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.
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
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.