I am an an incoherent, mean mess in the morning. I hate- and I can't stress this enough-hate waking up. Until I've had my coffee, the world and I are not on speaking terms.
A few years ago on this particular day, I had forgotten to set my alarm for an earlier meeting and was therefore catastrophically late. Unable to shower or properly attend to my riotous reddish locks, I changed in record time and threw the aforementioned hair into a pony tail. Usually my clothing is a bit on the unconventional side but today I had carefully laid out proper business attire (oh how responsible of me!) for the meeting.
In my stubborn- okay, borderline obsessive- conviction to only make one trip to the car, I had a laptop bag, coffee, purse, business folders, and my lunch clutched in my arms. Having no hands left in which to open the door, I made several unsuccessful attempts at trying to open it with my foot. Eventually I got fed up and, fueled by the anger of being late, kicked the door. This range of motion was, apparently, too much for the items balanced precariously in both hands. In slow-motion, I watched helplessly as the entire contents of the hot, scalding coffee tipped over and onto my nice work skirt.
Screeching, I ran back inside and changed into the only skirt I had that matched the rest of the outfit. It was a pure snow white linen. So I left the coffee on the floor, packed up the rest of my things (which were strewn all over my kitchen at this point), and broke every available traffic law there is in New Jersey in order to get to work on time.
I got there to find a flashing message from my boss in my inbox. Meeting changed to 10:30. I breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that I could go to the cafeteria and get another cup of coffee and in effect throw off the morning haze and the irritation of being late.
Carlos the cafeteria breakfast guy (yes, we are on a first name basis) saw me walk in and brightened:
Lola: Hey Carlos!
Carlos: (surprised) You are dressed so nicely today. And you are much later than normal.
Lola: (pondering at how apparently her wardrobe is not up to par for the cafeteria staff's taste) Um, yeah. I always like a side of judgement with my egg white omelet.
Carlos: (grinning under his ginormous hair net, not really understanding Lola's brilliant repartee) So that means you have time for your usual?
Lola: (checks the clock) Why, not? I'll go fill up my coffee. (turns around)
Carlos: (bursts into laughter as Lola walks away) Lola, I didn't know you liked it that way.
Lola: (coming back to the griddle, confused) Wha-at?
Carlos: (as he is scraping her egg-white pepper and mushroom omelet onto a plate) Is that an invitation?
Lola: (thoroughly confused as he hands her the plate) What are you talking about?
Carlos: (gesturing to her skirt with the spatula) That.
Lola: (looking down at her stain free skirt) Well this just got weird. I'm gonna leave now.
Completely confused at the language barrier that had just occurred, I traveled back to the third floor. I heard a few giggles as I made my way to my cubicle but chalked them up to me being paranoid and not having enough coffee in my system. Oh, how naive I was.
I gobbled up my breakfast and coffee, deliberated over a few emails, and decided with wonder that I actually had time to go to the bathroom before the big meeting. I rose with a sense of purpose, brushed the crumbs off my skirt, and headed to the bathroom. Then a woman who worked in accounting gave me possibly the dirtiest look I have ever seen a human being give another as I passed by.
This was getting ridiculous now. I must have missed a stain on my ass or something. I fling open the doors to the bathroom and planted myself in front of the full length mirror. There were no embarrassing stains on the front but when I looked on the back...
Oh. My. God. The mortification spread over my face like a rash as I realized what had happened. The color of my white skirt was no match for the unique, hip hugger underwear I wore beneath it.
So there for all my company to see was Spongebob riding a bright red seahorse. Across my cheeks, in big bold letters, it read: