Her Bad Mother

Thursday, March 29, 2007


So, I'm feeling all good and all this past Wednesday afternoon, wrapping up teaching for the week, posting a little 'hey I'm off for a few days' post, gearing up for a little travel and a lot of talking, good friends, interesting projects, s'all good.

Then I head into the washroom to freshen up before heading home for the day - after an afternoon of lecturing - and notice. That. My. Fly. Is. Open.

Zipper. DOWN.

As it must have been for, oh, the previous couple of hours. During which time I:

1) Chatted with a colleague outside the student union building;

2) Met with three different students, seeking help on assignments;

3) Conducted an hour-long lecture on the thought of Karl Marx.



So, of course, I had to spend the next half-hour in the washroom, assuming every conceivable lecture-posture and examining the effects of said postures on visibility of open fly (hands in pockets - fly gapes open; arms folded over chest - fly gapes open; pacing - fly gapes open.)

I ceased posturing when a faculty member from the Department of Economics came in and raised her eyebrows at me, and immediately set about washing my hands, quite unnecessarily.

It was at that point - my attention momentarily diverted from my crotch - that I noticed that I had suddenly sprouted a giant zit on the very frontmost tip of my nose. And became immediately obsessed with figuring out whether that zit had been there throughout My Afternoon of Zipless Stupidity or had just sprouted, and, then, whether the presence of a giant zit on the nose of a zipless lecturer might distract from her state of ziplessness.

I concluded that it all just sucked. I remain committed to that conclusion. Am silly, and slovenly, and none too happy about it.

So tomorrow morning I get on plane with my zit and travel to Kentucky whereupon I will meet good friends and speak publicly and generally expose myself to further opportunities for embarassment. Feelin' good about that.

Nothing like a double dose of the stupids AND the uglies to nuke one's self-confidence.

Tomorrow will be a better day. But I'll be sticking to skirts, just in case.


Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh no! The same thing happened to me at a playdate and there is photographic evidence...gasp!

Hope tomorrow is zit free and zipperless!

9:13 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

LOL! This made me laugh out loud. I'm sorry about the zit and the zipper.

I'm traveling to Kentucky tomorrow too, what are the odds???

9:37 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

I've had enough embarassing stuff happen to me in front of students to dwell on it too long. The best was when I sat on the edge of a desk that apparently had its legs set a bit too far inside. The desk tipped, my coffee flew and spilled all over my overhead transparencies (smearing my notes on the author), I almost fell, the desk rebounded and hit my ass, causing me to injure my back. Nothing has ever seemed quite so bad since.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

At least the zit does not need a passport, nor does it require you to purchase an extra ticket.

I'm just saying.

I'm pretty sure I went through part of the day yesterday with a jaunty and misaligned boobie pad peeking out of both my bra and my v-neck t-shirt.

Have fun at the conference, sure wish I could be there ...

9:44 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I don't understand why people don't SAY something. I mean, anything!

I went a few hours today with a big moustache of blackcurrant apple juice. I was out with a mom & baby group which meets weekly so they are not my best mates but still. Can't they just say "you have a blue moustache"? Or "you have something" [point point]

It just bugs me.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Next time, Mimi, for sure! FOR SURE.

(And, Shannon, gah. I might have died a worse death had one of my STUDENTS approached to point out the fly. At least as things stand I can PRETEND that it might not have happened. But I take your point. :))

9:56 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...


10:09 PM  
Blogger LushlyMe said...

well, Marx is kinda a "balls out" kind of topic...

10:18 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

you're totally making me hot right now...

10:19 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Joy, the fact that I know you're tipsy right now makes this comment all the more special.

And, Lushly, YES. Thank you. Balls out.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Well, at least you got all of the embarrassment out all at once, and before you went to Kentucky.

I've had days like that as well. I remember just wanting to go home and crawl under my bed for the rest of the day.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

Oh man. I won't laugh.

But I will share.

I went to the post office after eating dark pumpernickel bread without brushing my teeth.

I can only imagine what they said about me when I left.

Enjoy KY!

10:48 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Ok I am so tired and supposed to be on my way to bed, but this just made me laugh.

I have had the surprise attack zit myself and it is so awful to catch a glimpse and find it right there on your face - when it soooo wasn't there the last time you looked.

Hate that. Have fun in Kentucky too! Can't wait to hear all about it.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee. Hee. I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you. You're laughing right? Ahem.

