I used to wear really baggy clothes. I mean, really baggy.
Towards the end of the first semester of my sophomore year in college, I had a Child Development final that I spent all night cramming for. I went to bed late, but I set the alarm for 7:30am, thinking I’d have enough time to get some extra studying before the test.
The alarm didn’t ring. Or maybe it rang and I turned it off and went back to sleep. Or maybe I only think I set it. The point is that when I opened my eyes it was 8:49am and my exam was at 9:00am. I stared at the time until it registered that I was not only late, but really late. I only briefly considered giving up and going back to sleep. But worries like failing out of college propelled me out of bed.
I didn’t have time for luxuries like brushing my teeth or peeing or even putting on a bra. I slid into some pants, slipped into some shoes and out the door I went. Running.
The professor had warned us that the doors would be locked at 8:59 and that no one would be allowed in after that point, so I was fully expecting to arrive too late. I was amazed when I pulled the handle and the door opened.
The lecture hall was full and as I stepped in I saw a teaching assistant move to lock the doors. I had just made it. I hurried to find a seat. Because everyone liked to pick isle seats, all the seats available were in the very middle of the rows. So I had to hop over legs and bookbags and books and lecture notes and small animals and I think a leprechaun to get to my seat. Once there, I plopped down with relief.
I had made it.
The teaching assistants passed out the test.
I finished early. Very early. So early, in fact, that I thought maybe I’d missed something. I double checked. But by then I really had to pee and was anxious to get out of there. So I picked up my bookbag in one hand and the test papers in the other and got up.
As I made my way down the isle – again, hopping over bookbags and books and mythical creatures – I started to feel a slight tingling sensation on my hip. I wasn’t sure what it was, so I continued my way to the end of the row.
When I got to the isle, I realized that the tingling/tickling sensation was actually my pants slowly inching down my hips.
I realized right then that in my haste to leave the dorm room I had forgotten to button up my very baggy jeans and that between the running and the leg/bookbag/chair-hopping, my zipper had come down.
So I stood there, trying to decide out what to do.
I considered my options:
- I could try to balance the bookbag and the test in one hand and pull my pants up with the other hand. But then I worried about calling attention to myself. It would look strange if I suddenly stood there pulling at my pants in the middle of a crowded lecture hall.
- I could walk really slowly and try to keep the pants from falling until I got outside.
I went with option #2.
I began walking down the isle toward the front of the lecture hall, where the professor was standing. I noticed people were looking at me a little funny, as I was walking with my thighs pressed together and sort of wobbling forward.
I was also starting to panic because my pants were seriously falling down. I could feel them dropping bit by bit with every step.
When I got to the front of the lecture hall, I reached up to hand the test to the professor, that’s when it happened: my pants gave up the struggle. I felt them pool around my ankles.
My professor stared at me in shock. We both froze. I heard the beginning of laughter behind me.
My first thought was something along the lines of, “Is this really happening right now?” Followed by, “Fuck it.”
I let go of the test, pulled my pants up and ran out the emergency doors. The alarm sounded behind me and I hurried away to the nearest private spot so I could get my pants back on properly.
In retrospect, I should’ve been more embarrassed than I was. I think I was too shocked to feel embarrassment. Walking back to my dorm, though, I remember just being relieved that I didn’t have to take that class ever again.