Queen Dork.

We’ve discussed my dorkiness in the past.

There was the time I gave David Conrad a lift in my mom-car that looked like it had been lived in by trailer trash raccoons who had very recently survived a dust storm and acquired a hoarding disorder.

There was the time I met Mario Lemieux and talked 75,003 miles per hour and may have snuck a “will you marry me?” in there somewhere. Sorry, Nathalie.

There was the time it took three strangers at three different times telling me I left a sticker on my new jeans before I actually removed the entire thing.

I’m a dork. A huge one.

And then today.

Today I received an award from the Light of Life Homeless Mission and I’m not telling you this because I want you to pat my back or offer me kudos. I think you know me well enough to know I don’t want that. But I have to tell you I received the award because it leads to the Road of Dorkdom I walked today.

I wore white pants today to receive my award.

I can hear the ladies already gasping as if they’re stuck in some horrible tampon commercial. I assure you though, nothing happened along those menstrual lines today. I wore pants because I don’t believe in skirts. There. I said it. They’re against my religion.

Okay, they’re not against my religion, but they are against my least favorite part of my body. My legs. So I’ve gone full on Ellen. I’m all about pants until this running thing I’m doing gives me legs like Carrie Underwood’s. I love her legs. I would lick her legs.


My pants are awesome and they look awesome with my new nude/cream high heels I bought at Marshall’s. In fact, tonight I’m going to a Marathon reception and I’ll be wearing those pants and those heels, so if you see me, please come up to me and say, “Love the pants. Love the heels.”



The award ceremony was in Market Square, so I parked at a meter on Third where I got out of my car and nodded at the security guard who was standing nearby. Cheerful wave, I gave. Cheerful smile, I flashed. Cheerful, I was, Yoda.

I strode across Fourth and stepped up onto the curb near Einstein Bagels. And I stepped on a sidewalk grate. And I stepped my heel down on that grate and that grate tasted the heel of my new nude/cream shoes and said, “MINE.”

Not realizing I was stuck, I took my next step, which apparently was going to be the longest step I’ve ever taken in my life. Like, at that moment, I decided my stride wasn’t purposeful enough and I REALLY went for the step.

My shoe did not come out of the grate. And with the forward motion my body had going, I nearly face-planted.

There I stood. Stuck. One heel in the grate, and my other foot a good three feet away on account of my LONGEST STRIDE EVER. I looked like I was attempting to do a split in high-heels, but gave up halfway down. I looked like I was straddling a creek. Like I was riding the world’s widest horse.  Like I was deep into a one-woman game of Twister.

I tugged my leg. And tugged. My shoe, still on my foot, was not budging. I gave it a few more good yanks. It didn’t move. Pigeons began to approach me with interest. Was I a new statue? Did I need pooped on? Did I have a french fry?

I then looked up, into the window of Einstein Bagels, and saw that I had an audience. Three businessmen seated at the window bar, eating their breakfast and watching my predicament. I made eye contact with one of the men. I think he swallowed a guffaw. I bet he Instagram-ed me.  I bet he captioned it, “This lady. LOL.”

It was getting close to the point that I was going to have to take my foot out of the shoe and get down on my hands and knees right there on Fourth to try to free it from the grate. I was sure I was going to snap the heel off and then have to show up at the award ceremony looking like I’d just run with the bulls.

With one final yank of my leg, I freed my shoe from the bastard grate and began walking again toward Market Square as if nothing happened.

Once in Market Square, I met up with Jessi Marsh from Light of Life. We chatted for a few moments, then I told her I was going to run my purse up to Las Velas.  Up at Las Velas, in the kitchen chatting with my husband who was busy making breakfast burritos for the crowd, I felt a slight draft below my waist. I slowly lowered my head to take a look only to find that my zipper was down.

Kennywood. Wide open.

So now you have to go back to your visual image of me being all cheery with the security guard. Go back to your image of me stuck to the sidewalk grate on Fourth with my legs spread three-feet apart with an audience of bagel-munchers watching, and now you have to add an open zipper to that picture.

You’d think that’s enough dorkitude for one day, but not for your queen. Go big or go home, is your queen’s motto.

Back at the award ceremony tent, I was ushered over to stand where the other honorees were waiting, and the main honoree? Sean Casey. He of Reds fame. MLB All-Star. THE MAYOR SEAN CASEY.

And this is how that went:

“Hi! I’m Sean Casey. You have a leaf in your hair.” [reaches over and gently pulls a tree leaf from my hair]

Why WOULDN’T I have a leaf in my hair the first time I met Sean Casey? Have you met me? Of COURSE I’m going to have a leaf in my hair. I might even have a stink bug riding my hearing aid and an entire tortilla stuck to my backside.

I received my award, shook Dennis Bowman’s hand, shook Craig Wolfley’s hand, got a hug from Tunch Ilkin, and then had a photo snapped with them at which time my sweater decided to fall down and bare my shoulder as if I chose that particular moment to go full-on Glamour Shots.

But I didn’t care. Because I was too busy thanking God in heaven that my zipper wasn’t down.


Moral of this story?

Bow to your Queen.


  1. Chris Treloar
    May 3, 2013 2:28 pm

    We are not worthy

  2. C
    May 3, 2013 2:33 pm

    Dear Cousin,
    Is it wrong that I just laughed out loud??!
    If so, I’m not sorry. I so needed that laugh. I feel more normal. We are definitely related!!!

  3. Leslie in Dayton
    May 3, 2013 2:35 pm

    I love Sean Casey. How cool that you met him! I would no doubt do something dorky too. :)

  4. WI Mom
    May 3, 2013 2:47 pm

    So, when do we get to see the pic?

  5. Jen
    May 3, 2013 4:21 pm

    I love you even more after reading this.

  6. Stefanie
    May 3, 2013 5:12 pm

    You may be queen but you are OUR queen and we bow before you! Congrats on your award!

  7. Peggy A.
    May 4, 2013 9:32 am

    So funny! I could just picture the whole affair! Thanks for the laugh!

  8. Bluzdude
    May 4, 2013 10:23 am

    This sounds like the work of the Dread Lord, to me…

    “Destroy her… But be subtle…”

  9. Janelle
    May 4, 2013 2:00 pm

    This is why I never walk across grates wearing heels. However, I forget to zip my pants far more often than a lady should. Also, I’m pretty sure I wore jeans to work that had a massive hole in the ass without realizing it until the next time I put them on to wear to work and realized something wasn’t right.

  10. MattDC
    May 4, 2013 4:03 pm

    On behalf of your older male audience, we appreciate your insights into ladies’ sartorial concerns. We shall continue to politely avert our gaze.

  11. Sooska
    May 4, 2013 7:11 pm

    Just think. Sean Casey will remember you forever. Mario probably gets that reaction all the time so it’s nothing memorable, but a leaf? No way. Totally unique. And so funny. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Julia
    May 6, 2013 3:08 pm

    Those grates are awful. Anytime I’m in heels, I either walk on the street until the normal sidewalk appears again, or I tiptoe across the grates so the heel never actually touches the ground.

    Don’t feel too bad, though. Years ago during college, I worked at the Sheetz in New Stanton. I was working third shift one weekend night, and it was busier than usual. From about the time my shift started (8 pm) until my break (3 am), I had a giant hole in the back of my pants that had been showing without my knowledge. Apparently my coworkers didn’t notice it either, or they would’ve told me (I hope). The worst part is that I had a thong on, and so basically my bare ass was on display for the busiest time of the night.