Saturday, August 22, 2015

Unbelievable

I can't believe that I actually let 2 whole weeks go by without blogging once, and I can't believe that next week, classes start, which means that the summer is essentially all but over.

The good news is, I've been away from the blog having fun with friends.  This involved things like going to the beach, bowling, eating multiple servings of pizza and ice cream across intervals of less than 24 hours, flying a kite, and seeing important, ground-breaking films like "Inside Out" and "Ant-Man" and "Home" and then discussing their relative merits and citing lines from the films whenever applicable.

Suffice to say, I now live for the day when I can say "Curse your tippy-toed tallness!!" and mean it.

There were some less than stellar moments, of course.  Like the 16 hours of driving it took to accomplish an 8-hour round trip.

I mean, really.  At some point, everyone else just needed to get OFF THE ROAD and let me through.  I actually shrieked this out loud somewhere around about Hour #12, but my windows were up so I don't think anyone actually heard me.

All I know is that it did nothing to help with the traffic.

We also encountered an odd personality at the beach.  There was a woman in charge of the ladies' restroom.  I'd never seen such a thing before, and I'm quite certain I've never seen this particular woman before.  I'd have remembered her.

Let's just say, I walked away wondering if her position was paid for with state funds and thinking that maybe a letter requesting that this funding be cut wouldn't be a bad idea.

Without getting too... earthy... in my descriptions, I will simply say that I went into the bathroom stall for the usual reason that people enter a bathroom stall and when I did, I decided that it was also an opportune time to get the seaweed--and, more importantly, the bugs that live on the seaweed--out of my bathing suit.

So I hung it on the hook on the door.

No sooner had I done this than a little MOP began to be shoved under the stall door, in what can only be described as a very passive aggressive gesture.

Because yes, my bathing suit was dripping.  Did I mention I was at the beach?  There's water there.  Quite a lot of it, actually.  (I suspect this is why there are drains on the bathroom floor every 2 feet or so.)

I decided to simply ignore the mop and focus on the task at hand.

As I tried to do so, however, an angry little voice said, "I don't know WHO's in there with the DRIPPING bathing suit, but these stalls are NOT for changing."

I paused and reflected on this announcement with a fair measure of bewilderment.  And then I simply said, "Okay."

Because the fact of the matter was, I was NOT changing in the bathroom stall, and when I emerged, that would become quite clear.

I do wish you could all have seen the look on the woman's face when I exited the stall.  Because yes, she had positioned herself so that she could accost me a second time about following the rules of her rest area.

As I gave her a steady gaze of self-righteous vindication, she announced: "You can't be in those stalls if your bathing suit is TOO WET.  You need to either use the shower stalls or wrap up in a towel."

I confess, I'm proud of myself.  I didn't say, "Soooo... you're saying people need to pee in the showers if their bathing suits are too wet?  How do we know what's considered 'too wet'?  What if my towel is also 'too wet'?  How can I relieve nature's call and still abide by your bathroom code of conduct?"

What I did say, however, is something I've learned to use in such situations: "I'm sorry if I've upset you."

The nice thing about this phrase is, unreasonable people will generally assume that this is an apology.  In fact, however, it's my pleasant little way of acknowledging to the universe at large that I think that maybe you're slightly insane and there's nothing I can really do about that."

(Sidebar: The down side to this is that when friends of my own say, "I'm sorry if I've upset you," I tend to read this as them telling ME they think I'M slightly insane and there's nothing they can do about that and I get rather offended.  Which may or may not ultimately reinforce their original point.)

With the Bathroom Nazi, though, the phrase had the desired effect.  She smiled and said, "It's okay--you didn't know."

At this point, I cheerfully acknowledged, "It's true, I didn't!"

Needless to say, she loved this.  She took her little mop and went back to her little chair by the doorway confident that she had managed to educate an ignorant, drippy little beach-goer.  Her work was finished.

Or so she thought.  Because later in the day, I will confess: I took a shower in one of the stalls and, when I finished, I slipped behind her back into a bathroom stall and let my bathing suit drip and drip and DRIP.

And then I stepped over the resulting puddle and went on my merry way, enjoying these last few wonderful weeks of a summer that has gone by much too quickly.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."