Sweaty Impulses & The One That Got Away

I’d never given much thought to the term ‘maxi pad’ *waves good-bye to a few male readers* until a trip to see my family in Minnesota. Between the altitude of the plane ride and the overabundance of estrogen in my largely female family, I should’ve known that a less-welcome guest, Aunt Flo, would join me. No big deal, right? One would think.

“Uh…Mom?” In the bathroom I’d found only shelves of towels, shampoo and bulk-size paper products—seriously, enough to mummify an army. “I thought you said you had girl stuff.”

[girl stuff: A Minnesota-polite term for maxi pads and tampons]

Wait. Those giant paper products were the girl stuff.

[maxi: A thing that is very large of its kind or a skirt reaching to the ankle]  —Dictionary.com

Not only were the pads—if you could call them that—large, but as sticky as dollar store band aids and as soft as styrofoam bricks. In fact “brick” is about the best description I can conjure. But like many Minnesotans, my family comes from sturdy Scandinavian stock. I could take it! And heck. A maxi-brick beats a toilet paper wad any day. *waves good-bye to a few more males* (Thanks for trying!) I could always buy more girl stuff during our errands-run later.

First, I decided to hit the local gym. Heating the body early in the day is often a must in MN. Others must agree, as the place was packed. I soon spotted another crowd attractor. Between the free weights and the ab-er-sizer machine stood a muscular trainer. Let’s call him Sven (Svelte + Norwegian). If I’d been in Hollywood, I would’ve assumed Sven was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s trainer, an actor who plays an athlete on TV or the latest gym infomercial fit model. Add to his physique wavy blond hair, turquoise eyes and a friendly smile and you can imagine the result—chick magnet extraordinaire.

Uff-da, Sven! Where are your pants???

But I wasn’t there to Sven-ogle. I wanted to sweat. (No, not that kind of sweat, you naughty-naughties.) So I hopped on a treadmill and started running to the beat of my workout tune mix.

Several songs in, I felt something. A subtle draft. Just more chill, I figured, and kept running. As the draft intensified, I sensed what was happening. I looked down in horror. *insert JAWS theme* The maxi-brick moved, seemingly in slow motion, out of my shorts and toward the treadmill belt, bounced off, flew through the air and landed—inches from svelte Sven’s feet and amidst a crowd of exercisers.

[impulse: a sudden wish or urge the prompts and unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination] — Dictionary.com

If this were a romance tale, Sven would have prompted my sudden urge and wishes and been the one that got away. But I don’t write romance, and this real-life story is far from heartfelt. (Think horror, thriller and Seventeen magazine’s “Say Anything…”)

Without a thought, I leapt from the treadmill, grabbed the styro-brick, carried it back to the machine with total nonchalance and pretended it was one of those towels used to wipe sweat from the equipment. Yes, I “cleaned” the treadmill with styro-max. My cool facade lasted until I reached the brisk outdoor air, which, for once, felt GREAT. I laughed so hard I spilled tears and told no one until several years later.

To this day, I don’t know if Sven or others recognized what actually happened or if the double takes I perceived inspired nothing but inner-giggles and embarrassing thoughts. (“OMG! I actually thought she…!!!”) If anyone called my bluff, I’m sure a rendition of the story circulates somewhere. If you’re out there, bluff-callers…do I want to know?

Your turn! Any embarrassing tales to tell? Have your “impulses” surprised you? Have you fallen prey to a maxi-brick pitfall?

Leave a comment

87 Comments

  1. Catherine Johnson

     /  January 30, 2012

    OMG! That’s too funny! And I do have a similar story when there seemed nowhere in the ladies to put a certain something I shoved it in my karate suit, forgot all about it and it rolled out under the chairs as I was running around. You are the first to hear that so embarrassing! So similar had to share. Ingenious recovery you made there!

    Reply
    • Ha ha! I love it, Catherine. And I’m honored to hear it first. 🙂 A little resourcefulness can make for great, or at least memorable, stories.

