I Once Accidentally Flashed a Large Group of People Near Lincoln Center
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Politics and Activism

I Once Accidentally Flashed a Large Group of People Near Lincoln Center

Is this person theoretically capable of teaching others?

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I Once Accidentally Flashed a Large Group of People Near Lincoln Center
(Jen Chung/Gothamist)

It was winter. I was in my mid-20s. I went to the Barnes and Noble that used to exist by Lincoln Center. My skirt got caught in the escalator.

I was descending, along with my dignity, which was in no way elevated. I don't remember what my exact words were, because the adrenaline was undermining my language skills. I think I said something along the lines of "I REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ATTENTION! I AM IN PERIL! SOMEONE PLEASE FACILITATE MY PLIGHT! I AM IN SERIOUS DANGER OF BEING NAKED AND THINGS BEING BAD!" because even with my skirt caught up in moving technology, I am very, very pretentious.

There was chaos, pandomonium, and Barnes and Noble employees yelling at each other "no, not that button, the other button!"

I feel very sorry for the girl who bumped into me before they had time to stop it. And
shortly after my skirt was completely wrapped around my ankles, the adrenaline wore off and I cheerfully informed the audience I'd inflicted myself upon that I was fine. I said the same thing to the people coming down what, thanks to me, was just a staircase, a staircase with a woman at the bottom. I kind of waved, smiled, apologized for the inconvenience. I felt like a geek in the original sense. And the later sense, too.

A lot of people, including me, thought the situation was funny as hell.

This one guy patted me on the shoulder and was like "Your grandkids will love this story."

And I was like, yeah, I totally didn't Darwin myself out of the gene pool! Yet!

A 60-year-old man in a name tag and yarmulke, who presumably worked there, apologized to me as I was waiting for them to free me, saying he wished there was more that he could do. And wow, you're reading Vygotsky? His thoughts on language are dead on!

And I was like, totally.

See, this is the developmental ladder, my zone of proximal development, if you will. Without help, I can dress myself, but I need assistance in order to remove myself from this snare. And I was like, yeah, Vygotsky would totally approve. And I told him it was for this class I was taking because, at the time, I was training to be a Montessori school teacher (The teenage girls who had politely not been laughing at me cracked up when I said that). And he was like, oh that's wonderful! Keep reading Vygotsky! I thanked him for attempting to mitzvah me, and he complimented me using it as a verb. I'm just glad he appreciated my developmental psychology humor. Because even half-naked in public, there's always room for social theory.

They eventually freed me. The guy was so polite, asking if I'd mind stepping out of my skirt as they res-started the escalator. At that point, I didn't mind losing whatever technical modesty came from my skirt covering my socks, and "stripped." But like a safety net or security blanket being lost, I did feel slightly naked-er.

They restarted the escalator for a few steps, saved the skirt. My trusty warm winter skirt which has a little bit of black grease at the bottom but will survive... as a subtle metaphor! I thanked them and apologized again; they asked me if I needed the ladies room. That would have been redundant, so I just threw the skirt over my head and carefully, carefully went down another escalator to the first floor, paid for my Vygotsky book and left. It's a good thing I was already planning on buying it; it would have been really awkward to not make a purchase.

You know, that was probably not the worst performance art to ever occur at Lincoln center. I should, like, charge.

I called the man I was dating at the time, who was a personal injury lawyer, and asked him if I had a case -- against my parents, for passing along the faulty genes and sense of fashion. He was like, I blame Bush (Bush, of course, being president. It was a dark period). Now what's this about you being naked in public? I wonder if the young man who condescendingly patted my shoulder was hitting on me. I certainly was in a vulnerable place. In the past, when strangers had seen me half-dressed, the light had been more flattering.

But enough about college theater.

So now we have a different president, and soon yet another one. The personal injury lawyer and I are both married to other people. That particular Barnes and Noble closed its doors, and I'm sure it had nothing to do with escalator malfunctions, so I'm not to blame. I decided I didn't want to be a Montessori but a high school English teacher, and am working on my second masters degree, this time at Columbia (I have book smarts, although street and escalator smarts still elude me). And I'm an adult, kind of, as long as I have other adults helping me to be one. The modern Vygotsky theorists should use me as a case study. No vivisection, please!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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