The time that I remember my greatest humiliation was when I was a sophomore at Grover Cleveland High. My third period was gym followed by dreaded history. The gym bell usually rang five minutes before the end of the period to allow us to run to our locker and get dressed, so we could get to our next class. Very quickly I realized that day the five minute bell had failed to ring and this was actually the end of class bell. The next gym class was already rushing into the locker room. I had seconds to get dressed. I scrambled to take off my gym uniform and get into my blouse and skirt. I grabbed all my stuff from my locker and ran to history.
As I approached my class I could see that everyone was already seated and Mr Goldberg was starting the lesson. I entered the classroom like a cat burglar, hoping no one would notice my entrance. I was inches from my desk when very loudly Mr Goldberg said "Miss Raber we will all wait for you to get dressed before we proceed with the class". The class roared with laughter as I looked down and saw that in my haste, I had failed to close the zipper of my skirt and my flowered undies were exposed for the world to see. I went totally red as I fumbled to close my zipper with shaking hands. I threw my things into the desk, shrunk down in my desk and tried to disappear.
I was mortified for the rest of the day and could not sleep that night, replaying the event over and over in my head. So the next morning the thought of going to school again was the the last thing I wanted to do but of course off I went. I was hoping that all would be forgotten and I could just move on from my humiliation.. Luckily the five minute gym bell rang and I hurried to history class wanting to get into my seat early so I did not have to walk past anyone. I sat with my eyes down sitting quietly waiting for class to begin, averting eye contact with anyone. The starting bell of class rang and immediately Mr Goldberg's voice boomed over the classroom "Is anyone missing this?" As my eyes looked up I saw Mr Goldberg holding up my white lacy slip that I must have left behind in the desk the day before. The entire class turned and looked at me waiting for me to claim the slip. I sat frozen unable to speak. There was no way in hell that I was going to admit that slip was mine. So I just sat like a horrified mute until Mr Goldberg took my slip and threw in the garbage.
The thing that I have learned is this in our lives there are always people who are looking to make themselves feel better by belittling others. Just because we are made to feel stupid by someone is no reason to play it forward and repeat the offense.
And of course the obvious lesson is do not wear a slip to school on gym days.