Vicki, from Uplifting Teaching who shared her Mannequin storywith is last week is sharing one of her embarrassing moments with us today! Vicki is a professor of special education at a Christian University. She loves the Lord, her husband, and her family.
Life’s Embarrassing Moments
One year I had a second grade student whose grandfather was the European director of the Association of Christian Schools International. While back in the states, Alan and his wife visited my classroom.
Shortly after his visit, Alan invited me to speak at a teacher’s conference in Romania later that year. I accepted.
My husband traveled with me to Romania. The conference was being held at a university campus.
The first day of the conference all the speakers were introduced at a worship service. The teachers got to see what I looked like. I was a bit nervous. This would be the first time I’d do teaching training with an interpreter. The workshops were scheduled to begin the second day.
After the worship service, a meal was scheduled. The president of an American Bible college was another speaker. His wife, Lynn, was joining him. Lynn was a petite lady, all of about 100 pounds. My husband and I walked with them to the dining hall.
Lynn and I stopped in the bathroom before getting our food. Our husbands waited for us.
The bathroom doors in this particular university were much longer than what I was accustomed to.
They extended almost to the floor – not like the bathroom doors in America which were shorter. American bathroom doors end just high enough for a mischievous child to slip under and lock the door and then crawl back out.
The doors looked quite charming. They were wooden. Each had a key inside to lock and unlock the door.
When I was ready to leave the stall I turned the key to unlock the door. But the door didn’t open. So I turned the key in the other direction. Once again, the door didn’t open.
Not time to panic yet…Lynn was with me; she could come to my rescue.
“Lynn, could you please open my door? It seems to be locked even though I turned the key.”
Rattle, rattle. Nothing. Now it was time to panic. How will I get out? What will the Romanian s think of me? This fancy American speaker can’t even get out of a bathroom stall. And she’s supposed to enlighten us?!!
Were you ever in such an embarrassing situation that you found yourself laughing a nervous laughter? I found myself giggling. It was no laughing matter.
Before I could regain my composure Lynn said, “Vicki, stand back!” I could hear the determination in her voice. Bless her heart; she was sure she could run and break the door down.
In my bathroom prison, I was picturing her. I had visions of a tiny cartoon character with legs spinning too fast to see and with teeth gritted. I began to laugh hysterically. It was a good thing I had already done what I needed to or I surely would have peed myself.
“Lynn, are there any other ladies in the bathroom?”
“Could you please get my husband? He can fix anything. He’ll know what to do.”
Enter Howie, my husband.
“Hi, Vic. What seems to be the problem?”
“I can’t get out of this stall. I tried turning the key clockwise and then counterclockwise.”
With not an ounce of panic in his voice he simply said, “Slide the key under the door.”
I did what Howie instructed. He had no problems opening the door. And just like that I was out.
Lynn, Howie and I left the bathroom. We were met with curious stares from people milling about waiting for their meal.
Alan said, “Howie, why are you coming out of the ladies bathroom?”
I wanted to crawl back into the stall!!!
The Romanian educators were very forgiving people. They accepted me without assuming I was a complete idiot. I’m sure they thought, “Thank goodness, she’s human!” My bathroom debacle needed no translation. They just knew how horrified I must have felt. We made a heart connection.
On a closing note: In case you’re ever in Romania and need to visit a bathroom, you have to turn the keyTWO full times around. ‘Would have been good to know!
Please share your embarrassing moment so I know I’m not alone.