So then…I pop open my suitcase to pull out my special outfit for the big client presentation on my four-day whirlwind trip to Hong Kong. I need to look my most professional for our clients and the executives at the Shenzhen manufacturing plant this morning.
I’ve brought a special black silk suit — and yes, even pearls and high heels. But when I open the brand new package of pantyhose, I discover that it actually contains…stockings.
You know, stockings. The kind that are just individual casings for the legs, that are supposed to clip into the special garter belt you wear around your waist. Only I didn’t bring a special garter belt. Because I don’t own one.
I only wear pantyhose. You know, the kind with legs connected into a nifty little casing for your butt and waist that you just pull up — and everything stays in place like it’s supposed to? Only I didn’t buy pantyhose. I bought stockings by mistake!
OK, no need to panic. I’m an intelligent woman. I’m staying in a sophisticated metropolis.
Surely I can solve this problem before meeting the client downstairs at 7:00 a.m.
I call the hotel operator. She says, “So sorry. Hotel gift shop not open until 9:00 a.m.”
I rifle through my suitcase. Two pairs of blue jeans. I had sent the business casual pants to the hotel dry cleaners yesterday.
I call the operator again. “So sorry. Hotel dry cleaner not open until 8:00 a.m.”
Back to the suitcase. Two pairs of black trouser socks that come mid-calf. I try on the black silk skirt, which comes mid-knee.
But maybe…if I can just pull down the skirt a bit…and stretch the socks up as far as they can go…and just sort of hunch through the day, maybe it will work. I look in the mirror. Uh…no.
OK, perhaps I’ll just wear the suit without pantyhose. How bad can that be? Yes, it’s January. Yes, it’s freezing. My legs are just a shade whiter than snow. And I haven’t shaved since Halloween. I look in the mirror. Uh…no.
OK, I know, I know! I can call my co-worker. He’s just down the hall. Perhaps he has some pantyhose. Maybe his wife accidentally packed some for him. Or maybe he just travels with pantyhose for his own personal reasons. Who am I to judge? (I decide it’s better not to know.)
Back to the suitcase. I pull on the stockings. They actually look great. I walk around the room. With each step, they slide down my thighs, closer to my ankles. If only I had something to keep them up. I rummage through the hotel bathroom amenities. Qtips, cotton, shower cap, mini nail file. Where’s MacGyver when you need him?
So that gives me a great idea. I call the front desk and ask if they happen to have pantyhose available for forgetful guests. “Pardon me?” she says.
“You know, like when guests forget toothpaste or hair dryers or whatnot, and you provide it for free? Well, I need pantyhose. Does the hotel provide complimentary pantyhose?”
“So sorry. We do not offer this to guests,” she replies.
“Oh. Um…well, do YOU have any pantyhose I could borrow? Or even a garter belt? Black would be best, but at this point, I’m pretty desper—”
OK, no problem. I can handle this. My eyes dart around the room frantically, looking for some device to keep the stockings safely mid-thigh. I see the desk, which gives me a brilliant idea.
I zip downstairs to the 24-hour hotel business center. Luckily, it’s deserted. I make a beeline for the complimentary office supplies and rummage through paperclips (too short to hook to my panties), glue (too messy), and staples (too painful).
Aha! Scotch Tape!
I hike up my skirt as discreetly as possible and wrap the tape around the top of the stocking and my right thigh several times. I walk around. It seems to hold pretty well. I strap the other stocking to my left leg with layers of tape and I’m good to go. Excellent!
I sit through most of the journey to the factory in the Chinese countryside, so all is well. I alternate between smiling at my little secret – and worrying that it might be discovered. But I’m determined to be professional regardless.
As we tour the factory, I’m surrounded by the manufacturer’s executives (all men) as well as my client’s team (also all men). As I walk, I hear little crinkly noises as the layers of tape on each thigh rub against each other. I glance around to see if anyone else notices. My key buyer has a furrowed brow – but is that because he’s examining the factory’s material testing process – or because he’s thinking “What the hell’s going on under Darcy’s skirt?”
As we progress through the factory, I can feel the tape losing the adhesive battle. It makes a valiant effort, but it can only withstand gravitational forces for so long.
The stockings start to slide. I start to panic. I can’t even imagine the shock on my colleagues’ faces if my stockings and wads of tape suddenly drop to my ankles. I’d be mortified.
I quickly excuse myself to the ladies room, just as the left stocking stutters to a halt at knee level. I rip off the stockings and limp tape, stashing them in the trash can.
When I rejoin the group, the men practically have to shield their eyes from the bright white of my pale legs. No one mentions the missing stockings. I pretend to be calm and confident as my white bare limbs blind passersby.
To be candid, I’m mightily disappointed in the product quality of Scotch Tape. As I hobble through the rest of the tour, I consider sending them a strongly-worded complaint about their inferior adhesiveness in relation to the human thigh on a typical Chinese winter day.
— Darcy Perdu
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(Ever forget a crucial item on a business trip or vacation? Any wardrobe malfunctions or clever fixes? Share in the Comments Section!)
GOLDEN SIDEBOOB AWARD
Meanwhile, funny Mike Regione from Joe Floggers sent me the Golden Sideboob Award, which was created by awesome Lizzi Rogers at Considerings as a crazy award for people brazen enough to post the award to their blog!
Of course, when you brag to your friends about receiving this award — instead of applauding, they’ll look befuddled and say, “Who sent you a Golden What?” Winners get to nominate the next winner — someone funny, bold, and brazen enough to post it, so I award the Golden Sideboob to Liesl Testwuide at Hairpin Turns Ahead. Congrats, Liesl! Add THIS beauty to your resume! — Darcy Perdu
GOLDEN SIDEBOOB AWARD
More good news! Funny Fran Fischer from Fishducky, Finally! also bestowed an award that my blog is Fish Ducky approved! She says it’s almost as good as a Nobel Prize for Literature! I’ll take it! Thanks, Fran!