hot tea and a cold morning - image from Unsplash

I knew I was in trouble as I stepped out of my car for the first time that morning. I’d taken a chance, risked it all and it was biting me on the butt. Embarrassed and more than a little self-conscious I went into the shop, determined to finish my errands and get to work on time. You can do this, I coached myself, just one step in front of another. I pushed the thought of it from my head determined to continue on.

But like all things that you know you shouldn’t do that you have now done it keeps resurfacing. Reminding me. It tugs at my leg as if to say, hi there, remember me? BIG MISTAKE. HUGE. In the shop I make my exchange and I’m heading for my car. I weigh up my options. Is it too late to go home? Can I creep back to my house, my bed, my darkened room and pretend it didn’t happen? But it was, too late that is, so I soldier on.

It’s such a short trip from the main street to my work that before I know it I’m spinning the steering wheel of my car expertly {if I do say so myself} into a car park space, pulling on the hand brake, turning off the ignition. Well here goes nothing, here we go, nothing to do now but get on with the job at hand. I hoist myself from the depths of my, it occurs to me now, ridiculously low car.

I can’t do this. I thought immediately.

Crossing the width of the car park I cringe with every step forward. The noise in my head gets louder. The reasons to turn back, to not go in there, to stop before you embarrass yourself. But I don’t. Pushing open the main entrance door I am met by the cheerful smiles of my colleagues and the down cast eyes of those waiting. Gritting my teeth I cross the foyer praying that I can hold it together long enough to not lose it in front of all these people.

The air whistles as I draw it firmly through my nose to calm myself down. Pushing it back out just as hard. Repeating that step over and over in a wild attempt to stop my heart racing or calling out in frustration. Why do I do this to myself, I ask myself silently but firmly. The flare of my nostrils is the only clue that I’m annoyed and perhaps the look of steely determination in my eyes. But I look at no one.

The safety of the hallway envelopes me and I make a decision then and there. That’s it, no more, I won’t make this mistake again. I greet my colleagues as I pass their offices one by one and as I do I lift my head a little higher. It’s almost over, I’m almost there. I’ve done it. Soon in the privacy of my own space I can rectify this whole messy situation. Do what I should have done this morning.

But with a final tug, a roll and a slip the stockings I’ve been struggling with the majority of the morning slip over my backside and make a beeline for the floor. I curse whoever is out there and watches over such things as online shopping and not paying attention when placing orders and such. Stockings that don’t fit properly, is there anything worse? My posture shrinks in an effort to hold them in place as I walk. I’m virtually crouched but I arrive.

With my thighs clamped firmly together I make a beeline for our small kitchenette where I call out to the voices I hear from the adjoining offices to hold on a sec I just need a minute in here. I bend, I pull, I kick off my shoes and pull those darn stocking off then and there. Balling them up in my hands, firmly with all the aggression I feel towards them, I dump them unceremoniously in the rubbish bin.

A huge sigh of relief passes my lips as I straighten up ready to tackle the day. Bloody stockings, I curse in the general direction of the voice from earlier, anyone for a tea or coffee? And just like that it’s all over. Crisis averted. No one saw my butt today or the gusset of my stockings that were intent on working their way to my knees. That’s a win. And you’ve got to take your wins where you can get them on a day that starts out like that.

Am I right or am I right?