching to share the joy of laughter with others.

It's going to come out. I wanted the first round to be on my terms. If I'm to take the brunt of a well deserved joke, I best be the first one telling it.

Here goes.......

Thursday afternoon we were walking along the Champs Elysees, shopping. Well, truthfully we were mostly wish shopping as both Kevin and I are far too practical to ever spend ridiculous amounts on one article of clothing. Occasionally, I would escort him into some over priced store to try on a few articles. Or just because it was a high end, well known, store and it was fun to be in them and wonder about the lives of people who spend $200 dollars on a tee shirt made from the same material Target uses for their tee shirts.

Anyway, we found ourselves in Dior. Immediately we both recognize that we are far under dressed to even have considered stepping into that store. Security guards act as door men. Opening and closing doors for would be clients.

I hate the feeling of not belonging because of material possession. Besides, how do THEY know I don't jump into a vault of money every morning for my daily swim?

Maybe I dress "down" when I go out in the general public so I will be a less likely target for muggers. They don't know.

It shouldn't matter who I am or what I do or don't have in my bank account. But I feel the sideways looks and the I-have-four-children-I'd-rather-feed-and-do-fun-things-with-so-this-is-as-stylish-as-it-gets outfit I'm wearing feels as if it's suddenly sprouted flashing lights on every seam.

I quickly formulate a plan. And because I can see Kevin is feeling out of place as well I decide to let him in on it,

"Just act as if you belong."

The store is made up of small rooms created by walls that don't meet the outside walls or each other. Leaving you with the feeling of a larger room sectioned off to display coordinating items. sprinkled among the rooms are lush benches for one to sit on while being waited on and floor to ceiling, frameless, mirrors tucked in between display shelves mimicking the opening between rooms and bouncing light all around.

We begin browsing the rooms in as fast a pace as we dare. The ultimate goal is to get outside, but not too quickly as to convey as if we felt out of place...even though we do, but they don't need to know that.

I touch, examine, and observe the articles of clothing, that are too expensive to be bothered with having a price tag, with the best "I use gold toothpaste" attitude I can create and make my way quickly, but not too quickly through the rooms.

I don't really know this is how the people who actually shop such stores with the intent on purchasing something acts. what I DO know is that making eye contact with someone will surely break my cover. My plan is to touch, examine, and observe the merchandise with a nonchalant, slightly haughty, attitude, avoiding any eye contact, in a quick, but relaxed manner.

We have now reached the 4 minute mark since first entering the store. I decide that is enough time to act as though I belong decide nothing in this store strikes my fancy. The problem is we are now in a different part of the small, but maze like, store.

As I focus to maintain my "I buy $500 shoelaces because I want to" persona and my gaze on the merchandise I turn into an opening leading to another room to avoid a security guard so I could exit out another door, running right into someone..........


In my effort to prevent anyone from mocking me, I turned right into one of the floor to ceiling mirrors mistaking it for an opening into another room. I am so disoriented I say, "Excuse moi" before I realized I had run into my own image.

The security guard, who is only feet away, opens the door he was guarding. I missed seeing the exit because I was so intent on avoiding any human content. He struggles to contain the laughter that is threatening to escape his unavoidable smile as he holds the door open so I can escape my horror.

Kevin, however, is unable to control himself and, almost literally, rolls out the door laughing. He is unable to speak of nothing else for what seems like hours.


I am looking for the nearest hole to crawl into.

It wouldn't have been so agonizingly humiliating if I had not come up with, but more importantly shared, "The Plan" with Kevin.

As it is, it is side splittingly funny. Unspeakably embarrassing, but deserving of any laughter it creates.


jillian said...

I would have done the same thing!!!! at least very few people saw the actual incident.

Chrissy said...

That is the funniest thing I have heard all day! Thank you for sharing it with everybody. :) I still want to hear Kevin's version of it when you get home.

Chrissy said...

Oh yeah, I also can't help thinking that such a high end store is bound to have very discretely places cameras which may or may not have been trained on you as your handling every piece of merchandise may have been misinterpreted as "as soon as no one is looking I am shoving this in my purse..."

Maybe we'll get to see you on YouTube. :P

Lynae said...

That made me laugh out loud...which is not an easy feat. Thanks!

However, I feel your pain. Once, in a museum of miniatures, I smashed my face into glass while trying to get a closer look at a glass encased doll house. So embarassing.

But what a memory to add to your trip! And what a great post.

Tobi said...

Wonderfully written! That was awesome and totally worth the retelling and unavoidable future joking.

I can't wait to hear more of your (mis)adventures across the pond! Have a great flight!

Denise said...

I read this late last night before I went to bed, and I am still laughing - - you are such a great writer, and obviously a great shopper too!

Danica said...

Smooth move Em... :) At least you know that you have virtually no chance of meeting any of those High End Parisian people ever again...except for the other misfit who was in the store.

cwilson said...

That is so funny!!! Thanks for sharing!

BJ said...

AT least you will never see any of those people again.

Dr. Green said...


Mon moment le plus embarrassant des événements en Corée. Croyez-moi, il est bon que ces moments sont loin des océans.


Emily said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Just so you know, I am sweating reading this even thinking about being in a store like that. I would have a coronary.

Way to get it out there in the open.

And next time you see your friend in the mirror, say hi for me.

Brianna said...

Sometimes I don't recognize myself in the mirror either... (hehe)

April Weeks said...

I just read this to Dave and we also laughed. He said you have a captivating writing style. I totally agree.

Kevin said...

Emilie's account of what happened is pretty accurate and pretty good. My in person retelling would be full of animation and other sound effects like when Emilie hits the mirror.

As we were practically sprinting away from the store Emilie said something about how the security guard was going to go have a good laugh with his other security guard friends. I told her they'd probably just go pull up the security camera footage and all have a good laugh together.

Until the actual video shows up on YouTube you'll have to pretend this is Emilie and that's a mirror.

Emilie said...

I didn't hit THAT hard, but it was equally as embarrassing.

Greg & Lyndi Daly said...

Thanks for the great laugh!!! So funny!!! I can totally picture it!

Skye O. said...

so funny! I would love to see Kevin's version.

You are such a talented writer! Really....write a book.

Anonymous said...

That, my friend, is classic. Love it. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

Boe said...

Thanks for the tip at church on the great blog entry. I loved it and your cut personality just shines through! Can't wait to hear more about your trip. Sorry it was a rough road once you got home, Beckham told me more of the near death experience details yesterday...what a CUTE boy!

my rebel took over said...

Oh my. That's hilarious! Poor Emilie. I would be mortified too!

Jess said...

To think that if you hadn't commented on my post, I would never have had the pleasure of reading this story. Priceless.