Let Your Freak Flag Fly

Today’s post is written by my friend, Avé. Avé is married and has two children. And she works “outside the home”. I find Avé hilarious. I hear her voice when I read her stories, and I always bust out laughing. So, I hounded her to guest blog for me. And she graciously accepted my invitation. Enjoy!


I was attending a meeting in a conference room, one of multiple conference rooms and offices, whose windows overlook the parking garage and the pedestrian bridge that connects the building to the garage.

I have no idea what was being discussed in that particular meeting, but I do know that it was late in the day, and the meeting was dragging on and was in serious danger of running over time. I draw the line at meetings running over the scheduled time, particularly at the end of the day when I have to leave to go pick up my kids at daycare. I have no problem with daycare, but I strongly oppose being late to pick my kids up and avoid doing so as best I can. They are there long enough all day – they don’t need to stay any later just because some dude in a meeting can’t make his point in the allotted time.

I had also recently finished chugging a large bottle of water. This created an obvious problem. Not only was I irritated and impatient to leave, I also had to pee. But, there I continued to sit, staring out the window. I was watching people cross the pedestrian bridge. There was a man carrying his coat. There was a woman wearing no coat at all with her long hair blowing every which way. Obviously, it was warm AND windy out there. I love a warm day and a good, strong wind! Those people were so lucky – they were leaving on time and they were outside on that gorgeous day.

Fifteen minutes later than scheduled, the meeting finally ended. I raced back to my cubicle and grabbed my purse, coat and lunch-box.  I raced to the Ladies’ Room to take care of urgent business.  I was literally running.  I had a long drive and I didn’t want to be any later than I already was in picking up my kids!  It looked like I would only be 15 minutes late – not TOO bad.  I charged through the restroom door, hastily lined the toilet seat with some paper, did what I needed to do, washed up, and I was off!  I ran down the long hallway leading to the pedestrian bridge, shouting good-byes to a few colleagues as I blazed past.

I burst through the exit door. The day was as gorgeous as it looked from the conference room window.  I was loving it!  I glanced back at the office and conference room windows and thought about the poor saps who were still sitting in there, watching me leave.  But it was no lingering gaze; I was late and I was moving.

I got to my mini-van and tore out of the parking garage.  Just then, I noticed that my gas tank light was on.  Dang!! I had forgotten that it lit up on my way into the office that day. I didn’t stop to get gas that morning so I had no choice but to stop that afternoon.  “OK”, I said to myself, sensibly, “time to stop rushing.  Haste makes waste”. There is no sense in risking running out of gas trying to make it home on fumes just so my kids wouldn’t have to wait an extra fifteen minutes.  Running out of gas, particularly on I-95, would NOT be a pleasant experience. I pulled into the only available gas station prior to getting onto the interstate.  There were a few cars already ahead of me.  Luckily, I got in when I did because another three or four cars pulled in right behind me.  I resigned myself to being 30 minutes late for pick-up.  As I waited my turn, I was hopeful that there would be no traffic on the road.

When it was my turn, I pulled up to the gas tank, got out of the van, and started pumping gas.  The wind was really whipping!  I was greatly enjoying the breeze when something brushed past the backs of my bare arms.  I swiped my hands against my arms to scratch away the tickle-y feeling.  Seconds later, it happened again.  I swiped again.

Tickle, swipe, tickle, swipe.

What WAS that? I looked around assuming there was a fly buzzing around or a strand of hair brushing against me.  Nope, there was nothing.

Tickle, swipe, tickle, swipe.

I turned in a complete circle, looked up and down and left and right.  Still nothing.  I shrugged it off.  When the tank was full, I got back in the car, ready to speed on home.

Suddenly, I heard a knock at my passenger side window. Understandably, I was startled – I don’t normally receive guests at the gas station.  I looked over and saw a woman motioning for me to roll down the window.  I did so, hesitantly. I was thinking, “What the…?” but I asked, politely, “Can I help you?”

The woman proceeds to deliver what can only be described as a chilling message: “I just wanted to let you know – my daughter and I are sitting in the car behind you.  You have a long piece of toilet paper hanging out of your pants.  We could tell you could feel it since you were looking around and rubbing your arms”. Aghast at this revelation, I thanked her meekly and rolled up the window.

Hoping that she was joking or just mistaken in what she saw, I reached behind me to feel around and pulled out a piece of toilet paper.  I tell you, it was 3 feet long if it was an inch!

Dear God!!!

I began having flashbacks:

  • I am pumping gas in front of a dozen cars and their occupants, standing in the great, wide open at a gas station situated in the middle of a busy road, with toilet paper hanging from my waist-band and fluttering in the breeze.
  • I am racing across the pedestrian bridge, mentally mocking those that were watching me leave, assumingly envious of my departure, with a party streamer literally streaming out of my rear-end.
  • I am running down the hall toward the pedestrian bridge, passing multiple colleagues and shouting good-bye to them, with my freak flag unknowingly flying.
  • I am in the Ladies’ Room, lining the seat with toilet paper.

Bingo!  There it was – the cause of this personal crisis.

Curse my constant need for hygiene!! Why did I need to use such a large piece of toilet-paper to line the seat? Does toilet paper really even offer that much protection from seat germs? Probably not! Why did I not do the perfunctory turn-around/butt-check in the mirror after washing my hands? And, curse my friendly albeit impatient nature!! Why did I need to create a scene by literally running through the hall and across the pedestrian bridge, creating even more of a stir by shouting my good-byes to people?

I was mortified.  I went home and confessed what happened to Honey.  His laughing at my predicament did nothing to soothe my injured pride. In my haste to get home, I laid waste to my dignity.

What lesson did I learn? Haste really does make waste.

For more of Avé’s quick wit, read her new blog http://richwomansfam.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Avé!!



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