See how this dress is pretty demure? Yeah, yeah, it’s short, I know, but it has that high neck and that loose fit and those mid-length sleeves, so it’s always made me feel genteel and graceful, like someone who’d carry a structured handbag and who probably stores her hats in actual hatboxes as opposed to where I store mine, which is in a stack on the floor of my closet, underneath my cat.
It turns out that even a dress this pretty and demure stops being pretty and demure in certain situations. Like, say, when you are spread-eagled on top of a pile of rocks and wet sand (mud), having just been dropped from really quite a significant height by your husband, and especially when the rocks and wet sand (mud) that you have found yourself laying on top of happen to be located directly in front of a restaurant where all the patrons are seated facing towards the beach, making the precise spot where your husband deposited you effectively a stage upon which you now find yourself performing the grand old tragicomic classic, “Hey Everyone, Check Out My Underpants!”
So happy! So unhurt!
It started out as a moment so sweet that I could practically hear a jukebox playing Billie Holiday in the background. We were at Bar Bocce, in Sausalito: a restaurant where you can order your fancy pizza and warm olives and can (!) of rose at the bar, then eat it on the sand while sailboats bob around in the harbor and your kids play adorably at the water’s edge.
So our kids were playing adorably at the water’s edge, and suddenly Kendrick jumped up on top of a rock that jutted a little ways out into the water. He pulled me up to stand next to him, but the rock wasn’t really big enough for both of us, so we had our arms wrapped around each other. We were sort of swaying, and kissing (my son: “WHY do you guys have to KISS all the time? UGH”), and I knew that the people sitting at the restaurant could see us – and probably were, in fact, looking right at us, being as we were directly in their line of sight and kissing on top of a rock – but it was all so spontaneous and whimsical (the ocean spray! the seagulls! the imaginary jukebox playing in the background!) that I didn’t really care.
And then Kendrick went to help me off the rock and back onto the sand, but apparently all that spontaneity and whimsy got the best of him, and he decided to add a dramatic flourish to the act in the form of a swirl. Except instead of swirling me, what he did was lift me halfway up, trip, and then fall down, taking me down with him. Or, more specifically, taking me down under him.
It was one of those falls that takes at least fifteen minutes from start to finish, where you kind of stumble a bit, then catch yourself, then lose your balance a little more, then think, nah, I got this. Except then you fall a bit more, and it goes on and on like that until at some point you finally have to confront the fact that yes, you are fucking falling, and that is just what’s happening right now.
Here’s the thing: I am aware that if I start to fall on my own accord, I am definitely going to end up with my hand in someone’s soy sauce or lying in a gutter. And so I can prepare for that eventuality by, say, putting out my hands to minimize the damage. Curling into a ball. Mentally preparing myself. Whatever. But Kendrick was in charge of this particular situation, and so I was all, “No need to put any effort into saving myself, he’s not going to actually let me hit the ground.”
Oh, but he was. I saw it in his face: the moment when he knew that yes, he was going to body-slam his wife onto a pile of sharp rocks, and then he was going to land on top of her. Alas, I saw it just a hair too late to do anything other than hope that nothing I was about to land on would kill me.
(Kendrick would like you to know that he is muscular and dashing and capable of lifting – and swirling! – his wife without body-slamming her. Usually.)
It was all as elegant as you’d imagine, but I have to say, the very best part was that not only did everyone at that restaurant get to see my underwear courtesy of my very loose-fitting (and demure!) dress…but they also got to see…
wait for it…
That not only am I so lovely and ladylike that I wear lovely, ladylike dresses, but I am SO lovely and ladylike that I wear underwear that matches my outfit.
(Not usually. But this time, oh yes.)
(By accident, obviously. But COME ON. It was like I knew.)
So sure, I have a bruise the size of a pineapple on my back, and sure, a minimum of fifty people saw me half-naked, but still: I’m going to go ahead and call this one a win.