I had one of those the other day. These are the moments that haunt you till you are skin and bone on your deathbed, with the lifeforce rattling in your hollow chest, and the priest comes over to adminster extreme unction or whatever religious necessity is required to set said soul free from human body cage and all you can think of is how in the fifth standard you went on stage in an angel costume with a cute frilly tutu, and cellophane wings and one of the damn wings lifted said tutu up in the air behind so your ugly undies, the purple ones with the big holes in them, was on full display on stage, to all the parents seated in front. And all your friends. And your teachers. And gasp, the principal. And of course, the horror of remembering all this in one flash of sudden recollection would do your soul the horror of releasing it instantly, with the Let Me Die Right Now embarassment it caused.
Yup, had that at a birthday party last week. You havent seen much of me last week on any of the three blogs, because I was recovering from the embarassment having died one million times thanks to painstakingly reviewing the said moment of embarassment from every possible angle in the mirror post embarassing moment and coming to the conclusion that yes, indeed, this was the most horrifically embarassing moment in my entire life, save the time when mega crush came upto me and I simpered and coyed and batted eyelashes etc only to have him ask me if I would be kind enough to introduce him to mine friend. After which, all I could reply was “Gah.” Yup. “Gah.” I’ve got a list of ready responses rehearsed and at the tip of my tongue to reply right now, rehearsed and perfected to ego puncturing proportions if I ever run into him now, and can add that said friend is now 40 kilos on me in the weight sweepstakes and isnt he so regretting his bad taste in women, and wished he had the ability to undo time and history and do what he was supposed to do when he walked over to me, that time in FYJC, and ask me out on a date. Gah. Yup. I’m so saying Gah to him. And I hope he’s fat and balding too. Anyway.
What happened was a birthday party. A page three type thing that happened over last week. And I was there not by expedient reason of being a Page Three type person, but being the mother of invitee who is best friends with son of Page three type person. My task at such party is normally limited to slicking on the lipstick and spraying on the perfume and sitting back and enjoying the show. And collecting said child with return gift after the party is done. But no. I have to do more. I have to try to make conversation. Icy glares should have warned me that I was not supposed to mingle, but did I learned. I made conversation. Lots of it. With impeccably groomed sorts, flashing diamonds the size of pigeons eggs, with hair that was blowdried in salons, as opposed to mine which was wind dried on the way to said party, with make up that had been applied by professional hands, rather than car-eyeliner which I like to think I have patented but which actually is like lashless rabbit look. And folks with clothes that were the equivalent of my annual income tax returns on their immediate persons. A saner person would have sat it out and chugged the alcohol grimly. I had to go out there and put myself in the line of fire.
Post making enforced polite conversation I take myself to the bathroom to unload the countless colas I had been ingesting since I got there. And horrors, what do I see, a piece of spinach stuck in my tooth, waving itself merrily to all and sundry. And I cringed as I remembered how broadly I had smiled, how graciously I had smiled, how generously I had flashed them teeth around, and remembered photographer too clicking furiously.
Yup, twenty years down the line I am going to have the perfect line to save face, even down to making teeth spinach a fashion statement for vegetarianism or something. Right now, I’m just thinking it up and rehearsing it. In enforced solitude. And learning how to laugh discretely. Covering all them teeth.