The situation is one of my Top 5 Most Embarrassing Moments. It is burned into my memory like major life events: my parents dropping me off at college, the exact moment I discovered I passed the bar exam, my wedding day, the first time I laid eyes on my children.
It was freezing cold in March of 2012 and I was three days past my due date with my first daughter. By this point, I could barely walk, acne had taken my face hostage, my hair looked like a “before” picture in a Frizz-Ease infomercial, my back was sore, and I was angry at the world. I got out of bed and drove to the other side of Tampa to buy dog food, as the only place that sold our preferred “high-end” brand was across town at a Petco located in a strip mall. (After we had kids, the dogs got whatever cheap-o brand was available at the grocery store. You know how that goes.)
From the strip mall parking lot, I could see a new boutique had opened and there were mannequins wearing beautiful, “hip” clothing in the windows. (Not the type of clothes a thirty-year old pregnant lady would be caught dead wearing, if I was even lucky enough to get the pant leg over my thigh.) The entrance of the boutique was decorated with balloons and streamers.
I decided to check it out.
Maybe I can buy some cute clothes I can look forward to wearing a couple months after the baby is born.
I walked inside the boutique and was excitedly met with three adorable, skinny, young female employees who screamed “CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE OUR VERY FIRST CUSTOMER” as flashes from a camera struck me in the face.
I almost started to cry.
Oh my goodness, I am SO SORRY I’m your first customer.
They were probably hoping for a college student with blown-out hair, perfect eyebrows, and a tiny body who would look perfect trying on their high-waisted jean shorts, which were in style at the time.
Instead, they got me. With black labrador retriever hairs stuck like velcro all over my (fifteen year old) fleece jacket, pajama pants that I’ve had since college, and oatmeal from breakfast still stick in my hair. They probably assumed I crawled out from the Starbucks dumpster.
Look, if you want, I would be HAPPY to step outside until someone else can come along and be your “official” first customer.
They wouldn’t hear of it. So I bought some rompers (that had elastic waists) and an A-line dress.
I was the Preggo in the fitting room.
This whole event got me thinking about truths of life. Of course this couldn’t have happened on a good day, when I showered, my hair was done, make-up on, and I was feeling presentable. Instead, it happened on a day I was feeling my worst.
Then I started thinking about other Universal Truths that are consistent as the rooster crowing, sun shining, and moon rising.
1. It is impossible to get out of Target or Home Depot without spending more than $100.
2. With kids, you will not be able to get out of the house on time for the most critical time-sensitive appointments. Something will happen.
3. You will find your lost safety pin when you are walking around barefoot.
4. One-size-fits-all is either way too big or way too small.
5. You will accidentally send a rough draft that includes handwritten, stick-figure doodles to the client instead of the final version.
6. The dropped piece of toast lands with the buttered side down.
7. As soon as you sit down with a hot cup of coffee, your boss (or kids) will ask you to do something that lasts until the coffee is cold.
8. As soon as you (finally!) find a cosmetic you like, the company discontinues it.
9. The person with the window seat on an airplane has to get up to use the restroom a million times when you’re sitting by the aisle.
10. You blow-dry your hair on a day it rains.
I recently contacted the very sweet owner of the boutique to see if they could send me a copy of the pictures from the Grand Opening. Fortunately (for me), they couldn’t find them.
I realize there are “worse things” in life that have happened to people than showing up heinous at a store’s Grand Opening. This morning, I almost got into a car accident after running a red light and stopping just in time before T-Boning a Dodge pickup truck. All because I was more focused on trying to search for Bruce Springsteen on Spotify than paying attention to the road. Lesson learned and crisis averted. That would have been worse.
Cheers to embracing Murphy’s Law and being able to laugh about it.
Special thanks to the awesome ladies at A Haley Boutique for being such gracious sports! You earned a longtime customer.