Here is a tiny tale that happened while traveling in my home country of the United States. I suppose it could have happened anywhere, but I was on vacation in Florida at the time. My husband and I, at the tender age of 29, went to Orlando to go to the Disneyworld complex and some other fun places. And no, we didn’t (and don’t) have kids.
I was still recovering from a motorcycle accident I'd been in about 5 weeks previously. I passed a big milestone on this particular morning, in that it was the first shower I’d taken since the accident without plastic bags cinched around my knee and my right arm. I still had to bandage my knee up again after getting out, and slide my arm back into the slit in its cast and wrap it up. But the hole beneath the bandage on my knee was filling up nicely with scar tissue. My hand was hardly green or purple anymore, it was nearly skin colored, although it was still puffy and the fingernails still hadn’t grown a micrometer, and it didn’t work at all. So it was still a bit of a chore to get dressed each day, and my husband had to tie my shoelaces for me.
Anyway, this one day, so happy at being liberated from the shower plastic, and excited to hit the theme park (we had even rented a convertible to drive around in), after re-bandaging and getting Erik to tie my shoes, we headed out the door. I grabbed a handful of stuff from the table as I passed by - loose change, little tube of sunscreen, chapstick, etc. - to put in my pants pocket. While we walked to the car, I slathered on some chapstick (I’m a bit of an addict), and held all the other pocket items in my hand as I did so (was getting quite coordinated at multi-tasking with my one good hand).
When I reached underneath my long t-shirt to put it all in my pocket, I realized I didn’t seem to have one. It took me awhile to process, and meanwhile we kept walking across the outdoor parking lot. Hmmmm, I thought. That’s strange -- no pocket. In my mind I ran through the clothes I thought I'd packed, wondering why I would pack something so impractical. A long moment later it finally dawned on me, Wait a minute … no pocket … No pants!
I realize it would have been a heck of a lot funnier if I’d gotten all the way to the entrance gate of the park or something. As it was I had only to re-cross the outdoor parking lot. Which was actually more difficult to do than you might imagine because Erik and I were laughing so hard we could hardly breathe.
“How could you not notice I wasn’t wearing pants?” I demanded of him. Naturally this was all his fault.
“I guess I wasn’t looking at you; I presumed you knew how to get dressed.”
I don’t really know why I forgot this rather crucial wardrobe component. But at any rate I’m just thankful I didn’t get to Disneyland like that or I surely would have been arrested on some kind of perversion charge, going to a kiddy park with no pants. While traveling in other countries, I have to imagine I've inadvertently committed a cultural taboo or two. Here in my home country, since I'm familiar with the cultural landscape and couldn't violate that, I guess my brain decided to go for something a little more ridiculous. It does like to entertain me that way.
Rather predictably, every day for several weeks after that, Erik would ask me as I left for work, “Do you have pants on?” To which I had to respond, “Would you notice if I didn’t?”