I couldn’t decide what to title this blog post. I already wrote one early this morning, but then I experienced perhaps the most humiliating and simultaneously hilarious day of my entire life. Mostly humiliating.
Think about the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to you. Maybe on your wedding day a bird flew over and laid waste to the back of your dress. Or you were gossiping about a family member, only for your preschooler to repeat every word of it at the Christmas dinnertable. Think hard. We’re talking most humiliating here.
Now read on and you will no longer feel shame. For this morning, I had something of a threesome with my hotel’s maintenance men: Pancho and Jesus.
5:00 am I post a blog about how I can’t sleep and am ready to head back home from my mental health retreat to Solvang, CA – the faux Danish town nestled in the middle of California’s wine country. I’m awake because around 3 o’clock I woke up from a party going on in the room above mine, only to look outside and see a sea of Modello and Bud Light beer cans in the parking lot, with someone looking for his keys in the midst of them. While I had a great time the last few days eating, drinking, shopping, and relaxing, this marked the point when I was ready to leave.
5:30 am I debate for a few minutes with myself: get up and just get ready to go? Or go back to sleep? My eyes get droopy and I go back to sleep.
9:30 am I wake up. I stumble around to get all of my things together. My shopping bags, backpack, purse, and suitcase are by the door. All that’s left out are my makeup bag and clothes, sitting on the bed.
9:40 am I disrobe and throw my dirty pajamas into the suitcase too. I’m so groggy and ready to go home at this point I just want to leave so think about skipping a shower until I get back. I have a few hours of driving, though, so decide to shower to help wake me up. And, as I mentioned a few days ago, Aunt Flo’s in town (this will be important in a minute). I realize while heading to the bathroom that all I ever do is debate with myself about what to do.
9:42 am I set my clothes on the counter in the bathroom and pee. Very little pee, very little paper (this will also be important in a moment, only if you wish to assess blame).
9:42 and 30 seconds am I flush the toilet and hop in the shower. I start to wash my hair.
9:43 am I’m washing my hair. Washing, washing. Thinking about the things I want to add to my list of things to do before I am no longer kidless and fancy free on Monday. Washing a little more.
9:45 am I start to rinse my hair and think I hear a door slam open. ‘Must be someone upstairs’ I think to myself and then a guy in a maintenance uniform comes running into the bathroom. I scream.
9:46 am I’m still in the shower and the maintenance man takes the top off the toilet and shoves his hand in. He apologizes and explains that my toilet is flooding the hotel room, which was noticed by the maid outside the hotel room door. I peek out the curtain of the shower and see there is water now rising on the bathroom floor too.
9:47 am Pancho officially introduces himself and says to stay put while he gets the valve closed. The shower is still going. There is nothing but a thin, vinyl shower curtain between Pancho and me. I quickly debate with myself over what I should do and decide Pancho knows best. So I stay and decide while there I may as well finish my shower.
9:48 am I shave my arm pits. Pancho is calling for back up: the other maintenance guy, Jesus.
9:50 am I grab my loofa and body wash, and wash. Pancho is still on the other side of the vinyl shower curtain. Jesus is now standing just outside the bathroom door and I can hear him shouting as water continues to pour out of the walls, the toilet, and in from the hotel room.
9:52 am “Pancho? I’d really like to turn off the water and cover myself with a towel now.” Here’s where shit gets real. Pancho says “OK” and I turn off the water. He still has one hand in the toilet tank. His other hand grabs a towel and hands it through the open space between the vinyl shower curtain and the shower wall.
9:53 am Jesus yells to Pancho that he got the water shut off. Pancho stands up and says I should get out of the shower. I open the shower curtain. Pancho and Jesus look down and help me step out of the tub and into about four inches of water.
9:55 am Pancho and Jesus have taken all of my things out of the room, except for my clothes and my makeup bag. They say they will leave so I can get dressed in the only dry corner of the room. Jesus notices my things on the counter in bathroom, so slushes through the water to get them for me. Remember how I said Aunt Flo was in town? I hear Jesus in the bathroom say “oh boy” and then he shouts to me “Ma’am are you OK with me carrying your garments and lady products to you?”
9:55 and 30 seconds am “Sure, why not … there doesn’t seem to be anything between the three of us at this point” I say and we all laugh.
9:56 am Pancho and Jesus leave the room and I get dressed. Fortunately, in the dry area of the room there is a mirror, so after they come back in to begin cleaning up the mess and repairing the toilet, I use the mirror to put on my makeup and brush my hair.
10:05 am I ask Pancho and Jesus if they’d mind if I took a few photographs so people would believe me when I tell them the story. They nod, laugh some more, and keep working. I snap photos.
10:10 am Pancho and Jesus have left the room to get their remaining equipment, or leave the mess for someone else, or something. I load my car and drive to the front of the hotel to check out, half expecting a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, and a note that reads “had an early meeting, but thanks for the good times.” There are no flowers or chocolates, and I wonder if I am the one who should leave behind the “thank you.”
10:30 am I get some breakfast at the restaurant next to the hotel to try and recover my dignity before embarking on my drive. There is a maintenance man in the restaurant eating too and I wonder if Pablo and Jesus know him and have told him about our threesome. When I finish eating I pay the bill and hit the road.
Now I am home and have taken another shower. No maintenance men burst in this time.
So did that make you faithful blog followers feel a little better about your own humiliating experiences? Like one of my friends said this morning when I (of course) immediately posted it on my Facebook page, this could only happen to me.
And I bet right now you are all thinking one of two things: either you want to know more details about where I was staying so that you too can have such an experience. Or you want to share this, but are hemming and hawing about it in an effort to spare the last remaining shred of dignity I may or may not have. Well don’t you worry, there is no dignity left (that was left behind in Solvang). And quite frankly the more I tell people this story to, the less weird I feel about Pancho and Jesus. Should I call? Will they call? What will my husband think?
So share away. And tell me your most humiliating experience too in the comments. I may have come home still feeling in a funk and pretty depressed. But at least I can laugh again.