I had a meeting this morning at a local coffee shop and bakery. It was a wrap-up/assessment of a charitable event that I co-chaired. Casual, just my co-chair and the director. We are all friends.
I was running late and threw on my sweatpants from the day before. I hoped I would have time to hit the gym when we finished our meeting. I have been a complete slug lately and have been trying to get back into workout mode.
We ordered. Granola and yogurt for me, and a big cup of coffee. I have a magnet that says, "Coffee is my only friend."
We chit-chatted and ate, then started on our assessment. What worked, what didn't work. Who was intolerable, who was fabulous. How much money did we make, did we meet our goals. Survey questions for the committee members, review the draft for the "thank you" advertisement.
My co-chair had to run, so I offered to gather up all of our dishes and put them in the bin. (I worked the graveyard shift at our local pancake house when I was 16 for my summer job. I can carry some plates!) I made my way to the center island where the bins were. They were gone. I looked all over. The place was filling up for lunch and people were milling around. I walked over to the counter where one of the employees was rearranging scones and muffins.
"Where are the bins to put my dishes?"
"Oh, we moved them over there." She pointed to a station on the other side of the restaurant.
I walked through the tables, precariously balancing our dishes, and put everything into the gray plastic bins. No tubs to separate silverware and glasses. No trash can! They were not making this easy. I just left everything. I turned around to make my way back across the restaurant. Looking forward, about 15 feet, I saw a black cloth on the floor. I was walking that way and got closer to the black fabric lying on the floor.
What is that?
I kept walking. Curious.
That looks like my underwear.
What IS that???
Looking down, but still walking.
OH MY GOD, THAT IS MY UNDERWEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Walking fast, past my underwear.
HOW DID THAT GET THERE???
How did my underwear get on the floor of the restaurant??
(Not an actual photo. )
This is surreal. How did they get there?!? I am walking slowly. What should I do? I am scanning the restaurant. My mind is racing. Think... I threw my sweatpants on. I wore them yesterday. Was that the underwear I had on yesterday? I peeled everything off and jumped in the shower. Did I leave them in my pants? Oh my GOD! I must have left them in my pants, and then when I put them on this morning they must have been down in the leg. Walking around looking for the bin must have dislodged them where they fell out the leg onto the floor of the restaurant. What should I do? Should I pick them up? What if someone sees me. What if...
I looked to my left and an elderly woman had just stood up from her table of four companions, to walk over to look at my underwear.
I keep walking. S L O W L Y . . . .
She turns hurriedly and looks at her companions as she starts back towards them.
"What is it?" They ask.
"I think it's someone's underwear!" She says loudly, her mouth exaggerates the words to be heard over the din.
They all look stunned. I imagine hushed whispers of shame.
I keep walking. FASTER. FASTER. FASTER. Out the door to my car.
I get in. Shut the door. I am so embarrassed. What if someone saw the underwear fall out of my pants? Would anyone pick them up? I imagine someone running out to my car, holding them out with tongs. "Miss, are these yours?"
Now my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is kicking in. I have to go back. Those are my GAP satin panties. I love those underwear. I don't like to leave my possessions places. I have to go back. I picture my underwear lying on the floor. People staring. Walking around it. Someone telling the staff. People looking at it. "Is that underwear? EWWHHH!!" The employees arguing about who has to pick it up. My black GAP panties being thrown in a trash can with discarded food and beverages.
Embarrassment trumps OCD.
I drive away and frantically call my mother.
"Oh my GOD you will never believe what just happened!!!!!!!!"
I tell the story. We are hysterically laughing. My stomach hurts from laughing so hard.
"Well, honey, they could have been stuck in your leg from the dryer. You know, static cling."
Strangely, I immediately felt better.
Yes, that was it.
NOT old workout underwear left in my sweats from the day before.
Static cling. THAT is what people would think!
Next time I go there, perhaps I will check the lost and found...