      Reply
  2. Kourtney Heintz

     /  January 30, 2012

    August, thanks for a great giggle. Something similar happened to me at work. *cringe* I sat in an alley of cubicles where 8 people sat back to back in two rows. Five of whom were guys.I reached in my purse for my wallet and when I yanked it out a maxi pad flew down cube alley. Toward the guys. I tried to play it off as no biggie but lungs for it. So embarrassing. My femlae coworker saw everything and we both laughed about the flying feminine products. They guys however pretended not to notice. Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Agh! Another good (um, hilarious) one. 😉 Regardless of how many flying faux pax we endure, they’re so darn funny! More so in hindsight than mid-blush.

      Reply
  3. LMAO. I might be able to share if I could stop laughing!!!!!!!!!!! Damn those gorgeous guys hanging around at the most inopportune moments!

    Reply
  4. Thank you for my first laugh-out-loud of the day–and it was a good one!! I don’t know what I admire more: your ingenuity in handling the manner (nothing like a good treadmill-cleaning product) or your courage to blog about it!

    Reply
  5. Haha. Yeah, I think you may find your male readers make a polite run for it today, but we girls will all be here laughing so loud you can probably hear us through the computer. And nodding our heads because I think every single female has had a similar experience.

    Reply
    • Does that mean you have one to share?? Kidding, though I do wonder if I should start a fem. product-themed story collection… All too embarrassed (arguably wise?) to share can use pen names. 😉

      Reply
  6. AHHHHHH! No Comments from me today!

    Reply
  7. Well, I read the whole thing and laughed a lot. I mean, eww, but hahahahahahahahahaaa

    Reply
  8. gingercalem

     /  January 30, 2012

    Oh mercy! This is amazing. I had a HUGE incident once in a movie theatre where I had to basically take off my panties, roll them in a seat protector and shove them in my purse. Then wad up a lot, like a ton, of toilet paper and well … you know. I about died! Glad I discovered this AFTER the movie. I have no idea about the movie seat. Thank goodness they were red. *blush*

    Reply
    • Nu uh. That’s too much, Ginger! Then again, considering my own ordeal, I can’t help but believe your story is at least as embarrassing as it sounds. Thanks for sharing—nice to know I’m not alone!

      What women go through… No wonder we’re so darn creative!

      Reply
  9. OMG – SHUT UP!?!??! NO WAY?!?!? That is THE funniest thing ever – your recovery was priceless!!! OMG!!!
    Oh lord – embarrassing stories – oh yeah, got me a few of them! I seem to be an attraction for them.
    How about the time Hubby, me and the Dude all went to do TreeGo (obstacles/zip lines in the trees: http://www.treegomoncton.com/english.html). Before going, we stopped for lunch at my FAV pasta restaurant – yum! Off we went in the HEAT of summer. The place was packed! You do the obstacles in four stages. You are 20 feet up in the trees!
    Isn’t that when my bowels decide they do NOT like lunch and attack me with cramps that disabled me from WALKING let alone going through OBSTACLES!!!
    I barely made it through stage 1 and down the ladder. When I hit the ground, I was crawling. I could not physically walk. I was moaning and sweating profusely. People were SCREAMING for a medic, who came running. All I could think was: please…not here…not in front of all these people…
    Near fainting, I asked her in desperation “WHERE IS THE NEAREST BATHROOM…”
    When she told me that it was about a 20 minute walk, I thought I was going to die. There was no way I was going to make it.
    “I am GOING TO BLOW in 2.5 lady, I don’t think you understand and I really don’t want to shit my pants in front of everyone…”
    She directed me to a thick part of the woods where I crawled off with a crowd of about 20 or 30 people watching…
    Total humiliation! Seriously!
    Ahhhh but we laugh about it now…