I hate the zits that appear after you leave the house. How do they appear out of nowhere like that? Ugh.
Sorry about your day. Have fun in Kentucky.

2:44 AM  
Blogger N. said...

And I'm NOT laughing AT you, I'm laughing in close proximity to you but AT the memory of something else funny on your blog...am I selling this at all? ...didn't think so.
Careful with the skirt, cos tucking the back up into your panties is way worse than any old open fly.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Oh...man. It never fails does it? That does suck. Once I tucked my pantyhose into my skirt at work and I think it took me about 5 years to recover from that one!

Good luck with your trip. Nobody will notice your zit because they will be too awestricken with your fabulousness. :?)

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hate when that happens.

7:00 AM  
Blogger S said...

Bad things come in z's?

Once I walked around in public for a good long while with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.


8:02 AM  
Blogger moplans said...

like mouse I have had more embarassing moments in front of students than I care to remember.
Skirts particularly worry me though bc of that ditty "As you climb the ladder of success, don't let the boys look up your dress"
have a great conference.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Um, well....

On a positive note, at least you had underwear on behind the open zipper.


9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh crap! Ugh.

I'm sorry, but I can't help laughing. I can picture you pacing and try poses in the washroom and that's just damn funny!

I hope you had on your hot mama panties! ;)

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I hope you don't think "sticking to skirts" is the safer option! Lots more opportunity for embarassment: skirt tucked into underwear/pantyhose/tights, skirt turning on it's own so zipper is not in centre of the butt, static, revealing too much during leg repositioning... dude stick to pants with no zipper!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

LOL! Thanks for the good laugh. At your expense of course. That's always an embarassing thing.

As for your choice in skirts, though, make sure you don't tuck the skirt into your pantyhose like I've done before.

Yep. More embarassing than an open fly...

9:52 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

See, this is still far less embarrasing than the time I accidentally wore a sheer top to classes in university with a truly whory bra (truly, truly. It was nipple-exposing, for one.) underneath. I suddenly realized that I JUST DON'T GET THAT MUCH MALE ATTENTION NORMALLY. I still blush to think about it.
I hope that makes you feel better. Your fly may have been down, but at least you didn't look like a tart.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

Dying. Laughing.


Not really, but I'm trying.

Just be careful with the skirt. No one wants to know if you wear floral panties or not if you accidentally tuck it in your hose.

Presuming you wear hose and panties.

But that's a whole nother comment.

I hope you and the zit enjoy the conference....

10:57 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

People: I have indeed tucked a skirt into my pantyhose, right up the back, remianing blissfully unaware for blocks and blocks of city-walking until catcing a glimpse of my full profile - with full bunched-up bum-line - in a shop window.

I have also burst into song while reviewing my notes during a break in a lecture, and I have lectured with blouse-button popped open.

So maybe that downed-fly wasn't so bad after all.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Robbin said...

Oh yeah. I was actually a witness to a skirt-tucked-in-the-pantyhose near disaster. In fact, it was on my prom night and the unwittingly exposed girl was the PROM QUEEN and one of the "popular crowd". She was touching up her makeup in the bathroom mirror as I was coming out of a stall.

As one of the resident brainiac-geek crowd, I cannot tell you the sheer scope of the moral dilemma THAT scenario presented.

Finally, I just reached over and gently tugged her hem out of her waistband.

Sigh. I am such a goody-goody. But trust me, stick with pull-on, no-fly PANTS. Much safer.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Am actually in Atlanta airport right now in STRETCH LEGGINGS.

Not as bad as it sounds.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Jerri Ann said...

too funny, I can see myself doing the same thing....hehehe

11:41 AM  
Blogger the mystic said...

I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you. Really!

Wish I could hear you speak at the conference. I never found the time to write about blogging, though I intended to. So I'll be looking forward to reading your return post.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

This is my first visit to your blog (thank Urban Urchin!), and this is why I'll be back:

"So, of course, I had to spend the next half-hour in the washroom, assuming every conceivable lecture-posture and examining the effects of said postures on visibility of open fly (hands in pockets - fly gapes open; arms folded over chest - fly gapes open; pacing - fly gapes open.)"

You are someone I understand at a deep and profound level.

And you know that skirts are no safer--they get tucked into your underwear and all.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

That happened to me when I was making a small presentation on behalf of the organization I work for. I was the "public face" of that organization and I totally went through my whole professional schpeal with my fly down! I kept hoping they hadn't noticed...not likely...I was sitting 2 ft away from them in an intimate meeting...legs crossed, uncrossed...oh well.

