So I’m really not sure what brought this story to mind, but nonetheless, I’m going to share it with you, because who doesn’t love a good embarrassing moment from high school?
When we were in high school, I had the privilege of chauffeuring my lovely twin sister to school every morning somewhere around 3 am. Ok it was probably closer to 7, but regardless, it was way earlier than school actually started. You see, Allison was a member of the high school’s drill team, and because high school drill teams in Texas are nothing if not unnecessarily hardcore, their practice started almost a full hour before school actually started.
And in case you have forgotten, Allison and I are twins, and therefore shared everything short of underwear in high school… and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few laundry mix-ups resulted in that happening as well. So of course we shared a car, and unless I wanted to catch the school bus (and I think you would all agree that one would rather die in high school than take the school bus), I had to suck it up and get to school early with her.
Typically I would spend the remaining hour sitting at my locker, trying not to fall asleep and intermittently greeting the cleaning crew as they arrived at the school. Let’s all acknowledge that the logical thing for me to do would have been to wait and do my homework in the mornings before school started. Now let’s all acknowledge that realistically my anal retentive ways would not allow me to procrastinate homework until the morning before it was due… so typically I sat there with nothing at all to do but stew over high school drama.
Male readers: this is where you will want to stop reading.
So anyway, one week I happened to be in need of some feminine products and for whatever reason, I found the idea of asking my mom to add them to the grocery list even more embarrassing than having to go to the store to get them myself. Don’t get me wrong—I also found the idea of having to go purchase them in public to be particularly terrifying, just less so. But I think you will probably all agree that (at least in high school) the only thing worse than having to put those feminine products up on the conveyor belt in front of a cute male check-out guy (because all of the hot guys work at grocery stores), was to be spotted purchasing them by someone you knew.
Enter my perfect plan.
I decided that I would capitalize on my normally useless early morning hour of freedom by going to the grocery store to discreetly make my potentially embarrassing purchase. Surely there was NO way that anyone I knew would be at the grocery store at 7 am… right?
So I walked into the grocery store, realizing that I was gloriously alone in the store, and cruised on over to the “Feminine Hygiene” aisle (next to the diapers for old people, of course) to grab the goods. I made a bee-line for the check-out area, breathing a sigh of relief when I realized that the only check-out person available was a woman. Hooray! Success on 2 counts! Right? WRONG.
Just as I set down my purchase (at the check-out line closest to the front doors, mind you), I hear, “NELSON! YO! What’s up?! What are YOU doing here at 7 in the morning?!” I turn in slow motion, only to realize that it was none other than Tyler, my sister’s (obnoxiously loud) boyfriend*.
I was caught. How was I supposed to respond? I tried desperately to stand in his line of vision to block his view of the feminine products, but it was too late. I could tell by the uncomfortable look on his face that he had already seen them. I think I stuttered something smooth like, “Oh, you know, just doing a little early morning grocery shopping!” and held up the gummy bears that were accompanying my other purchase as proof.
I then quickly diverted his attention by asking what on earth he was doing at the grocery store at 7 am. I don’t remember his response. I didn’t care, because at that point, I was too busy being mortified that a boy knew that I purchased and therefore needed feminine products.
Thankfully, he didn’t broadcast our encounter to anyone else, at least not that I recall. But you better believe it was all I thought about for a while when I saw him. And I’ll be the first to admit that even 10 years later, I am still a little self-conscious when I have to buy those things at the store. Except now I’m worried about running into our priest, or worse, my male boss. Am I the only one that worries about this kind of thing?
*On an unrelated note, that very same boyfriend of Allison's used to refer to me (for reasons I was not but probably should have been aware of) as the “Fire-breathing Dragon”… and maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think that was a compliment.