    Reply
    • ROFL!!! Natalie, that’s hysterical! As is your telling. Outside in front of a CROWD? I peaked at the link and felt my stomach lurch imagining cascading through the terrain with food-stuff churning. Hmm… They should at LEAST reimburse you for the fertilizer. LOL (Couldn’t resist!) I bet your family has a blast teasing you about that. Woah, pun totally not intended. *sigh* Now MY stomach hurts from laughing… 🙂

      Reply
      • Can you believe they did NOT refund our money and neither hubby nor the Dude continued on the course. Cost us like $110 plus lunch for $60 and gas $60 for me to take an attack in the woods…
        I mean, after the episode I hung my head and shame and demanded to return home immediately! I’m all for “going in the woods” (as you’ll see in an upcoming post) but NOT in front of 20-30 people!
        Fertilizer. Blast – girl you are seriously funny!! Love the puns….WAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

      • WHAT?! There should be a lawyer who specializes in such…things. LOL I’ll keep an eye out for that post! And read it well between meals. 😉

    • Natalie…omg thank you for sharing that. I have a similar story, except I was in Jamaica. At Dunns River Falls. (I apologize now to all who have been). I was trying to climb it with a tour group and I slipped on a rock, which resulted in me tearing my ACL. I freaked out, because we were halfway up the falls and there is just no way off them once you start. I couldn’t put weight on my knee, and my bowels kicked in just like yours. I knew I had limited time to get out of there and into a facility. Well, the guide pulled me off to the side into this wading area and there I had to wait for everyone to pass by so he could then help me off the falls and onto the trail where it was another, oh, 100 feet or so to the bathroom. I tried to explain I had NO TIME to wait. He didn’t understand me. Between the pain in my knee, the fear of being in the rushing cold water that I just KNEW was going to sweep me right off the mountain, to the IBS…to the adrenaline rush…well you can all guess what happened. I tried so hard. I didn’t make it. I feel soooo sorry for anyone downriver….and when I did finally make it to the facilities I literally exploded. There was no part of that bathroom untouched. I’ve never seen anything like it. Nor, I suspect, had the poor restroom attendant. I will never, ever, show my face there again. I will probably never go to Jamaica again. I may never show my face again here, either. *turns bright red*

      Reply
    • I didn’t cry enough reading August’s posts…you had to share one just as hilarious! My humiliating moment involved those same stomach issues. 🙂

      Reply
  10. OMG!! Cringe, cringe, cringe!!! You are so brave to relate this tale at the risk of losing all your male readers (I’m surprised some of them are still around to comment!). LOL ;D
    Nothing unsettles my normally stout and burly BF than going into detail about that time of the month, which we affectionately refer to as ‘girly-time.’
    My most embarrassing moment was when I was on a working holiday and I was renting out this bed-sit. It was a real hole and I had to share a bathroom with the opposite neighbours. They were two guys but I never got to know them – they were non-English speaking foreigners who were quite elusive.
    I desperately needed to whizz once and ran in but forgot to lock the door. As I was, errr, relieving myself, I heard the door handle move. I instinctively got up,mid-whizz, to go and lock it. It was too late. The dude came in, saw me at my most vulnerable, got the shock of his life, and ran out. Thank God I never got to know them properly… *cringe* 😀

    Reply
  11. I laughed right out loud, good recovery! Great story!

    Reply
  12. mgmillerbooks

     /  January 30, 2012

    I echo Tim: No comment 😉

    Reply
  13. WOW! That is a story if I’ve ever heard one (and I’ve heard some doozies). That takes embarrassment to a whole new level!
    No seriously horrifying tales here… other than having a pastor of a church where I worked walk in on me in the bathroom, and another pastor nearly catch me pumping breastmilk (working postpartum does provide some embarrassing moments, I have to say). In both cases, the men of cloth were highly flustered and I just laughed!

    Reply
    • I can see how men of cloth and breast feeding might not pair well. Um, that sounded…wrong? I swear I didn’t plan it! 🙂 Sounds like you had a great attitude about it, Jana, which you should’ve!

