I can honestly say that before 11:12 am this morning, there was no certain event in my life that brought so much mortification to me that I literally wanted to whither up and die rather than look the moment in the face and keep breathing. That was until 11:12 am this morning.
Today I wore my new pretty yellow dress. We were leading worship for a packed church after a long weekend of hanging out and doing music with about 150 students. I was on stage finishing up a song. The song finished. I, in my 3-inch gray heels, began to walk off the stairs at the front of the stage.
And this, this is where it becomes a bit blurry. I think I made contact with the first step. The first of six steps. But by step two I was completely on my knees, in my yellow dress and gray heels, and I was slowly flailing down to the ground. 500 hundred people in front of me were silent, then gasped in unison. You could have heard a pin drop.
I stayed on my knees. I never fell, I just slid down all five steps on my knees and ended up looking like Steve Martin in The Apostle, hands in the air, knees to the ground, praying for miracles. Time stood still. I could feel some blood. But more than that, I could feel 1,000 eyeballs boring into me. I heard giggles. I saw the terrible look of concern on people's faces. And I could see the guys out of the corner of my eyes looking shocked and trying not to laugh!!! Meanies.
I sat there, for the longest 20 seconds of my life, in so much pain, wishing that at that moment I could be raptured or hoping that a deacon would come streaking through the auditorium or that maybe a tornado would touch down, just for a moment, so I could quietly slip out the side door and hide in the bushes for the rest of my life.
But none of those happened.
When I could finally move, I stood up, and fighting back the burning tears of humiliation with all my might, I looked up to the completely stunned and silent auditorium, threw my hands up in the air, and said...."I'm ok," in the happiest voice I could get out. They clapped. Then, they let themselves laugh.
It reminded me of seeing my old college roommate over the Christmas break. She had braces and a scar on her head and just looked a little different. When she told me that she was vacationing in Rome and had been HIT by a city bus...I totally lost it. Not the moment to laugh, I know, but it was so shocking and so unexpected that a laugh is what came out. Who gets hit by a bus? In Rome? On vacation? But mainly, who gets hit by a bus in real life?
Likewise, who falls down a flight of stairs, knees first, in front of a silent, 500 person filled sanctuary? I would have laughed at me as well.
As I stood myself up, the strap to my new dress popped right off. I had a little jacket on over it, but it didn't help much. My strap was hanging out the back and my dress was barely secure, so I discretely tried to tie the loose strap around my head. And this was choking me but it was my only option. Now I am choking, a little bloody, in a LOT of pain, mortified...my dress could fall off at any minute, and I am hating life.
I still had to lead two more songs. I got up on stage, made light of myself and bragged on how generous all the kids were around me, plowed through the two worship songs, and then during the preachers introductory prayer (which I assume he did out of the goodness of his heart so I could try those stairs again without 1,000 eyeballs watching to see if I would screw up) I b-lined to the back of the church, found a quiet room, and bawled my eyes out. For a good ten minutes. Sobbed.
At one point a little girl heard me and came in and asked if I was ok. With my head buried in my lap, I nodded yes while snot and black mascara dripped down my face and onto my torn yellow dress. Moments later this precious little girl came back with a wad full of Kleenex, stared at me with her beautiful, comforting eyes and said, "Don't be sad."
She made me smile, little moments of beauty in the midst of such horribly embarrassing pain. Still, I have yet to get over the humiliation. I have broken down in tears about 12 times today at the drop of a hat. I am seriously considering burning my shoes, maybe the dress too so it doesn't remind me of the 'incident' and I am laid up on the couch nursing my rug burns, scrapes, and multiple lumps and bruises all over my legs with ice...and ice cream.
So…here’s to my most embarrassing moment to date and to hoping you had a better day than me!!! Tomorrow it will be funny. Tonight...well, that's another story.