I left the house feeling quite pleased with myself. I was having a Mary Tyler Moore day. I had on a pair of jeans that didn’t require me to hold my breath and a brand new blouse — sunny summer yellow with snap buttons up the front. My pedicured toes were showcased in my favorite pair of black Cole Haan sandals, my one summer splurge item. And? I was having a good hair day. It was 82 degrees and the sun was spilling in through the sunroof of the car. I put on my sunglasses and checked my look in the rearview mirror. Dang! I looked pretty good, not a day over 45. If I’d had a beret, I would have thrown it in the air.
After I dropped Sean off at school, I continued my mission to take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. First stop, Starbucks. As I was celebrating my splendid-ness with a refreshing Frappuccino, I noticed a man over in the corner checking me out over the screen of his laptop. I acted like I didn’t notice because I am just that cool. In what was supposed to be a sexy Sharon Stone-style move, I tipped the cup upwards to drain what was left of the sweet brown liquid. But. The ice broke loose from the bottom of the cup like a calving iceberg, smashing me in the face and gushing down my pretty yellow shirt and into my cleavage. I screamed. The man in the corner hid behind his laptop and chortled. He chortled! That is one small step above snorting. You have not been humiliated until you have been the object of a public chortling.
I stood and gathered up my dignity. I did a little side-to-side head move and flipped my good hair over my shoulders and then I put on my sunglasses and walked out of there like a model on a runway. Except that I was dabbing at my boobs with a wad of environmentally friendly Starbucks napkins which you should know, will disintegrate at the sight of liquid and leave behind what looks like spit up or oatmeal or spit up oatmeal on your shirt. When I thought I could plumb the depths of humiliation no further, I caught sight of my reflection in the door on my way out. I not only had an icy drink in my bra, I had a whipped cream mustache.
I was not going to let a little Frappuccino down my shirt ruin my Mary Tyler Moore day. I still had on a fabulous pair of sandals. I still had on a sexy pair of jeans. I could still make it afterall! I arrived at my next stop, my doctor’s office, for some routine blood work. As I sat in the blood drawing chair, I noticed the lab technician eyeing my sunny yellow oatmeal shirt. She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer.
On the way out of the doctor’s office, I decided to use the restroom before I continued turning the world on with my smile at TJMaxx. As I raised my pretty little pink painted tootsie to flush, the slick sole of my chic sandal slipped and I baptized my foot in the flushing toilet. I screamed for the second time that morning. I pulled my wet foot out and stood there like a flamingo helplessly watching Cole Haan go around and around. At the last moment, I reached in and made the rescue.
My Mary Tyler Moore day was literally going down the toilet. I stood dejected at the sink, on one foot, washing my sandal. The bathroom door opened and I looked in the mirror to see the lab technician. She stopped when she recognized it was me, oatmeal girl. She didn’t make eye contact with me, but rather raised her eyebrows with an expression of amusement and pity, as though she had finally seen it all. She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer. I slogged out of the doctors office, past the nurse and the non-Mary Tyler Moore patients wearing my one leg wet jeans, one shoe, a shirt covered in what looks like oatmeal and carrying a shoe wrapped in a paper towel.
When I picked Sean up from school he was demanding to go to Old McDonald’s and since I already smelled like Frappuccino and urine, I gave in. It wasn’t long before I spied him in the corner of the play yard in the poop pose, the one that looks like he is about to lift off wearing a silver space age jet pack on his back — knees slightly bent, clenched fists out front. He was also wearing the red-faced, eyes glazed over poop expression. Great. Not exactly the finale I had in mind for my Mary Tyler Moore day, but at the same time, it seemed fitting. I called him over and gave him the news that we needed to go home. Given the day’s track record, the last thing I was up for was changing a poopy diaper in a public restroom. He was not very happy about this decision, so I had to carry him to the car, kicking and screaming and flailing.
With a “fully loaded” boy under one arm and my purse, keys, his shoes and our drinks under my other three arms, I exited the restaurant. As I was leaving I noticed that everyone was looking at me. My spirits were buoyed. I started thinking, wow, even after the day I’ve had, I still look pretty good.
That’s when I looked down to see that in the course of all the thrashing about, Sean had unsnapped my shirt down to my navel. And I had not one free arm to do anything about it.
So much for my Mary Tyler Moore day. If I’d had a beret, I would have just pulled it completely over my head.