      Reply
  14. +1 on the no-comment list…

    Reply
  15. I always complained God (more after I got married) that why didn’t she made me woman? Thanks for showing me a brighter side. I am still puzzled though, how is …!! well never mind, I guess ignorance is bless here. 🙂
    Embarrassing moment for me? … August pointing out why I continued to read like a nosy parker even after two clear warnings during the read.

    Reply
  16. So funny and so resourceful–using it as a towel? That’s just plain awesome August!

    Reply
  17. Hilarious! Poor Sven. I should’ve been there to offer him comfort after the trying ordeal. 🙂 And, who cares if he forget so don his trousers? You mentioned the horrible wadded up toilet paper solution. Well, here’s one for you. I was staying at a friend’s house. Aunt Flo came to visit and I was forced to resort to the toilet paper solution. Well, when I woke in the morning, I realized the “solution” was missing. I yanked the sheets off the bed. In my dash to the laundry room, I found the “solution” in the middle of the hallway floor! My friend and her husband were in the kitchen drinking coffee. I never said a word. Neither did they.

    Reply
  18. OMG!!! *busts out laughing* Oh I can picture that so clearly. *eyes watering…wipes away tears…*

    Oh oh oh….I’d have left. There would have been no doubt in anyone’s mind what it was because I’d have been beet red and slinking away lol. Oh my lol.

    I do have an embarrassing story, but not sure anyone wants to hear it lol. Maybe I’ll share someday…but it’s not nearly as funny as this. More mortifying. Let’s just say there’s an entire country I’ll never visit again.

    ah, thanks for the giggles!

    Reply
    • Well now you HAVE to share it, Melinda! Don’t leave us hanging! Um…high dry? Why is everything out gross or naughty? Argh… So did THAT! 😉

      If you’d like to borrow Sven for some extra humor or pizzazz, feel free. I think Luna may know his whereabouts by now…

      Reply
      • Well, since Natalie shared hers…and this is a safe space, right? It’s not like the whole internet can see this…right?! lol. I put my story as a reply to hers because they are related lol. Look above lol

      • You are so funny, Melinda! So sorry you had to endure all that. But what a story, right?? You’re a rock star for sharing in this ever-so-private forum. 😉

  19. Hi August.

    I have no idea what this post said because I couldn’t read to the end. I’m sure it was good though. I did flip past the picture of Sven and am wondering what his involvement in the story was … but not enough to go back and find out!

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Ha! Nigel, your comment made me laugh almost as much as those from people who read the whole thing. And yes, Sven was involved. He was ME before the operation. (Just trying to save you the full-read embarrassment.)

      Reply
  20. So…funny…can’t…breathe…laughing…so…hard!!!!

    Reply
  21. Oh August, you’re so cool and poised. I would’ve never thought to pretend nonchalance by wiping up the equipment. LOL!

    Reply
    • Wow… Poise was probably what I felt LEAST at the time. I’ll have to share your comment with my mother, who just loves when I mention the “flying maxi pad” the story—as you can imagine. 😉 Thanks, Sheila!

      Reply
  22. Okay, first of all, what’s with the guys not commenting! I totally think Nigel read it all, he’s just too shy to admit it.

    I’m with Diana, I can’t think of a funny story right now because I’m laughing so darn much. At you and at Natalie! You poor things!

    Too frikkin hilarious.

    Reply
  23. OH. MY. GOD. I am crying I’m laughing so hard. Thank you for the entertainment at your own expense. 🙂

    Reply
  24. Oh. My. God. I am dying of laughter! Seriously!?!? That sounds like something that would happen to me!! Thank you for having the guts to share such a “mortifying” story. Or at least it was so at the time 😉

    My most embarrassing moment would be falling during the final ballet performance of my senior year and saying the F word loud enough that the first two rows heard. Yeah. We just all pretended like that one didn’t happen.

    Reply
    • Tell me you have a video! 😉 That is HILARIOUS, Ingrid—something you could write into a screenplay. I love it when such things get pushed under the rug…only makes them funnier!

