As you know, I’m not the housekeeper or bather or lovely old woman that people expect of me. Well by now, maybe nobody expects anything of me.
Anyway, back when I was working I did bathe regularly for obvious reasons. Of course, deep down, bathing and combing my hair have always been optional activities, but for the sake of people I worked closely with and keeping my job, I compromised.
Every evening I would pull down my pants, underwear and all, and leave it along with my tee shirt in a heap on the floor, and then shower. That way my clothes for the next day would be waiting for me to dress in the morning. I just had to pick them up and throw them on. This is called “optimized living” — not lifting a finger for anything that is not absolutely necessary. Trivialities like hanging clothes up or putting them in the washer are not in my living vocabulary.
Some day I should write a book called “Optimized Living”. I like that!
Anyhoo… one day I had an important team meeting. The manager, project lead, and members of the entire team were at the meeting. We were discussing the direction of some technical problem, so it was serious and the discussion deep. Our meeting room was sunny and beautiful, surrounded on two sides by picture windows, and we all sat around a round table.
I was listening to the debates and making notes when I suddenly saw something out of the corner of my eye. I looked down at the ground by my feet, and there lay my dirty underwear from the day before. I can only guess that it fell into a pant leg and rode to work with me before deciding to climb out the bottom of my pant leg in the middle of this all-male meeting, three feet away from the feet of my manager, who sat opposite me.
I wiped the red from my face and put on an “oh dear, I dropped my hankie!” mask. There was no way of knowing whether anyone was engaging in my little drama. The guy sitting next to me was watching the discussion, seemingly oblivious to my plight.
I reached down to this thing that was obviously a pair of dirty underwear and obviously NOT a hankie, and deftly scooped it up. Resisting the somewhat sick urge to wipe my nose with it, I put it in my pocket. How I made it through that experience without wetting my pants or spilling an uncontrollable confession to everyone at the table is a total mystery.
Then I grabbed my pen and notebook and pretended nothing had happened. No one ever mentioned it to me, and I never mentioned it to anyone, ever.
From that day on I learned: “Optimized Living” includes shaking out your pants before putting them on in the morning!
Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?