Saturday, August 18, 2007

Three examples of personal wardrobe malfunction

The year - 1986.

I was a cocktail waitress at a nice restaurant. The backbar in the lounge was about 15 feet high and had glass shelves over a mirror that held liquor bottles all the way to the top. To reach the top shelf the bartenders used an old fashioned sliding library ladder.

One night someone brought a camera and we workers posed for pictures on the ladder. I was wearing a short wool mini-skirt with a tan houndstooth pattern and a cream colored sweater. Classy. But in posing for the picture I failed to put my knees together and the photographer got a shot straight up my skirt. Because I was sitting on the ladder my crotch was at about eye level, and hence was perfectly centered in the picture. Bad, yeah. But what was worse was that I was wearing my nylons inside out, so the crotch shot is of that white cotton panel that should have been on the inside.

The year 1989 -

Before Manhattan became the 'New Disneyworld', like in the David Dinkins days, people were actually kind of afraid to go to New York. Saying you were going to New York was akin to saying you were going to Beirut. I had my college internship in Manhattan and was really nervous. People said things like 'don't make eye contact' as if Manhattanites were zoo animals likely to throw you to the sidewalk and sever your achilles tendon with their teeth. On my first day on my own in Manhattan I was wearing a tailored rayon blouse (this was the 80's, remember. Rayon was stylish!) and some of those really wide legged Kate Hepburn pants with the "paper bag" waist that was cinched in with a belt.

As I walked around midtown I realized that everything I heard about New Yorkers was wrong. Lots of people were making eye contact with me and lots of people were smiling too! I had heard that this vile breed never smiled. I strolled down Madison Avenue and swung into an irish pub (Dwyer's, I think) to go to the bathroom and get a beer so they wouldn't mind me using the bathroom. Once I got into the bathroom I realized that all the smiles were because my big pants with the extra long fly -thanks to the high waist that meant from about my bottom rib to my crotch - were unzipped. This was not a subtle 'oh, your barndoor is open'. This was hey, I can read all of the word 'Monday' on your undies, open.

I still think most New Yorkers are nice.

The year 2007 -

At the pool last week my two girls were throwing their swim goggles and then swimming to the bottom of the pool to get them. Eldest threw her goggles over to the swim lane area and couldn't find them. Though I was at the pool in my suit I didn't plan on swimming, but lost goggles are getting to be a thing around here so I went in after them. My child was characteristically vague about where she thought the goggles might be so I ended up covering most of the swim lane area of the pool as well as the big kid area. This space is governed by no less than three life guards. I was trying my best not to get in the way of the swimmers in the lanes. I kept making surface dives, at one point coming up beneath a lifeguard chair. The lifeguard looked at me and started to say something but then she stopped. I thought maybe she could see the pink goggles from the surface, but no.

Finally I found them lying on top of a black lane stripe on the bottom of the pool. I went over to the side and when I reached out of the pool I noticed that my left breast was about 3/4's out of my swimsuit top. The 3/4's part that includes nipple.


Splotchy said...

It just goes to show you, that fashions may change, but classiness never goes out of style.

Great stories.

FranIAm said...

Jess- I love the progression of stories here... really brilliant and so funny.

And your reference to the Dinkin-sonian days. It was scary-wonderful then. Madonna was still off-beat and sketchy, a little too fleshy for her own good. I would frequent night spots that were unsavory at best in neighborhoods that are so gentrified now it makes me ill.

I am a little sad I didn't see the midwestern girl with a her brilliant Mary Tyler Moore smile and open fly though. I might have been a bit hungover that day.

And the pool story- priceless. Thanks!

pygalgia said...

Fun stories. And, guess what, most of us have seen a nipple (hell, I think that may be the first thing I ever saw) so it's no big deal. But we all have clothing tales we would rather forget.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I'm sure all the young boys appreciated seeing a little boob, and your breast as well.

Jess Wundrun said...

splotchy my imaginary television mother could not have said it better.

franiam remember when the 42nd /broadway subway stop was the most dangerous? I remember the 4' pleasure appliances in the windows of the sex shop in Times Square. When my parents came to visit we had a nice dinner at an Indian place in the upper 40's and afterward started to stroll down Broadway toward Times Square. My dad freaked and we went home. (I was staying with a friend in New Jersey).

pygalgia truth or dare? your turn!

Dr. MvM Maybe the tween boys set for pure nipplage sake, but I'm afraid nobody else wanted to see my raisin in the sun!

Distributorcap said...

nipples! oh my -- the end of american civilization......

george bush to the rescue!

fairlane said...

At least you were wearing pantyhose, I thought you were going to say you were wearing thigh highs.

FranIAm said...

4 pleasure appliances! Ah such memories!

As a New Yorker, I am happy to not feel quite as threatened by crime(not due in one part to that bloviating blowhard Rudy!) but I sadly mourn the Disnification of Times Square.

When I travel, in NY or elsewhere, I think you must learn to move upon the more sketchy places on earth with a sense of confidence and a little fear to keep you engaged.

Now I am not suggesting that I will pull a "McCain" and head off to Baghdad. However, I do like to see the darker underbelly of places. It keeps you alive.

That would include visiting the same places in one's psyche too.

Oh those shops... Now we have ToysRUs and Sephora.

On another note, my office is downtown near NYU(and Distributorcap's apartment!) and I used to hang in all these questionable nightclubs down there from 86-89.

While still kind of a fun area, it lacks the edge it once had.

Someone once told me that safety, comfort and routine are the real opiate of the masses(which is why religion can be) and I would whole heartedly agree!

Sorry for the long comment rant! It was just the thought of being in that subway station at 2am many a night, wondering what might happen next... (nothing did!)

commander other said...

as a photographer, i try to make sure each wedding i cover has at least one crotch shot. normally at the reception, but once, it was during the family portraits. long story. i won't bore you. recommendation to those who are not yet married: get drunk AFTER the wedding.

thanks for the linkage, by the way. you should have said something! it has been requited, m'lady.

dguzman said...

Thanks for the memories; I'm thinking back to the day I had pigeon poo in my hair--all day--and no one said anything until I was about to go home.

And the childhood photo where I'm wiping milk off my lip and all my siblings tease me about picking my nose on camera.

Oy vey. Need to go see therapist now.