Also, this seems to always happen to me at church these days. Just another charming aspect of my frumpy dumpy mommy fashion.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

I have done that before! Last week I wandered out of the rest room at work with the bottom of my skirt tucked up under & my undies hanging out. Luckily, only a couple of people saw me before someone took mercy on me. But now there's a rumor going around that I've been drinking in the office!

1:54 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

At least there wasn't like, broccoli in your teeth, too.

Have a great time with Joy and B&P!

1:59 PM  
Blogger ms blue said...

Yoga pants are the answer.

I was walking across a busy intersection when the wind blew my skirt up. This only looks good for Marilyn Monroe. What makes this story even better was the guy stopped at the red light leans out his window and yells, "Next time wear underwear."

For the record I was wearing underwear. It's just that I had a hungry bum. ugh.

Long story short I feel your pain.

Have an amazing time in Kentucky!

2:02 PM  
Blogger moodswingingmommy said...

LOL! Oh, yes, I have been there!

I don't know what's worse, 50+ undergraduates or 29 third-graders (who all gleefully went home and told their parents).

The horror!

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm soooo sorry about the zipper. I have had that happen to me and it's awfully embarrassing! :(

2:22 PM  
Blogger Run ANC said...

Maybe they thought it was a Marxist statement that went over their heads...?

2:23 PM  
Blogger OhTheJoys said...

Of course I can relate to this!

2:26 PM  
Blogger Alex Elliot said...

Oh, no! Maybe nobody noticed...I have had my skirt tucked into my nylons before. I'm heading off to Kentucky next month.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Multi-tasking Mommy said...

That's shitty! Hope you have better luck tomorrow :)

9:24 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

Bah. Have left my skirt zipper down too and only discovered it after walking several blocks - albeit in New York where no one notices anything, but still.

Zits, however. Can identify all too well with zitfulness.

If it makes you feel any better, I had to read this post aloud to Kyle, who actually appreciated it (unlike most stuff I read aloud to him).

10:11 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

Ah yeah, me and my pet zit, Matilda can totally feel your pain....

10:57 PM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Okay for real...I am totally LMAO off, but with you, I swear.

I think (a) students are so focused on their own gig that it's unlikely they noticed anything past the ends of their own noses, and (b) the best of us are trained to never notice any amiss things like that---seeing as how we've btdt and there but for the grace...and all that.

Hope you have a great trip!

11:27 PM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

i prefer to think of it as Bad taking Bad to a whole new level.

4:40 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Just make sure the skirt is long enough they can't see up it and doesn't bunch into your undies...

Gah. There are times all the growing up and achievements and getting more comfy just don't matter and it's all grade 9 again, isn't it? I have on occasion had that same kind of "oh shit" moment after a whole morning at the ref desk or doing class visits. It sucks.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Wardrobe malfunction! Hey, all the biggest celebrities are doing it.

And, I have a HUGE zit on my chin---it is like a second chin. I call him 'Humpy'. Zits in adulthood suck. Don't we have enough to deal with already?

7:28 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

So THAT'S why the lectern was invented!

Oh, HBM, I tried so hard not to laugh. Really. I did. I just, er, couldn't help it.

Anyway, I am sure your lecture was so engaging no one noticed.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

I recommend a long scarf - this of it as part uniform / part towel - it serves a number of purposes [for me] disguises and distracts from scraggy neck, introduces 'interest' to an otherwise dull 'outfit' can also be used as a hanky if really desperate, especially small and pustulating spots, and may indeed start a new fashion trend if you tuck it into your fly inadvertently.
Hope you had a great trip

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in university, I remember a male professor lecturing with his zipper down. What made it all the sillier was that the end of one of his shirt tails was protruding from his unzipped trousers JUST SO. Ahem.

Oh my...I had to take notes, not LOOK there, and especially not make eye contact with any classmates which would have completely UNDONE me.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Creative-Type Dad said...

And I though a fly-down only bothered men.
I'm feeling pretty good right now.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry I didn't notice that you were flying low all lecture ;) Your blog however was an excellent form of procrastination whilist writing my essay :) I had a good laugh at this story (which is funny in hindsight.) I'm glad to see that lecturers are normal people with a sense of humor.

12:14 AM  

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