Wardrobe Malfunction

Its been a while since I've given you one of my embarrassing-moments stories. I know how much you love them! This (mild) one happened to me last weekend in Georgia.

I had packed a gray pantsuit for the weekend, hoping that it would be appropriate in two very different churches: one very laidback and one very traditional. The chief benefit of this pantsuit is not how I look in it, unfortunately, but rather that it is some version of stretch polyester so it is comfortable and resists wrinkles. I have to wear it for hours on end, so I want some measure of comfort and it has to still look fresh in the evening service across town. As long as the suit isn't obviously cheap or shiny, I'm willing to make it my "itinerating missionary" outfit. Added bonus: on sale at Kohls. Enough said!

I wore it all morning while preaching and dining out for lunch with the church in Perry. In the afternoon downtime between the two services, I hung it up and changed into jeans for a few hours. I put it back on and drove to Parkway AG around 6 pm. Shortly after I arrived, I was walking down the hallway and realized that I could feel something in the lining of my sleeve. Usually sleeve lining is so light, you barely register it consciously if it brushes your skin. But I could feel a lump inside the sleeve, right against my hand (the very end of the sleeve). Almost as soon I felt it, a woman stuck her hand out to shake mine, so I glanced down and saw a huge lump visible as I shook her hand. My sleeve looked like three eggs were weighing down the end of my arm, against my wrist. I noticed the woman glanced at it in confusion, probably wondering what on earth was hiding in there.

As soon as I spoke to her, I whipped my jacket off and felt around the inside-out sleeve. There was definitely something large and stretchy in there. But I couldn't find a place where the lining was sewn tightly to the main sleeve. How on earth would something get in there? More importantly, how on earth was I supposed to get it out?

I knew that I would be shaking more and more hands if I stayed out the lobby of the church, so I retreated to the one place where no one would ever approach--the front pew of the church. I was safe there to take my jacket off casually, spread it across my lap where no one behind me could see, and feel around every inch of lining seams for holes big enough to allow something to slide in there. (One time my dad taught Sunday School with a pair of panties stuck to the inside of his shirt from the static cling in our family laundry, and with that memory in mind, I was a little worried about what I would find in that darn sleeve.) When I finally found the opening in the lining and worked my hand up through the innards of my jacket, I withdrew a black sock. My somewhat redneck thought-- "Hey, I wondered where that sock was!" I had to stuff it quickly into my purse and whip my jacket back right-side-in just as the pastor joined me to start the service. Disaster was averted, except for the nagging worry that it had been visible all morning at the other church, dangling from my arm as I preached.
Ariel Rainey