“Embarrassing Moments Will Either Kill You Or Make You Smarter!”

Dona Dunn, Large, family copy 2

The Dunn Family

As the saying goes, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.”  Or, in the words of our good friend Dona Dunn, wife of defensive tackles coach at Western Kentucky University, “Embarrassing Moments Will Either Kill You or Make You Smarter!”

Almost every coach’s wife we have met has at least one great story to tell. Most are funny little episodes, but some are truly embarrassing moments. These also become funny, although it may take some time to get past the embarrassing part.

Dona’s story takes place at the first game of the 1997 season, while her husband Don was coaching at the University of Mississippi. “The Grove” is truly a unique experience. People enjoy their tailgate on china, crystal, and their living room furniture under thousands of tents. They also get dressed up. “Having moved from the West, I was used to wearing blue jeans and sweatshirts to the games. Not so at Ole Miss, women wear dresses and men wear ties and coats. In an effort to fit in, I bought a dress. It was a navy blue linen dress that fell to mid-calf length. As you will see, this fact will be VERY important.”

“I also retrieved a pair of navy pantyhose out of my dresser. They were several years old, but they were still in their original package. I loaded the car and with my son, took off for the stadium.”

From their parking spot to the tailgate was a walk across the length of the Grove. Dona tells Heart For The Game, “We had walked about halfway when I realized a terrible fact. The pantyhose, while never worn, had been in my drawer too long. The elastic apparently had given out. With every step I took, the pantyhose slipped further down my legs.”

Dona proceeded to yell at her son, “Get behind me.” He did. She told him, “Jonathan, I mean stand right behind me and walk there till we get to the tailgate!”

He did as she asked, but the entire time he was yelling “Mom what’s wrong?” This was only drawing more attention to them. Dona said, “I’m sure we looked a lot like Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in the movie Bringing Up Baby. In the famous scene where the entire back of Hepburn’s dress is ripped out, Grant walks behind her to cover the fact while the entire room is laughing. Well, I wasn’t laughing, but I heard snickers as we walked by other tailgates.”

Her only hope was to get to the tailgate spot before the pantyhose slipped below her dress. Since her dress was fairly long, she thought she might make it. “I could finally see the coaches’ wives, but to my horror the hose fell below the hemline. My steps were getting shorter. By the time I reached our spot, the hose were down at my ankles.”

So much for trying to fit in! She reached down and took off the hose.  As she stood up, she noticed that a group next to her had stopped to watch. Dona laughed; they didn’t. “Oh well! I wadded the pantyhose up in a ball, and threw the wad in a garbage can. I vowed never to wear pantyhose again. At least to a football game! Years later when I tell this story, I laugh at myself. That’s what I get for not wearing my jeans and tennis shoes.”

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