Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Lesson in Humility

When I was dating my boyfriend, Connie (Conrad), I would often make the two-hour drive to Connecticut from my home in Massachusetts, and oftentimes we'd do something a little extra special to make the most of the limited time we had to share.

So, one evening we decided to dine at the Groton Inn, a very nice establishment where beautiful banquets are held, as well as a fine restaurant. We decided to take Connie's best friend, Gerry, as a treat for him. Gerry was kind of an odd little person, no real friends except for Connie, and now me by my relationship with Connie.

Connie wore a nice navy blue suit, I wrote a voluminous tea length dress (black with the tiniest roses), and Gerry wore his cleanest best jeans and his standard flannel shirt. We all complimented each other on how nice we looked and we went off to dinner.

Dinner went well. I managed not to drop anything out of my mouth, knock over any wine glasses, or walk up the inside of my dress as I sat or rose from my chair. All in all a successful dining experience. When it came time to leave, I leaned over and whispered to Connie, "I have to run to the ladies' room."

He blushed (personal matters always embarrassed him)"Gerry and I will wait for you in the main lobby. I don't want to lurk outside in the hallway at the ladies' room door." His blush only deepened but his robin's egg blue eyes were laughing.

I walked past a large banquet hall, laughter streaming out, filling the corridor. I peeked in and saw a beautiful bride and her handsome groom. The huge room was packed with friends and family.

I went to the ladies' room; miraculously I was the only one there. I have this weird thing about using the ladies. I do not dilly dally in there. I do not primp or prance, check my teeth or redo my hair. I might reapply my lipstick. My sole purpose is to do what I have to, wash my hands, and leave. In and out. Plus I knew Connie and Gerry were waiting for me and I didn't want to keep them waiting any longer than necessary. I think a long absence would be embarrassing for all of us. Is that in the bathroom etiquette book somewhere?

I step back into the hallway, and it was empty, the guests either at their banquets or the restaurant. I walked past the wedding and they were still laughing and the band was playing. I walked past the restaurant and waiters were scurrying about from one table to the next.

I stepped smartly along, and behind me I heard a voice call out, "Excuse me, excuse me." I do not turn my head to see if the person is talking to me. The only person I know is waiting ahead of me, not behind me. "Excuse me, excuse me," the voice said again, only louder, more urgent. I walk past another banquet hall filled with guests.

I inwardly debated.

There is something about me that attracts the oddest people. Usually people I've never met before just see me out and are harmless. They want to reveal their entire life story to me(as when I am standing in a grocery store line) want my opinion on an item they are buying. However, there have been times when people have not been entirely harmless and it is because of them that I do not acknowledge strangers.

Yet there was a quality of urgency in the voice and that convinced me to turn. A middle-aged woman, half running towards me, repeated, "Excuse me," as if those were the only words she knew. She stopped in front of me to catch her breath. I waited patiently for her next words. "Your skirt is tucked up into your underwear."


  1. Oh Katy...I laughed and laughed and laughed...and felt guilty that I did but I laughed and laughed and laughed and then felt a bit guilty again. Poor you...oh Katy. If you are like me you probably do have some joy in making others happy...even if it is at your own expense...and even if that 'happy' is more like hilarity. Grin. I've had something very similar happen once...with leaving the restaurant in a pink chiffon dress with the restaurant's orange napkin tucked firmly in the dress belt.

  2. In retrospect, this is funny even to me. And when I'm feeling a little prideful, I recall this. And now everytime I go to the ladies' I make sure and check my derriere!

  3. sigh...I have had enough things like that happen to me that I check and double check and then check again...grin