Due to not having any money, Kirsten and I have not been out to eat since early August. It's much cheaper to eat at home, but Kirsten is convinced that a prolonged diet of frozen pizza and burritos is somehow unhealthy. I retorted with the fact that not drinking the sugary sodas for six weeks should outweigh her concerns. She still doesn't agree.
I pulled out my wallet to show her how empty it was. When I held it upside down to prove my point, a slip of paper drifted out. Kirsten had already walked out of the room, so she didn't get to see this fortune cookie fortune:
An embarrassing situation? I wonder what it will be. Plus, I have to wonder if I am the best person to call in the event of something embarrassing happening. I like to think that I'm a decent guy. I try to be helpful when I can. I would even be helpful in an embarrassing situation, but would someone really want to call me. I spend a considerable amount of time making fun of people and will laugh at an embarrassed person faster than Oprah can grab the last doughnut. If you are caught in an embarrassing situation, I will probably remind you about it for the rest of your life or until you cut me out of your circle of friends. Whichever comes first.
When my buddy Adam was bleeding out of his groin or was inflicted with a male yeast infection, I wasn't exactly sensitive to how embarrassing this might be for him. In fact, the whole experience ended up in my blog (be sure to click the links; they are well worth the read). However, I guess it could be said that I was helpful. Not sympathetic (or even nice), but helpful.
I can remember one time when I didn't take advantage of someone's embarrassing situation. I was about 20 years old and at a party out in the middle of nowhere. It was one of those country parties where a keg is consumed in the middle of a field by a few dozen people not old enough to drink in bars. As I am talking with a group of friends, I feel a tap on the shoulder. I turn around to find the younger sister of one of my friends.
Names are changed to prove that I can be discreet.
KELLY: I need you to come with me.
ME: Where we going?
KELLY: I can't tell you.
ME: Why not?
KELLY: Just follow me.
Always up for an adventure, I followed. We walked out into the field away from the party. I asked where we were going and she advised me to just keep walking. After a few minutes, we had gone far enough that we couldn't even see the party.
ME: Hey, where are we going?
KELLY: Remember that girl that came here with me tonight?
ME: I think. Mary, right?
KELLY: Marion. She needs your help.
ME: Help with what?
KELLY: She's stuck.
Kelly explained that they had wandered away from the party to empty their bladders. Being a party in a field, there were surprisingly few bathrooms. This is not an issue for guys or immodest girls, but most girls of the female persuasion tend to get away from the crowd before squatting on the ground. Marion and Kelly had gone for the overkill in making sure no one saw them by walking almost a quarter mile.
When they found a suitable place away from the eyes of anyone at the party, they dropped their pants to do what they came to do. Kelly said she was mid-stream when she heard Marion fall over and scream. Marion had lost her balance and fallen back into a briar patch. Kelly said she tried to help her out, but the vines were so thick, she couldn't get her out by herself.
About this time, I hear a timid voice call out, "Kelly, is that you?" She answers and we move toward the voice, but Marion yells out from the darkness, "STOP! Kelly, who did you bring?"
KELLY: I brought Brett.
MARION: What? You brought a guy? I wanted a girl.
KELLY: You said to get someone you didn't know.
MARION: I meant a girl I didn't know.
KELLY: You didn't say that.
ME: Why does it matter?
MARION: (crying) Because I don't have any pants on!
I hadn't really thought about it, but it made sense. She had pulled down her pants before falling in and getting stuck.
Kelly offered to go back and get someone else, but she had been gone over 20 minutes to get me. Marion said she couldn't wait that long again. She reluctantly agreed to accept my help. As I start moving toward her voice she yells, "Don't look!"
Ever the gentleman (believe it or not), I kept my eyes to the ground as I approached. When I reached her, she made me promise to keep my eyes closed. I agreed and slowly leaned in to
I leaned in real close and opened my eyes to look right into her face and explained that if she actually wanted out of here, she would have to let me use my sight to both keep myself untangled and find where she was stuck. She hung her head, but agreed. I placed my jacket over her lap so she wouldn't feel as exposed.
Looking at the situation, I could see that she had really struggled to get out. Her pants were almost completely removed. Her shirt had caught as she fell and was pulled up around her shoulders. She had managed to pull the front down, but the back was behind her head.
I had Kelly hold some of the briars back while I tried to pull her shirt free of the thorns. She was deep enough into the bush that it was a hopeless task. It would immediately catch on others and it could not be slid down her back due to the thorns stuck in her. The same was true for the pants.
Both the girls thought that if Kelly pulled back some of the briars branches I might be able to just pull her out. I doubted it would work, but we gave it a try. Marion yelled after moving only a few inches. She was hooked by those briars all down her back, her legs, and part of her arms.
I started on her arms first. I slowly pulled the branches and when we discovered resistance, I would take care of that thorn before moving to the next one. I eventually freed both of her arms and had broken off the offending branches so they could not grab her again.
Once I got her legs free, I tried to lift her out again. The resulting pain was the same as before. She was still stuck all along her backside. Once again, I started on her legs, but this time I had to feel around to find where she was stuck. As I got past her knees, she blurted out, "Watch your hands!"
"SERIOUSLY! I understand your yearning for modesty, but I don't see any other solution here. Do you want the thorns out of your flesh or not?"
She lowered her eyes and said, "Get it over with."
She quietly endured the displeasure of a stranger running his hands over her skin. Once we freed her legs, she was able to lift herself enough for me to pull the thorns out of her butt. Of course, due to the restricted space we were in, I had to feel around to find them. This is not a joke. It's what I had to do.
|They were huge and some of them broke off.|
After clearing the loose thorns out of her clothes, she was dressed again. Handing me my jacket, she looked at me and opened her mouth to say something. She then stopped, dropped her eyes and walked back to the party. I hung back for several minutes to allow the gap between us she so obviously wanted. Kelly later told me that Marion was very grateful for what I had done and said that I did well to try and make her feel comfortable, but she was too embarrassed to talk to me.
Twenty years later, I still occasionally run into her and she always reacts the same way when she sees me. She drops her eyes to the ground and slowly walks away.
So, while I may not be the guy to call in an embarrassing situation today, I used to be the guy to call. I was gentle, discreet and respectful. The perfect response for dealing with someone in such a compromising position, but it's not nearly as fun.