I asked you to choose my blog for today…and readers, your voice was heard.
Apparently you want nothing more than for me to humiliate myself on the world wide web. (None of you more so than my husband. Sigh.)
I’m nothing if not a giver, so today I’m presenting you with my most embarrassing story, ever. Prepare yourself for lots of blushing (on my part.) Enjoy.
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I was a shiny new freshman, learning the ropes of college life and enjoying every minute. By week 5, I was convinced that the dorm life was meant for me. I loved my newfound freedom, I loved the academic process, I even loved having a roommate.
I had a unique schedule my first semester of college. My very first class was a ballroom dance class. It didn’t start until 10 a.m., and I was the only freshman enrolled. It was fantastic–I walked across campus after that class feeling exhilarated, worldly, sexy.
One day after ballroom class, I found myself in one of those moods that nothing can shatter. Dance class had been really fun that day, it was a gorgeous autumn afternoon, and the cute boy from the 2nd floor of my dorm had smiled at me on my way upstairs. Not to mention, I had my room all to myself that day, with time to kill before my second class of the afternoon. I decided that I would use that time taking a long, hot shower in the community bathroom down the hall. I sauntered into my closet to grab my bathrobe.
That’s when I remembered I’d spilled milk down the front a few mornings before. And it was still in the bottom of my dirty clothes hamper. (Because what college kid does laundry? Seriously?)
|The view from my dorm room closet for 2 years. (Source)
Since my roommate was gone for the day, and the dirty bathrobe definitely did not pass the sniff-test, I decided to brave it out in just my towel.
I stripped out of my sweaty dance clothes, wrapped myself up in a towel, stepped into my shower shoes, grabbed my shampoo caddy, and all-but-skipped down the hall to the bathroom.
As predicted, I had the bathroom all to myself. And my favorite shower—the coveted shower on our floor because it had the best water pressure—was gloriously unoccupied. I stepped into the steamy hot water, allowing myself to truly enjoy a shower for the first time in a few weeks.
Somewhere between shampoo and conditioner I got this strange feeling that I’d forgotten something very important.
And as I started shaving leg #1, it hit me full force.
The key to my room was in the pocket of my gym shorts. In the floor of my dorm room closet.
Behind a very locked door.
In a panic, I shut off the water, wrapped myself up in my towel, grabbed my stuff, and sprinted back down the hallway, leaving puddles in my wake.
Just FYI: when a door is locked, and there’s no one on the other side to let you in, rattling the doorknob for 10 solid minutes doesn’t really accomplish anything.
|She has nothing to be angry about. She’s fully clothed. With sexy shoes. (Source)
After several minutes of panic (and hoping that the dorm fairy was going to show up and magically let me in my room) I started to reevaluate the situation. Using my new college smarts, I deduced that I has a few options in this scenario. Most of them involved one key ingredient.
Find an R.A.
There were 3 Resident Assistants on each floor, so I was bound to find one somewhere. I lived in a co-ed dorm: upperclassmen on the first floor, boys on the second floor, girls on the third floor. All I could do was hold my breath and pray that one of the female R.A.s was in her room with that little golden key that would solve all my problems.
So I left my shampoo caddy on the floor (because towel-wrangling is definitely a two-handed job) and started knocking on doors.
And not a single R.A. could be found on the third floor.
Alright, moving on to Plan B. Find someone, anyone, at home on the third floor who would let me use their phone to call down to the R.A. station on the first floor, and have that R.A. come up and let me in.
I must have knocked on 30 doors in a matter of 3 minutes. Seriously, people. Karma was not with me that day because NO ONE was home.
As my dire situation came completely into focus, I finally knew I had only 2 options left.
Wait until my roommate or a friend got home from class.
Or bite the bullet and go downstairs to the R.A. station and secure some help for myself.
Since I had no idea how long my roommate was going to be gone, and the idea of sitting in the drafty hallway mostly naked left me chilled to the bone (and slightly nauseous), I decided I was going to choose the latter option.
|Because this is the only time in life when being seen in a bath towel
is remotely acceptable. (Source)
I took a deep breath, prayed for an entirely empty dorm, and hit the stairwell.
Let me take a moment to describe my dorm to you. I was in an honors program at Appalachian State called Watauga College
. It was an interdisciplinary program for students who wanted something different out of their college experience. IE: for the first 2 years of school, I had classes with all the same people, with the same professors. We spent a lot of time in outdoor classrooms, going on field trips, and hiking the mountains of our small community. We wrote a lot of papers and poetry, read a lot of super-thick books, and spent a lot of time dissecting current events. We all lived in the same dorm, we had our classes in the basement of that same dorm, and the professors also had their offices in the dorm.
That’s right. I said professors had offices in the dorm.
I made my walk of shame down the stairs, down the hallway of professors’ offices (most of the doors, thankfully, were closed).
My history professor, who we called “Bud,” always left his door wide open if he was in it. Something about “always being available for students who needed him” or some such nonsense. And naturally, he sat at his desk that day, staring into the hallway, as I passed by.
“Lose your key, Ms. Abby?” I heard his voice trail after me.
Holy crap balls. That totally just happened, I thought to myself. I blushed down to my toenails, reminded myself of the true objective of this excursion, and sped up my course. Surely, nothing else could make this experience any more humiliating. SURELY, I had fulfilled my mortification quota with this one life-altering encounter. I kept reassuring myself as I ducked my head and all-but-sprinted the rest of the way to the R.A. station.
Finally, after a painstaking 9 minutes dash through the dorm, I arrived at my destination. I allowed myself a momentary feeling of relief. As promised, there was someone on duty.
I just didn’t expect it to be the boy I had a crush on.
I vaguely remember mumbling something about a locked door. I remember the walk of shame back in front of Bud’s office door, hearing him say something cutesy, like, “It’s always nice to see a knight in shining armor come to a fair maiden’s rescue.” I remember starting up the stairs ahead of said “knight in shining armor,” not realizing he could probably see up my towel until somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd floor. I remember the smile he tried to hide, and the laughter right behind it.
And I definitely remember him asking me to sign the form that allowed him to unlock my door.
Great, I thought to myself. THIS is how he’s going to learn my name.
As the tumbler in the door turned with a twist of his key, I dashed for cover, mumbling a thank you as I shut the door in his face.
And then I sat on my dorm room floor and cried from the stress of it all. But eventually, I had to get up and get dressed for my next class of the day.
History. With Bud.
Thankfully, mum was the word in history class that day. Bud didn’t even look in my direction. And as far as I know, he never said a word to anyone about my embarrassing incident.
But for the rest of the year, anytime I passed that R.A. in the halls, that moment of humiliation would come rushing back to my cheeks in a blush the color of a Dr. Pepper can. And he would smile, elbow his buddy, and say, “Hey, Abby. Got your key today?”
Needless to say, for the next 2 years of dorm life, I never left my room without my key. And my bathrobe.
Even if it was dirty.