A couple weeks ago, I made a passing blog reference to the day I threw up in my underwear.
Ever the astute reader, my agent was on it immediately. “Is that true?” she tweeted. “Sounds like a story.”
It is indeed, one I’m pleased to share for no other reason than it’s a drizzly Wednesday and I feel like laughing and I’m generally the easiest target for my own mirth.
During my middle-school years, the confluence of wonky hormones in my system made me prone to crippling migraines that hit at the most inopportune times.
The most inopportune time of all was the last day of 8th grade. I was dressed up for the occasion in a stretchy lavender miniskirt and matching top with my bangs teased to terrifying heights.
I looked hot. Well, as hot as an awkward adolescent with braces and bad hair can look.
I made it halfway through the school day before disaster struck. My first clue a migraine was coming was the fact that my classmates were all missing their heads. I tried to pretend it wasn’t pre-migraine blurred vision, but was soon forced to accept the fact that decapitation wasn’t a class prank.
I hustled to the restroom thinking green linoleum and a quick pee might somehow prove to be the migraine cure my doctor hadn’t discovered.
There I sat with my knees tethered together by my underwear when the first wave of nausea hit.
It wasn’t unusual for a migraine to make me nauseous, but it was unusual for it to happen without warning – and to do so when I was seated upon the only appropriate vomit receptacle in the vicinity.
I hurled. Not just a little ladylike “urp,” either, but the product of a hearty school lunch.
And then I sat there in horror at what I had just done.
I had a few options available to me. Drowning myself in the toilet seemed most appealing, but the thought of my parents claiming my body in a school restroom was not the tender scene I’d envisioned.
Hitching up the puke-filled panties and pretending everything was normal was also not an option, or at least not one I wanted to consider.
Discarding the evidence seemed most logical, but then what? I was a 13-year-old self-conscious adolescent, so the thought of parading around the school in a thin miniskirt sans underwear didn’t hold the same appeal it would if I’d been a drunk pop singer.
But it had to be done. Thoroughly disgraced, I mopped up the mess, wrapped everything in toilet paper, and carried it to the trashcan by the door where I buried it deep beneath a mound of wet paper towels stained with Wet-N-Wild lip-gloss.
Then I trudged to the office to phone my mother for what would prove to be the first in a series of awkward calls she received during my school years. Though admitting I’d puked in my underwear was more mortifying than later admitting I’d lit my hand on fire, I was at least able to provide a more satisfying answer when asked if I’d done so intentionally.
Finally, I did the walk of shame out to the curb, careful not to sit down or stand in any direct sunlight.
And though I missed the ceremony, I feel confident I have a more interesting graduation story to tell than any of my classmates.
So that’s how it all happened. Aren’t you glad to share in my humiliation? If you feel like offering your own embarrassing story in the comments, please do so.
No sense in me being the only one to bare all, right?