A few weeks ago, I had a very funny moment. In fact, an embarrassing moment. Actually, I’m sure Issa Rae would say an “Awkward Black Girl” moment. Let me share.
On a cold Friday morning, I got out of my bed feeling relieved. “It’s Friday! Yay!” I thought. I was particularly excited because I was attending a conference which would take up half of my day so my workday would fly by.
I usually dress casually on Fridays. However, since I was attending a conference at a prestigious local bank, I decided to wear a simple black dress. I grabbed a sweater, put on some hosiery and slid into some classic patent loafers. Simple and professional.
I reached the conference 30 minutes early and took advantage of the complimentary breakfast. I walked around, did a little chit chat and a little networking with familiar faces as the place filled up. I was a little social butterfly. I even went out of my way to the front of room just to say greet one of my school’s business partners.
At around 9:00, the program began. The conference was focused on the intersectionality of disability, race and prisons. The speakers were captivating and I had some great discussions with the fellow participants talking about white privilege.
After the first discussion, the organizers let us have a break. I took that time to use the restroom. As I hovered over the toilet and began pulling up my dress, I could see between my legs a black tail hanging from my behind.
After closer inspection, reality hit me! OMG. I was walking around with a tail attached to the back of my black dress!!!! I wore this dress as part of my black cat Halloween costume about a month ago. I hadn’t washed the dress since I only wore it once and had obviously forgotten to remove the tail.
For a few seconds, I started freaking out. So many thoughts ran through my mind.
I can’t believe I was walking around with a tail.
Why didn’t anyone say anything?
False hope. Maybe they didn’t notice.
OMG! NOOO! They totally think I’m this weirdo who takes cosplay to a whole other level that I have to bring it to professional settings.
Simple and professional my ass!!! (ironic pun totally intended)
At that moment, I had two choices. I could wallow in my embarrassment or I could laugh my ass off. I decided to do the latter.
I chuckled and giggled in the stall as I unpinned the tail from my dress and stuffed it in my purse.
Before I left the restroom, I surveyed my backside with a too late hope that my sweater had covered the tail.
Nope. This sweater had a split right in the middle starting at my lower back. My tail had been all out in the open for everyone to see.
With my tail securely stuffed in my purse, I sat down in the conference room and texted my best friend the story.
She assured me that this story would be a great icebreaker (eventually, a great blog post) and that she hoped I wasn’t taking it too hard.
I reassured her I wasn’t. I can’t take myself too seriously. That wouldn’t be living. I know I’m not perfect so embarrassing things are bound to happen. I just have to remember to love myself in those moments and to laugh out loud.