Callaghan models the staggering height of summer fashion for the neighbors.

I believe I owe you an explanation for the teaser I left at the end of my last post.

The evening I found Callaghan in his underwear on the back patio, I’d gone to the gym solo, as he had to work an hour late. He would get home at 6:30-ish. I would return from the gym at around 7:00.

Right on time, I walked into the house with sweat plastering my t-shirt to my body, looking forward to jumping into the shower… but my usual announcement of Mommy is home! was met with unusual silence. Callaghan can be heard before he’s seen, and I didn’t hear any sign of him.

I looked around and spotted Nenette doing her evening cat thing of lounging sleepily, recently woken from her late afternoon nap. She wasn’t behaving at all like a cat whose Daddy was home.

Callaghan had taken his motorcycle to work that day, but before I went to the garage to see if it was there, I checked my phone. No new texts. I walked through the whole house. I didn’t find him.

Then I wandered back into the kitchen area, just as I heard a rapping on the back door leading from the kitchen to the backyard. I went to the door window and looked out onto the patio.

Callaghan was kicking back in the patio chair next to the door. He had his backpack with him, and he was wearing just socks and underwear. When he saw me, he started gesticulating and grinning like a crazy person.

The first thing that struck me was that he had chosen his Gaston LaGaffe socks that day. Gaston LaGaffe is a Belgian comic strip character whose surname means “The Blunder.”


Les chausettes de Gaston LaGaffe.

Les chausettes de Gaston LaGaffe.


The second thing that struck me was that Callaghan was doing something on his tablet, like it was normal to be engrossed in one’s iPad while wearing just socks and underwear – or should I call the whole ensemble blunderwear – on the back patio.

The third thing I realized was that he was locked out, but I was already laughing, so it was too late to feel profound sympathy. (I do feel profound sympathy for blunderwear-wearing-Callaghan now that I’ve gotten the amusement of the spectacle out of my system.)

Something clattered to the ground when I unlocked the door and pushed it open. It was the screen for the door window, all crumpled up. He’d tried to break into the house.

“I forgot my house key, ” he said.

“Oh no! Poor Baby!” I said, laughing harder.

“I hosed off the top of my head to stay cool,” said my bald husband. It had gotten up to 110 degrees that days. “I drank from the hose, too.”

“At least we know that someone would have to make a real effort to break in,” I said, perversely triumphing in this discovery.

Fortunately, he’d only been locked out for a half-hour. I’m pretty sure some of the second-floor residents of the apartment building behind our house got an eyeful of him in his socks and his unmentionables.

(By the way, have you ever wondered why the term “unmentionables” is used almost exclusively for women’s underwear, while it’s fine to “mention” men’s?)

The moral of this story is “have a spare key to your house hidden somewhere outside.” Duh.

Making my entrance again with my usual flair. (Yes, I’m a clown.)

I didn’t want to start this post with “Welcome to Embarrassing Confessions Tuesday” because I believe I’ve already started at least one post with those words, which gives you an idea of how often I land myself in embarrassing situations. Anyway. If you’ve been here a while (and even if you haven’t), you might be wondering what happened this time, so let’s dive right in, shall we?

I spent the weekend indoors with a head cold, instead of going out to listen to music (as planned) and hanging out with our friends who are visiting from France (also as planned). Good thing our visitors stayed in a hotel! I opted out of their activities because I needed to rest, and, moreover, I didn’t want to get anyone sick.

On Saturday, Callaghan took them for a trek over to the local ghost town, the Superstition Mountains and the cursed house over there that I used to own and inhabit (that might be a story for another time). Sunday’s plan was to leave early in the morning to go up north and explore Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Our friends were to come to our place in their rental car to pick up Callaghan.

When the alarm went off at 6:30am Sunday, I woke up momentarily, closed my eyes, and opened them again just minutes later, it seemed. Hearing Callaghan muttering to himself in French off in the distance, I called out to him, wanting to know what was wrong. No response. I listened and heard more muttering, though I couldn’t make out any words. I thought he sounded agitated, but maybe my brain superimposed that state of mind over his verbal stream, since the only time he talks to himself is when he’s pissed off. There were other noises, too… a slamming door, things getting thrown around. All the noise woke me up, and I don’t wake up easily! Something must be really wrong, I thought. I called out again, and then a third time. When he still didn’t answer, I got out of bed and went to see what was happening.

Folks, it was not my fault. It was very early, I wasn’t fully awake, I was sick, and I didn’t hear any other voices but Callaghan’s. I stumbled into the living room, which was atypically bright with the overhead light that we rarely use.

And everyone was there.

You know that classic bad dream where you’re standing in your underwear with a bunch of people staring at you? YEAH, THAT HAPPENED. Christophe, Sandrine and their nine-year-old daughter were right there in the middle of our small apartment living room. Christophe was less than three feet away from me. I was wearing panties and nothing else.

There was that painfully suspended moment of eye-popping shock on everyone’s face when we all realized that I was pretty much naked, you know, that longest moment ever where it’s registering that someone in the room is in their underwear… and then I shrieked and apologized at the same time that they gasped and apologized and everyone was awkwardly apologizing as I turned and ran back into the bedroom, Callaghan close behind me. I jumped into the bed and pulled the sheet over my face. I was abjectly mortified. I’d walked into a room full of people wearing only panties! I couldn’t believe it.

Callaghan held me through the covers and said, “Baby! I’m so sorry! I thought you knew they were here!”

He thought I knew? HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW? I’d been asleep! When they came to pick him up the previous morning, they didn’t come up to the apartment… he went down to meet them! How was I supposed to know that this time, they were all coming up? How was I supposed to know ANYTHING when I was half-asleep, groggy and disoriented with my head blown up with a cold virus? My brain wasn’t even on yet, much less alert with any clairvoyant knowledge of this sort!

After he apologized (so many apologies all around!) and reassured me, he left me in the bed, saying he’d come back to kiss me good-bye before they left. But in my mind, the only course of action I could take – the only way to remedy the situation and get on top of my mortification – was to go back out there, because facing fire, humiliation, whatever head-on is how I do (to borrow an expression from zfrank1). I was NOT going to lie under the covers and hide. I had to recover my dignity.

So I got out of bed, put on my short gray robe, and marched back out to the living-room, throwing my arms out wide for dramatic effect and saying loudly, “LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN! BONJOUR!” and we all laughed. It was comic relief, and it was effective.

And that’s how you make an entrance after your first entrance is an epic, humiliating FAIL.

But this was how I felt inside, beneath the false cheer:





When the gang got back that night and we all went out to dinner, we engaged in normal conversation as if nothing had happened. But I knew and still know that they know what I look like naked, and that makes me feel, well, naked.

So, what can we learn from this?

–If there’s even a remote possibility that people are coming over at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning, don’t go to bed naked (or just in your undies).

–If you call out for your partner and get no response, don’t go out there… just call louder, repeatedly.

–If you must sleep in only your undies, at least wear cute ones, because you never know who is going to see them. Fortunately, mine were reasonably cute. I was wearing a Barely There CustomFlex Fit Bikini in the pale blue zebra stripe, and I must say, that was a fortunate circumstance. I wasn’t wearing a thong (thank goodness). I wasn’t wearing granny panties (I don’t own any, anyway). The bikini was the ideal model of underwear to have on if I had to get caught wearing nothing else.

I hope that reading posts like this makes you feel less alone in your own embarrassing moments!

As for me, I’m still sick, but the cold’s progressing toward the end – it’s dropped a little lower and now I’m coughing a lot, as in, constantly. It should be out of my system soon!