      Reply
      • I know right!? I do have the video but the audio didn’t pick it up. Maybe with today’s technology we could zero in on it 😉 It’s an old VHS. But it could definitely go into a screenplay. It’d be one of those things that people would say, “No way that would happen in real life!” But ohhhhh…. it did. LOL!

  25. Natalie Hartford's Hubby

     /  January 30, 2012

    Man – I’m glad I didn’t take the two exit routes you provided for the male species….best story ever!!!! I bet from every day forward – girl stuff is tucked in every nook and granny of your life – purse, dash of car, sun visor, sunglass cases, pencil cases, middle of magazines, sleeves, hoods,socks, is that a blackberry holder on your belt? Why no batman its my girl stuff utility belt!

    Well done!

    Reply
  26. Natalie Hartford's Hubby

     /  January 30, 2012

    I thought this video might be appropriate for the Minnesota Large female family emergencies:

    Reply
    • AGH!!!!! ROFL! Okay, pausing…to catch…my breath. I had a Spishak and didn’t even know it! Wonder if I should sue for slander or plagiarism or something, as I’m pretty sure they were trying to imitate me. Blondie even has my old accent down!

      *sigh!* This was too much, in the best possible way. You’re so awesome, you could be married to that super fahbulous ahhhmazing beauty queen I know. Oh wait… 😉

      Thanks both of you for brightening my whole darn day.

      Reply
    • gingercalem

       /  January 30, 2012

      Ok, not only is this video HILARIOUS to the one-millionth degree, it’s trumped by the fact that you, Natalie Hartford’s HUBBY, found it. Bless you!!

      Reply
  27. Natalie Hartford's Hubby

     /  January 30, 2012

    Last one … I swear

    Kotex Classic – watch more funny videos

    the safety harness may have saved you that day but then there would have been no story for us!

    Reply
  28. OMG LOL! I can’t touch that! Especially with your class-act handling of the situation! Closest I’ve ever come is left the john with TP stuck in my skirt. I guess that’s not so bad!

    Reply
  29. Okay, this was an interesting day to visit. Obviously this was an embarrassing/laugh later event! I’m hanging with Fabio and Tim on this one girl. 🙂 Hee, hee, hee!

    Reply
  30. Kecia Adams

     /  January 30, 2012

    Wow, August! SO funny! Can’t even come close with my breast pump in the Army scenario. 🙂

    Reply
  31. “I’d never given much thought to the term ‘maxi pad’ *waves good-bye to a few male readers*”
    Hilarious, August! You have a gift, young lady. Keep sharing it -PLEASE!!

    Reply
  32. I knew when I saw ‘maxi pad’ in the tags this was going to be a good one. And I was right. I laughed until I cried (and cringed…and was SO glad it wasn’t me!). I’d have probably made tracks for the nearest exit and never returned.

    And yes I, too, have a moment that was humiliating. Only even now, after about eight and a half years I still don’t find much humor in it. My father moved about 450 miles away and eventually bought a home on a lake up north so that we had a central place to visit when he came up. This particular trip was after he was diagnosed with cancer so it was very stressful…not to mention the fact that EVERYONE was there.

    Without going into a lot of detail I will say that this incident involved a really nice day, a deck filled rail-to-rail with family members, a bathroom with an open window located about five feet from the deck…and the 20 ounce bottle of V8 Splash I’d downed during the 2 1/2 hour drive to get there.

    That was the first time I’d ever tried V8 Splash. And the last for a long, long time.

    Reply
  33. miq

     /  January 31, 2012

    Ohmigosh! That is priceless. I wish I thought so quickly on my feet. If that had happened to me I would have turned beet red, run out of the gyn, and hoped the tears stayed in my eyes until I was in my car. You, however, are a bit of an impromptu genius!

