Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Several Ways to Show Your Ass

Ah, the Christmas season is upon us, and it is time for folks to make merry at their company holiday parties, and general get wildly drunk and ... show their asses. At our office party, one woman who is infamous for becoming blindingly drunk, hurling insults and just stopping short of physically molesting the male co-workers, was in HIGH! spirits at this year's shindig as well. Since we look forward to dishing about her antics the day after these parties, she did not disappoint. Many arms and backs were bruised from over-hearty slaps of goodwill, many unwelcome hugs and kisses were spread around, and the boisterousness was in top form. Except for actually mooning the assembled party-goers, she showed her ass in every possible way.

Of course, there are many ways to show one's ass. In some cases, people do so quite literally.

I just heard this story: One young thing was seen to be celebrating this week in a particularly hearty fashion, while unbeknownst to our heroine, the zipper down the back of her trousers had broken, and she was proving once and for all to her assembled co-workers that yes indeed, she does go commando. (Slang for going without wearing underwear, in case you aren't familiar with the term.) An equally drunken gaggle of girlfriends was called upon to remedy the situation, and the collective stewed logic seemed to dictate that scotch tape was the answer to her problems. A most unfortunate window effect was the end result, pardon the pun, and I believe that our heroine was finally wisely convinced to call it a night and go home.

This story reminded me of my own most unfortunate episode, wherein I too showed my ass (or more accurately part of it), however unwillingly. Years ago, I worked for several months as a secretary in a small office with a printing shop attached. There were all men working there, except for the other secretary and one artist. Otherwise, it was an estrogen-free zone, and the guys sometimes acted like they were in the audience of "The Man Show".

There was one fellow there that was flirty with me, and although I enjoyed his attention, young and inexperienced at spotting immature losers as I was back then, I still refused to date him while we were working in the same place. All the same, we carried on a flirtation that eventually ended with me consenting to date him when I quit that job to go to another.

But I am getting ahead of the story. One day, I realized I heard a stifled snicker behind me while I was crouched down to file some papers. At the time, I was wearing what I thought were the cat's meow of jeans and a top that just skimmed the top of the jeans. I turned around to see Mr. Flirty & Immature standing there with a giddy look on his face, and next to him, the owner of the company, a generally decent yet often disheveled middle-aged man, looking goofy and guilty simultaneously.

"What?" was all I could think to say, since something was definitely going on, and I was pretty sure that I was being made the object of fun in some way.

"Nothing. Just keep doing what you were doing," was the suspicious answer I got from Mr. Flirty, who had the nerve to giggle at the end of his statement, not even bothering to hide his mirth.

I looked to the owner to see if he would give me a clue as to what was going on, but he wouldn't meet my eye, surely a bad sign. Still, since he was usually a very decent fellow, I (wrongly) assumed that he wouldn't be party to anything unkind or childish.

I turned back to the filing cabinet and crouched down, ever so briefly, intent on ignoring them and continuing my work, but I soon heard another stifled snicker, and then I knew for sure that I was being made fun of. They were clearly intent on enjoying a laugh at my expense, instead of letting me in on the joke, so I abruptly went over to my desk and sat down, facing them, so that they would at least have to have a tremendous amount of nerve to remain in the room and ridicule me to my face. My strategy worked, and they shortly went about their business.

Flash forward a few months, to a drunken outing shared with Mr. Flirty, by then my boyfriend, and my cousin, Ignorant Laughing Girl. (My cousin has been envious of me our whole lives, for reasons that only she would be able to explain, but she carefully covers her core of envy and calculation with a facade of loving familial attentiveness. In that way, she was passive-aggressively adept at thoroughly enjoying my trials and tribulations, particularly my most excruciatingly embarrassing moments, while affecting a caring and conciliatory front. Oh, most pathetic villianess, how many years it took me to work out your crafty, undermining ways! But I digress.)

As we sat around drinking and telling stories, my gallant boyfriend decided the moment was right to share the tale of That Day, the day of the filing and snickering in the office. It seems that the jeans that I thought were oh so flattering and stylish were also affording Mr. Flirty and The Boss a most interesting view down the gap at my waist, an ass cleavage shot to beat all. Not only did Mr. Flirty figure that this sight was hilarious, but he went into the boss's office to bring him over to enjoy the view with him!

Now, I can and will regale you will many, many self-deprecating humorous stories. I generally have a good sense of humor about such instances, and as you can see from the stories that began this post, I enjoy hearing about embarrassing gaffes by other people, too. And asses are just funny, you know?

But what made me embarrassed and sad was that this guy who professed to like me had changed a funny little episode to one of compounded small indignities and betrayals. It would have been funny to me, even if embarrassing, if he'd noticed my unwitting self-display and pulled me aside to prevent others from seeing it. Wouldn't that have been sweet and kind? The kind of funny story we could have laughed at together privately later? I would have loved that. Instead, he chose to seek someone else out, our boss, ferchristsakes, with whom he could ridicule me. They call that sexual harrassment these days, but back then, it was simply being a boorish asshole.

To add insult to the injury, he chose to betray me by relating this story in front of my cousin, rather than while we were alone. Being fair, I realize that he could not have known with what relish my cousin would have scooped up this embarrassing vignette, or how jolly she would become for literally years afterwards while rehashing the tale yet again. He could not have known how much mean-spirited mileage Ignorant Laughing Girl would have gotten out of that, but that is beside the point. If he had an ounce of respect for me, he never would have told the story at all. Their raucous laughter at my expense would not still be ringing in my ears all these years later, brought out from my memory by the butt-baring story at the beginning of this post.

I'm suddenly smiling now as I type this though, because I finally see who really showed their asses in that story.

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