Avatar_DavidBentley At a recent, large, semi-formal, birthday party, I had made it to the buffet table which was filled with scrumptious looking dishes. Unbeknownst to me, a thread had come loose from my trousers. Apparently, unbeknownst to him, the person behind me had stepped on that thread. When I took another step, my entire left inseam came out from cuff to crotch, and I was dragging three feet of black thread behind me.

Dashing out of the banquet room, I found a mirror and assessed the damage. Since I was to give the first toast of the evening, there wasn’t enough time to go home and change. Besides, I only own one suit. Suddenly, I spotted a box of silk corsages, each with a large pin. So I began pinning my pants back together, deciding that I’d have to stand all evening.

An unsuspecting woman entered the room and asked what I was doing. When I showed her my predicament, she ran out the door. Shortly, however, she returned and handed me a small bag of tiny, gold-toned safety pins. Then she left without a word.

Holding my pants together, I walked down the hall and found a friend. I let go of the fabric, held out the pins, and said, "Help!" After she had quit laughing, my friend got on her knees and began pinning. After 8 pins were inserted, she looked up and said, "That's as high as I go. You'll have to do the rest yourself.” So, I put in two more pins, retrieved my plate of food, and took a seat at the nearest table.

When it was time for my toast, there was no way I was going to walk across the room to the microphone. So I stood at my table and, in my very best teacher's playground voice, delivered my toast. People were looking at my face, and my coat hung down to the shoulder level of those seated around me. Fortunately, my pinned-up pants did not show.

I never expected a wardrobe malfunction in this lifetime. I’m just thankful mine turned out better than Janet Jackson’s.

    > How do you handle embarrassing situations?
  • Can you think on your feet and act quickly?
  • Are you able to ask for, and accept, help from others?
  • Do you see the inherent humor of the situation afterwards?

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About David Bentley

Avatar_DavidBentleyDavid Bentley, M.Ed., is an avid observer of people, places and events. He uses his storytelling and questioning skills to help himself and others think outside the box in an ever-changing world.

Comments about his column can be sent to davidbentley@sanjuanislander.com

© 2014 David Bentley