Monday, August 5, 2013

The Wrong Door and Other Embarrassing Tales

I tend to get easily embarrassed.  It was much worse when I was younger, but I still get flustered very easily.  It used to really bother me, but as I've gotten older, I've learned to have thicker skin and just make fun of myself.  But I've had some doozies.

I remember, in second grade, sitting in my class at school.  I really had to use the bathroom.  As usual, though, I didn't want to call attention to myself since we were in reading class.  But I had to go.  The pressure on my bladder got worse and worse.  I wasn't concentrating on my classwork at all, and finally, when I couldn't bear it any more, I jumped up out of my chair and ran to the bathroom, which was at the back of the classroom.  I rushed to the door and, despite the red stop sign on the door indicating that the bathroom was occupied, I pulled the door open.  I still remember poor Mary Patterson sitting on the toilet in the bathroom screaming as the door flew open.  The shock of seeing the bare bottom of a classmate must have been enough to slightly calm my urge to go, but I still desperately needed a bathroom.  My teacher, who I'm guessing was no stranger to this kind of thing, rushed over to me, pulled the bathroom door closed, and led me across the hall to the other bathroom.  I could hear my classmates laughs as I rushed to the other bathroom and relieved myself.  It was possibly the best feeling in the world, and despite any ridicule I received the rest of the day, I had survived.

A few months later, I wasn't so lucky.  Again, I had waited too long and had to use the bathroom, but it was time for our music class, and the whole class was led down the hall to the music room.  As the class went on, my urge to go grew to an intolerable state, but being very self-conscious, and still a bit embarrassed over the last incident, I tried to hold it.  But I couldn't.  I tried, but I couldn't.  And I went.  In my pants.  And no one noticed.  Was it because I was wearing a pair of off-white jeans?  Whatever it was, I was mortified as I felt the wetness run down my legs and into my socks.  I didn't say anything.  And no one noticed.  After music, we were led outside for playtime until it was time to leave for the day.  It wasn't hot out, but it wasn't too cold, either.  But the air mostly dried me off.  That was when Sarah walked up to me and said she saw me go in my pants.  And she laughed at me.  And I was SO embarrassed.  It was a horrible feeling.  She never forgot, either, and would remind me every so often for the next several years.  Fortunately, as far as I know, she never told anyone else.  I'm glad she's still my friend and doesn't bring it up anymore.

At the University of Maryland, I was a Geography major, so the vast majority of my classes were in LeFrak Hall.  I had made it a habit, after one of my morning classes, to use the men's room before going to my next class, and the rest room was right outside that lecture hall.  One morning, the class had to be moved for some reason, and we met in a smaller lecture hall upstairs.  After the class, I headed for the rest room, as I had everyday before.  What I hadn't noticed is that the men's and women's rooms were reversed on the 2nd floor, and I walked right into the women's room without hesitation.  My first clue that I was in the wrong place was the pink tile on the walls.  The men's rooms had a dark blue tile.  I next noticed there were no urinals.  That's when I caught myself.  I'm sure my face turned beet red.  I turned and RAN out of there as fast as I could, and about knocked over three young coeds entering the rest room.  I heard one of them yell, "Jerk!"  I went straight to the men's room (checking the door first) and decided to hide out in there for the next 30 minutes.

I thought I'd learned my lesson after that experience, but apparently this became a problem for me because several years later, I was traveling home with my parents after visiting some of our relatives in Roanoke, VA.  We stopped at a Wendy's for a pit stop and quick lunch.  Mom headed straight to the rest room, while Dad went to order some food.  I went with Dad, but after a moment, I decided I better use the rest room.  I went down the hall, and without checking the door, walked into what I assumed was the men's room.  There were two stalls and both were occupied, so I waited.  I hadn't noticed there were no urinals.  One of the stall doors opened and an attractive young lady walked out, looked right at me without batting an eye, went to the sink to wash her hands, and exited the room.  I heard her begin laughing before the door shut.  It was at that point that it finally sunk in that I was in the wrong rest room.  I quickly exited and ran to the men's room.  I did my business, but I was so embarrassed that I stayed in there for several more minutes.  Finally, I composed myself and headed back out.  Mom & Dad were at a table eating, but I had no appetite.  I quickly asked Dad for the keys to the car and headed out of the restaurant.  I jogged over to the car, but noticed a van across the parking lot and a small group of young adults.  They were laughing about something.  Then I noticed the girl in the bathroom was with them, and she turned and saw me, pointed, and they all started laughing even harder.  I was mortified.  I jumped in the car and slumped down in the seat as far as I could, trying to figure out where I had gone wrong in life.

I don't know why so many of my most embarrassing moments involved bathrooms, but this continues to be a hangup of mine.  I am now very careful about checking the doors and making sure I'm in the correct place, and I don't try to hold it past my breaking point.  That hasn't completely eliminated my problem, though.  Maybe I'll share a few more stories if I get the nerve up.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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