Since on a daily basis inappropriate things happen to me that just shouldn’t happen to anybody, I figured I would take the time to isolate one of these past moments, and explain it in detail for anyone who wasn’t present when it happened. During these inappropriate times when normal human beings would walk away or feel the slightest hint of embarrassment, I have been both gifted and cursed with the ability to laugh at thwarting, overwhelming moments. The good news is, it keeps the mood light. The bad news is, sometimes people don’t always understand why I’m laughing.
Scenario: Senior year of college, first semester, second week of classes.
It was 9:00am outside Anderson’s Bakery, downtown at my university. I’d retrieved my daily treat, a medium French vanilla coffee, extra cream and extra sugar, (A.K.A. what would get me through six hours of classes). I walked out of the coffee shop, sunglasses on, and while completely and utterly consumed in my caffeine fix, I noticed a worn out leather tri-fold wallet drop at my feet. It was as if the angels of broke college students began singing good luck hallelujahs, EXCEPT, I’m not an a-hole. I knew I had a choice, take the wallet, or be a good Samaritan and chase down the person walking a just few yards in front of me.
I snatched the wallet from the sidewalk, muttered something to myself about how stupid it was having a conscience, and jogged my way close enough to tap the person on the shoulder. From behind this person appeared to be a middle aged man, about five foot ten, muscular, sporting a white t-shirt, gym shorts, and sneakers. HONESTLY, it looked like it could have been my dad…with a hectic mullet.
“Excuse me sir, I believe you dropped your wallet and I…”
It was too late. The individual I pegged as a man turn around to reveal HERSELF. Of course after doing what I thought was a nice deed and chasing down a stranger I pegged as a dad look-a-like to return their wallet, which for all I knew contained credit cards, a million dollars, or the winning megabucks ticket, the man WOULD be a Woman.
I know what you’re thinking:
Carley you’re a horrible person!
IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!
And it gets worse.
Feeling absolutely terrible for not only assuming the gender of the tall bulky figure in front of me, but also assigning gender to the kind of leather wallet MY DAD uses, I did what comes most natural to me. I laughed. I was not in hysterics yet, but I let out a close mouthed nasally laugh. We all know this laugh, it sounded like I was about spit or blow my nose.
“..Thhhhhanks.” She muttered (with extra emphasis on the ‘th’).
The woman looked at me with an unmistakable ‘ARE YOU KIDDING?’ glare, ripped the leather wallet out of my hands, and briskly walked away. I didn’t blame her for her ungratefulness, at least she said thank you. I held it together until I turned around to see a group of college students, who I did not know, standing in the coffee shop doorway. They burst into laughter upon making eye contact with me, and the outburst propelled me into a motion of hysterics. I began laughing so hard I dropped my coffee. I leaned against a car, which was not my own, to keep from falling over. We all stood breathless for a few minutes, until we regained control of our bodies. Every, “Oh my god did you see that,” and every, “that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen,” sent us spinning into the cycle all over again.
I eventually found the car that was mine, drove away with no coffee, and texted everybody I knew.
Photo Credit: http://piccsy.com/2011/11/awkward-moment/