‘If you don’t do a lot of stupid things while you’re young, you won’t have funny things to talk about when you’re old. ’
No more ‘baby dolls’ PJs for me.
Did your mother ever tell you to not leave the house without having on clean underwear because you might be in an accident. Well, certainly you wouldn’t want to wake up in the hospital with dirty underwear. As if that would be your major concern in this scenario.
I must not have put much stock in my mother’s warning because early in my marriage, I got caught in an embarrassing situation “with my pants down” so to speak.
Picture this — It was about 2 a.m. in the morning. The phone rang. Never good news at this time of night. It was my husband. He worked nights at Daybrite in Tupelo when he was not on duty as a firefighter. We lived on the other side of town.
He says, “Honey, you gotta come get me, I can’t get the car started and everybody else on the shift has already left.”
I was sorely irritated because the man passing himself off as my better half had been putting off taking the car to the mechanic. He knew there was a major problem, he’d already been caught in this situation a couple of times. I was always called late night or early morning right in the middle of a dreaming about Leon. That’s Burton Leon Reynolds! (Well, he was pretty then). I was so not in a good mood.
I grabbed the keys and rushed out the door rehearsing a few choice words that I would use to blister some ears.
Forgetting everything my mother told me, I cranked up my little red Mustang and whizzed out into the street — wearing my baby doll PJs — forgot my robe — and let’s just say — they were not opaque heavy cotton. But, hey, it’s 2 a.m., nobody was going to see me. They had already rolled up the streets for heaven’s sake. Everybody with any sense was in bed and everything looked like a ghost town.
If you knew me back then, you will remember that I was slim and not hard to look at. Well, it’s true.
Oh, shut up. I didn’t always look like this. Old age is going to whip up on you with an ugly stick and you’ll look just like me. Just wait.
Back then, we didn’t have cell phones to keep up with each other so I had no way of knowing that my husband had finally gotten his old clunker started and was headed home, evidently taking the high road while I took the low road. Yes, I drove the little red Mustang because the wife always drove the best car. I pounded that in his head until I won that argument.
He was not in the Daybrite parking lot where he was supposed to be. As a matter of fact, there was nobody anywhere in sight. So, here I am trolling around in a not-so-good part of town, a bar here, a saloon there, looking for this idiot husband and turning the air blue with some choice observations on life in general and marriage in particular.
All of a sudden, there are pulsing lights flashing in my rearview.
Could not even find a handkerchief to modestly cover — things. I had rushed out of the house in such a snit I didn’t have my purse. No ID, no driver’s license. And evidently, I had also left my modesty on the dresser.
Two cops walked up to my window. Took a look inside my little red Mustang and broke out in goofy grins.
Lo-ord, have mer-cy!
The fat one says, “Having a hard night, are we? No customers out?”
“No, no, no,” I said, “You don’t understand. See — what happened was….”
I never knew if it really took 30 minutes for them to believe that I was not a hooker or if they were just stalling and enjoying an entertaining break in their routine.
I got out of that situation without going to the big house and without a ticket. I don’t know how, but I remember promising the heroes in blue that I would never, ever do anything like that again. Well, I hadn’t actually done anything. It was what I didn’t do that got me in trouble.
The humiliation really hit when I learned that the two goof-balls knew my husband — therefore knew me. And they were having fun. And they told and retold this story to my utter shame.
After that fiasco, I would don a long-sleeved flannel gown that buttons up to the neck, a hoodie sweater and dark glasses.