The Getty Center and I do not get along sometimes. Although I work at the Getty Villa, my duties often require me to be at the Center, and often things just go wrong during those visits. Yesterday was one such visit. I arrived at the South Gate of the museum in the afternoon for a meeting on publishing curricula for teachers and was waved through the gate up to the coveted "Top of the Hill" parking. Villa staff are supposed to be allowed up to TOH parking when they come to the Center for meetings. This perk allows us to shave anywhere from 20-30 minutes off of the time it takes us to get up to the museum because we avoid waiting in line for the tram with visitors at the bottom of the hill. However, because TOH parking is so coveted, Villa staff are not always lucky enough to be waved up--it's pretty much a crap shoot. Even so, this time I felt victorious because the security officer kindly waved me through the gate. Yesss!
Uh, well, not quite. I ended up driving around the parking garage for 20 minutes, keeping an eye out for anyone who was leaving, because all three levels of the parking garage were full. I would have gotten a parking space sooner, but some jerk cut around me and claimed an open space I was waiting on. After about ten more minutes of prowling the parking garage I came upon someone who was leaving, and was at last able to park my car. My plan was to head up and quiet my rumbling stomach with some lunch before my meeting. (The veggie burritos at the Getty Center Cafe are AWESOME.) And all was well. Yes? No. After an hour in the car, I needed a pit stop, so I stopped by the restroom. In order to look nice and professional for my meeting, I had worn my nice dress slacks, which have a zipper that goes up the side. Since this was just how my day was going at that point, that delicate zipper on my nice and professional dress slacks completely failed. I now had a big gap in the side of my pants that threatened to reveal my brightly colored underwear to all the world once I left the privacy of the restroom stall. Crap. I immediately dug into the front of my backpack, looking for my keys.
A couple of years ago a woman at church gave me a safety pin and told me to put it on my key chain, saying, "You should always carry a safety pin." I did as she suggested, and it's been there for the past three years. As I took that safety pin off of my key chain there in the restroom stall, I was convinced that lovely, thoughtful woman was heaven-sent because God knew I had a disastrous wardrobe malfunction coming my way on January 26, 2012 and I was going to need that pin! It totally saved the day. I used it to pin the long black shell I had worn over my blouse that day closed, thus concealing the gaping opening in my pants and saving my dignity. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending--the rest of the afternoon was uneventful and the failed zipper went undetected.
Word to the wise: Always carry a safety pin. ALWAYS.