I am a parish minister. Long ago, when I was an Associate Minister, I was responsible for all the non-member weddings at church. Our meetinghouse was beautiful and coveted by brides, so in the summertime we tended to have quite a few nuptials.
On this particular hot, humid, dripping-sweat kind of August day, I arrived at church in a dress, pantyhose (expected in those days), slip, bra and bikini panties. When I parked my car and walked about 20 feet into the parish house, I looked like I had just stepped out of the shower. The wedding coordinator took one look at me and burst out laughing. My hair was drenched. My clothes were drenched. My shoes were wet. The worst part was I was going to have to put on my black clergy robe for the ceremony.
We already knew that the meetinghouse was going to be an oven at full capacity, and there wasn’t any air conditioning or a single fan to be found. I decided right then and there that I was going to die in the middle of their vows. My wedding coordinator insisted that I would survive, but made the bold suggestion that I strip down to my undies and just wear my robe as a cover-up. No one will know the difference, she exclaimed! They won’t even notice that you’re not wearing hose.
Needless to say, I was mortified by her suggestion, convinced that the entire congregation would have X-ray eyes. It didn’t take very long for me to reconsider her idea, however, and I ran into the ladies room and struggled to peel off my clothes. When I came out in my robe, sans all other outer accoutrements, we both laughed at my secret.
When I walked over to the meetinghouse as the guests started arriving, I realized that I wasn’t wearing my belt to hold the transmitter for the lavaliere mic which was essential to use. The only thing that I could attach it to was my bikini underwear. The cord was long enough to reach the tab of the zipper when it was completely zipped, so I ran it under my robe and was able to attach the mic clip to the tab. Perfect! By now, the temperature in the building was in the high 90’s, and all I wanted to do was get this couple married and out of there!
As luck would have it, the sun was shining through the side window to the exact spot where I was standing. Sweat began pouring off of me like a faucet. It was even running down my legs which made it look like I was peeing myself! I didn’t think that matters could get worse, but I was wrong. About halfway through the ceremony, I started to notice that the transmitter attached to my bikini underwear was starting to slide down my thigh! To make matters worse (I’m sure you can see this coming) the cord became tort and I could feel the mic that was attached to the zipper pull start to slowly unzip my robe. PANIC ensued! So, I did the only two things that I could do: I put my knees together to stop the transmitter from going past them (which meant I crouched lower), and then I started to talk as fast as I could! The wedding coordinator was standing in the back of the church and was giving me a puzzled look until it dawned on her what happening! She started laughing hysterically with her hand over her mouth. Needless to say, I didn’t appreciate her mirth as I stood there in front of 150 people, all of whom I was about to flash like a stripper in Vegas!
Faster and faster I talked. Blessedly, I sent the couple on their merry way with their entourage of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and flower people. I just stood there crouched over instead of following them out, as per what we had rehearsed the night before. Finally the postlude finished and the wedding coordinator and music director walked down the aisle toward me, laughing merrily. They both knew that my mic was live and that I wasn’t able to respond to their funny remarks. The problem was that I couldn’t reach the transmitter without unzipping my robe entirely. Eventually, when the last of the guests had left the building, I was able to waddle around, unzip my robe, remove my portable sound system, and restore my dignity.
That was twenty years ago, and that was the last time I wore bikini underwear. Every time I put on a lavaliere mic, it makes me laugh, it makes me leak, and I shutter!