My Child Went Potty in Coach OR Why I Don’t Like Stairs

“I have to go potty! I have to go potty!”, shouts my three-year old.  As she’s going potty.  In the middle of the Coach store.  At the height of holiday shopping season. Horrified, I watch the growing puddle under  her feet…

Later, as I’m in the mall restroom washing out my daughter’s clothing and holding it under the hand dryer while she stands there in a diaper I fashioned out of toilet paper so that she wouldn’t be bare-assed in a public restroom I realize that I may just have a new contender for the “Shan’s Most Embarrassing Moments Top 10 List”.  Not that I actually have a Top 10 list – shocking and hard to believe, I know, I make lists out of everything as any regular reader is well aware of  – but if I had one, that moment would be on it.

I have had a bunch of embarrassing moments in my 34 years, just to give you a small sampling:

– the time the skirt of my pep-squad uniform was tucked into the back of my bloomers (which are basically like underwear) so my ass was on display for all to see for at least three class periods before I realized it (thank goodness I have always had a pretty nice ass… or so I’ve been told, I’ve never really checked out my own ass)

– the time I farted in my office and then a coworker walked in literally right after and I had to pretend that I hadn’t farted and didn’t smell anything even though we could both clearly smell my fart lingering in the air

– the time I knocked myself out cold when I collided with the swimming pool wall doing the backstroke at a swim meet

– the countless times I have put my foot in my mouth

– the even more countless times I have fallen. Anyone who has spent oh, an hour or so with me has seen me fall. Half the time my husband doesn’t even think anything of it anymore unless I look truly injured.  But, there is one fall that has topped them all, and to this day no fall has been as embarrassing as “The Greg Martinez Incident”.

In sixth grade, Greg Martinez was the (unrequited) love of my life. Just like any other rational sixth grade girl who wanted to keep her love a secret, I had his name written over everything; “I love Greg”, “Greg+Shan”, “Shan Martinez” – you get the idea.  I may have well just tattooed it onto my forehead.  One day, as my best friend (who just happened to have a thing for Greg’s best friend – Eric something, I can’t remember his last name, clearly he was no Greg Martinez) and I were walking up the stairs to our last period class that we had together, I tripped.  On the last stair.

Note: Stairs and I have never been friends.  I approach stairs with trepidation and caution because stairs have always had it out for me.  I don’t know what I did to them in this life or a past one to make them hate me so, but it’s clear that they do not like me.  Never have, probably never will.

I was almost home free, I had only one more stair to go, but that bastard last stair reached out and grabbed my foot and I fell.  The interesting thing is that I actually somehow managed to fall backwards, crashing into the person behind me who caught me, then kind of shoved both of us forward so that we didn’t fall backwards and careen down the entire flight of stairs. Books and papers went flying as the person behind me landed on top of me, and in the force of the fall my head crashed into the wretched stair that had tripped me in the first place.  What probably took all of 5 seconds to happen felt like an eternity.  In a daze I struggled to get up and apologize to the stranger who I had almost killed.  “Hey, are you OK?”, the stranger asked. “You hit your head pretty hard.”  I knew that voice, and as I looked up I froze.  Because it was Greg Martinez. Greg Fucking Martinez, who had been walking to class with Eric Something when some girl who apparently was lacking in basic motor skills (me) almost took him out. He helped me gather my books that had “I love Greg Martinez” written all over them while I turned bright red with embarrassment and shame, and offered to walk me to the nurse because “It looked like my head was bleeding” which I turned down, swearing that I was “OK” and then limped off to class, bleeding head and all.

Now, if that had been a John Hughes movie, that was when the dorky girl would have gotten the guy.  I would have bitten my bottom lip and then said “Hi” as he sheepishly handed me a book, and he would have said “Hi” and then picked me up and carried me out of there while the Thompson Twins or Simple Minds played and we would have lived happily ever after.  (Until three months later when we would have broken up. Because this was sixth grade after all, and no relationship in sixth grade lasts longer than three months.)

You know, looking back, while I was mortified when they were happening – I’m glad to have had those embarrassing moments that I can look back on and laugh about.  Everyone has fallen on their ass a time or two, and those moments certainly make for entertaining stories at parties. And honestly, if my three-year old taking a piss in the middle of the Coach store is the worst thing that’s happened, then I’m doing pretty darn good.

Here’s to hoping you can embarrass yourself and live to tell us all about it.  I’ll bring the wine.


*I need to thank my husband who I left behind in the store to clean up the puddle of pee by himself while I cleaned the kid – that had to have been pretty embarrassing.  You’re a trooper and one hell of a Dad and husband.


17 thoughts on “My Child Went Potty in Coach OR Why I Don’t Like Stairs

  1. Keithly…Eric Keithly. He had the most amazing blue eyes! 😉 I will never forget that day – I was embarrassed for you! If I was compiling a list of embarrassing moments, I’d have at least half a dozen falls to include. But the granddaddy of them all was the slip on a fry in the Marshall cafeteria in front of the entire football team – food flying out of my hands. Some dumb teacher came to help me up, so I thought, only to tell me to pick up my hamburger lest someone else take a spill like me. Really?! Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Shan!!

    • That’s right! You did always have a thing for those light-eyed boys…

      It’s amazing the two of us made it out of high school without breaking any major bones (or anyone else’s)! 🙂

  2. Oh those 6th grade crushes… Mine was Matt Flores. Although naturally he didn’t know I existed. So I moved on, but something wasn’t the same about those other boys. Usually they came on too strong and were my guy friends (who dates their friends???), so of course I would insult their floppy ears or their dorky haircut or the way they pronounced “coincidence” and they’d go date one of my best friends for a few months instead. Love hurts.

  3. I adore this post, and your witty story telling ways!
    Also, I remember yours & Katie’s crazy crushes, and the shoes that got passed down to me with Greg’s name on the bottom…
    Gotta love life!! 🙂

  4. I once took a piss of one of the bridges crossing into Mexico on foot. I made sure to stay on the US side though. It was 3 am afterall. Now that I think about it, I wasn’t embarassed, I just really needed to go. Oh and I was drunk.

  5. I once was trapped inside my in-laws bathroom thrown on the floor with my pants down to my ankles. I was able to muster just enough strength to crawl up to the door knob and open it for my mother in law to see me in all my splender. I looked up and asked her to call my wife in becasue I needed to “go potty”. I wasn’t embarrassed, I was just drunk. I blame it on the bottle of Jose Curevo I took down that night. Needless to say I am the stuff of legends around their house.

  6. I guess the moral of both stories here is when you gotta go you gotta go. So long as you keep it within international boundaries. I would also say that Coach needed to be taken down a notch anyway. Good for her!

    • Sounds to me that the moral of both stories is you can’t handle your liquor. 🙂
      And that when you gotta go, you gotta go – definitely within international boundaries…

  7. WOW! You have had some bad luck, but I also have bad luck. I just hope one day when i have children that those embarrassing moments do not happen to me also! Note to self: when your children say they have to go to the bathroom go to the bathroom immediately.

  8. Pingback: Mother of the Year | This is Shan's Blog

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