Embarrassing things happen even on a trip. I think the worse one for me was when we moved to Germany to live. Because we were taking a military flight there was dress codes that had to be followed, not only for Dave (who had to wear the dress uniform) but also the family had to follow certain rules of dress. I bought a new outfit for myself and for each of the children. I made sure that the children’s outfits were stretchy and comfortable for the long trip. In hindsight, I should have bought more for comfort than for style for myself as well, instead opting for a dress pant that did not have much give to it. Imagine a flight that left in the morning on one day and you did not arrive until the next morning after having flown,disembarked and re-boarded four times before reaching your final destination.
It was a hot summer day, after flying all night when we landed in England, which was our last stop, we had flown all night and then had a breakfast……scrambled eggs I still recall it well. Anyway on the approach the pilot overshot the runway and had to pull up suddenly…..not so good on the stomach. Our 8 year old got sick…..he was sitting with his father in the row behind me. I felt so bad for him but his father had to look after him.
When we landed we had to leave the plane. We had a briefcase that carried all the important papers, like bank account information, health and dental records for myself and the two children as well as our passports, birth certificates etc. So of course we had to carry the briefcase with us at all times. Here we were in the Gatwick airport, in an isolated area early in the morning while they refueled and got ready for the next leg.
We were sitting in the terminal, I had the briefcase wedged lengthwise between my knees for safety, I looked over and our son was very pale, I went to move to see if he was ok, forgot about the briefcase and somehow made the awkward move which resulted in me hearing a loud rip…….my pants ripped. Luckily I had taken a coat sweater with me, so I tied it around my waist and went to the washroom……the seat of the pants was ripped open almost to the waistband of the pants. Of course I did not have a sewing kit or pins with me. I asked a couple of ladies in the washroom and none had anything. I went out in search of a store, nothing was open, found a janitor and she did not have anything either, so could not help. So here I am walking around with a sweater tied around my waist on a hot day…… embarrassed to death. Could not do anything at that point, so when we boarded I got one of the stewardesses aside and explained my predicament. She told me she had a sewing kit in her purse with the exact color of my pants in it, what luck……I would not have to start my life there looking like an idiot with a sweater around my waist on a blistering hot day. She told me that once we were airborne and the pilot turns off the seatbelt sign to come back and she would give it to me. Still feeling awkward, I went to my seat and sat with the sweater still around my waist,……… how obvious that something was wrong……was I ever embarrassed and red in the face.
The flight takes off on our last leg to our new home…….trouble is there was turbulence…….the pilot did not turn off the light. After a while, I could not stand it any longer and so I got up, went back and found her. I pleaded so she took pity on me, gave me her sewing kit and I went to the washroom.
So here I am in the cramped washroom, my pants down around my ankles, on a rough ride, trying to sew this seam so that it will hold….not an easy feat. When all of a sudden the door swings open, and I see a set of military dress shoes and uniform pants, I did not even look up……just kept my head down, embarrassed to death. Whomever it was, sputtered their apology and shut the door……I reached out and locked it again and kept on sewing. I finished up and then comes the worse moment of my life, I realized that I had to walk through the aisles to my seat not knowing whose feet I had seen, but they would know me, especially since the pants I was sewing were purple, I was bound to stick out. Not only was I embarrassed for this person, and whomever he had told, to see me; but also remember that I had walked to the bathroom on this extremely hot day with the sweater tied around my waist. I tried to decide the best way to handle this so I figured that I would wear it on the way back as well so maybe it would not be as noticeable, then when I got to my seat I simply took it off and folded it on my lap.
I will never forget that moment in my life….felt like the longest walk ever and Dave told me how red in the face I was as well which would only make you more noticeable. I never did find out who it was in the doorway but I learned a great lesson and still to this day I never travel without a sewing kit in my purse.
You can’t let life’s unexpected twists get you down, you just need to take things as they come, learn to get over it and have a wonderful trip.