My underwear, though, was clean. She should have been thankful for that.
I was wearing plaid pants, a t-shirt that didn't match, and what we called Hong Kong shoes which were flip flops made out of bamboo. Or maybe faux-bamboo. Also, being that I was a gawky tween, I hadn't washed my hair in several days and it lay lank and stringy on the back of my neck.
My mom was mortified that I'd gone to the hospital this way. Never mind that I'd scraped off half my face in the middle school parking lot or that I'd passed out for no apparent reason during class. Appearance was everything. I was mortified that she was mortified. Why couldn't I have gotten a call from the psychic hotline that morning to alert me to the impending doom that was to be the most embarrassing day of the 7th grade for me? Why, why, why?
Mr. Butler, my marketing teacher, thought an ambulance demonstration would be a cool teaching moment. Why we were studying occupations during a marketing class was beyond me since marketing is about ADVERTISING, but hey, this was 1976.
The class certainly got their teaching moment that day. I passed out face forward--BAM--and the EMTs whisked me onto a stretcher and zoomed me over the Pensacola Bay bridge to Sacred Heart Hospital. I was lucky I didn't break my nose (that would happen later that summer at the beach) or knock out my teeth (that would happen to my cousin while we were all jumping on my bed--in the DARK) or bust my lip on my braces.
Nope, a GIANT scab formed across one cheek and I was introduced to Neosporin (a wonderous ointment.) They never did figure out why I fainted. Probably locked my knees. The whole episode was far more embarrassing than painful. There's nothing like being the center of negative attention, especially in middle school when life is awkward enough.
But hey, at least I had on clean underwear.
The irony? No one even saw my underwear. I didn't have to get undressed or put on a hospital gown.
Oh, the humanity! Ha!