family is story

Most Embarrassing

Saddle Oxfords

This is what I’ll tell you when you ask me the penultimate “get to know me” question about the most embarrassing moment of my life.

I was in college, probably a junior. It was the 90s and somehow I thought saddle oxfords were making a comeback. I was mistaken. Anyway, here’s the equation that causes me to label this event as “most embarrassing:”

Saddle oxfords (if you know them, they have flat soles, no tread) plus
slate floor plus
students lined up for drop/add
divided by, the kicker, rain.

When my rain-soaked saddle oxfords hit the slate floor of the social science building lobby, I executed moves unlike any Michael Jackson could have mustered. Feet were slippin’, slidin’, glidin’, twistin’ and turnin’ across that slate floor—as a group of about 30 students in the English drop/add line looked on. Finally, carpet.

As soon as I wrangled my feet to order on the carpet, I looked over my shoulder at the slate flooring, and grumbled my complaint. What the heck? Stupid slippery floor. How ridiculous. And I never stopped. I just kept walking.

I don’t recall hearing any snickers. But I imagine them. Oh, how I imagine them.

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