    Reply
  34. OMG August, how I do love a woman who can think fast under fire. You rock. Yes we all have a few embarrassing stories and no, I’m not sharing mine. *blushes furiously and hides head* At least not right now. tee hee
    August, I have awarded you the so richly deserved Versatile Blogger award. See details here. http://www.prudencemacleod.com/

    Reply
  35. I am late to the tampon party because yesterday I was writing my embarrassing moment! Hahaha!
    Nice save! I would have been mortified….

    Reply
  36. Holy cats, woman!! What a story! And here I thought I had the most embarrassing story. Me, I just had a surprise visit from
    Aunt Flo on prom night in a pale yellow dress…let’s just say I was glad I could blame it on the strawberry cheesecake we had for dessert!!

    Reply
  37. Dang, anything to attract the Scandinavian hottie’s attention, right? Two thumbs up for staying and finishing your workout! I would dart out of there with a speed of a Road Runner!

    Reply
  38. You are so amazing to put yourself out there like you have. Sorry I didn’t comment yesterday when I popped on here. This story filled my heart with laughter. We’ve all been there, in that embarrassing moment, right? I don’t think any of mine come close to the entertainment value you’ve provided here. Great post!

    Reply
  39. You’re reaction is priceless. I laughed so hard while on the elliptical at the gym… well, I was happy I was wearing long pants.

    Reply
  40. August, because I love your posts so much, please stop by my site on February 2nd (tomorrow) for a special treat!

    Reply
  41. journalpulp

     /  February 2, 2012

    I’ve always thought of a kotex as a kind of manhole cover.

    And what do you do when your kotex catches fire?

    Throw it on the ground and tampon it.

    Reply
  42. Ouch. I’d never thought of having problems like that – score one more for the list of reasons I’m glad to be a guy… 😉
    Sounds like you covered it up well though, that was quick thinking!

    Here’s an interesting question to consider: when is it appropriate to use a hilarious/mortifying (delete one) incident like that in your fiction, and when will it just break the reader’s immersion?

    Reply
  43. Oh my, I truly lol’d at that one! I can just picture it. Ok, want to hear my most embarrassing moment? I had just finished my swim at the gym and was headed to the locker room. Standing there, leaning against some of the mirrors was hottie trainer and equally hot friend, both giving me the up and down. So I put a little extra wiggle in my hips and width to my smile as I strutted past, only to notice the little boogie in my nose as I walked into the ladies room. Eeeeeeek! It was weeks before I went back to that 24Hour Fitness.

    Reply
    • Oh that’s funny! Reminds me of one Christmas in particular. I’d decided to make BIG beanbag chairs for my kids, nieces and nephews. I bought all the fabric I’d need, but was unsure what to use to fill them. A friend recommended packing peanuts, so I called around, found a lumber company that had enough for forty beanbag chairs…and they said I could have all I wanted. They’d even supply the trash bags to haul them home in.

      So I filled six HUGE bags, stopped at the gas station and finally headed home. When I walked into the bathroom I noticed a bunch of tiny, very white particles from the packing peanuts that I had breathed into my nostrils. It could have been worse, I suppose, but I was glad I never had to return to the lumber company. And I did avoid the gas station…and the attendant that must have laughed her butt off after I left…for awhile. 🙂

      Reply
  44. You are a soldier…

    If this maxi-littered post didn’t scare male readers away, then the pic of Sven probably did the trick–well, not ALL your male readers 🙂

    Reply
  45. August,

    That was the funniest story I have heard in a long time. I of course shared it with my daughters. The 18 year old seemed more embarrassed than you did. Thank you for sharing.

    William

    Reply
  46. Oh gosh, that had me laughing and cringing at the same time. I’ve had lots of embarrassing things happen to me, like my child screaming across a department store the question, “Why do you have hair on your bottom and I don’t?” I pretended she wasn’t mine;)

    Reply
  47. Oh August! I’m late to the party (browsing round PInterest and followed it here) and you’ve got me snorting juice out my nose! And stories everyone else has left have been just as good. I see a mash-up link coming!

    Reply
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