Lost in a fantasy world of being published by the broadsheets, I entered the unisex cubicle at the gym in a state of daze – resulting in my forgetting to lock the door. I was only aware of my error when I bent over, naked, to check my phone (to see if this week’s targeted paper had replied to my pitch for a bespoke article), and the door opened and jarred me hard in the arse cheek. Being cracked on the sitting bone with the sharp edge of a door is a real eye-watering experience – but I was more hurt by the embarrassment that someone had just had a close-up of my fannula. This is far from cool.
I apologise, and there’s laughter from the woman who can ever undo what she’s just seen. Then silence. A very awkward silence.
I break the ice: “I’m now too embarrassed to leave my cubicle” I shout. Nothing.
Oh this is very awkward indeed.
I can’t leave it like this – what if she posts the situation on the community Facebook page? I need to befriend this lady to stop her talking publicly about my undercarriage.
This is more embarrassing than copping off with the spinning instructor after too many Taboo and lemonades (I still struggle with that nearly 20 years on…).
There’s only one thing for it – I get ready quickly and then camp outside her cubicle – for ages. I keep myself busy applying my make-up. I look at like Jackie Stallone by the time the lady emerges. I don’t beat around the bush (pun intended) and go straight in:
Me: “I’m sorry if I just ruined your life by what you’ve just seen.”
She looks blank.
Me: “I’ve just accidentally flashed my… (think about saying ‘minnie’ know I can’t say ‘vag’)…bits at you.”
Lady: “Oh did you? I didn’t see.”
Me: “Really? Are you sure?!”
Lady: “I definitely didn’t see your bare bottom, Love, I was looking over there and just barged in – I only realised when I knocked into something.”
That something was beginning to sting – and if it had been two inches to the right it would have been the closest thing I’d had to sex in the last 3 years. And would potentially require more stitches than child birth.
I’m late for work. I think about how to explain “sorry I’m late, I had to wait outside a lady’s changing cubicle after I thought I’d shown her my vagina by accident.” This would not bode well for the security of my employment.
After the horror of the parenting forum trolls last week, my shame button has been pressed again. I make notes to myself: lock door. Remember the changing room is unisex. Get head out clouds.
Things could always have been worse – I’m hanging onto gratitude that it wasn’t someone with a video camera running, with a live connection to Sky News, and the time to then put the footage on the parenting forum I fell fowl of – next to a picture of me and the top abusive quotes from the pack of hormonal wolves that I managed to upset last week.
Live it, learn it. I hope….