The Bathroom Fiasco

I was locked in a bathroom stall, popping pills, and I thought, “Oh great. My life is such a cliche: the teacher who can’t get through the day without hiding away and doing drugs. YAWNFEST.”

Granted, the pills were prescription, and also I was on a stressy field trip with a bunch of preteens running around in downtown Detroit…but it was a low moment. I was disappointed in myself for needing the anti-anxiety meds, as I hadn’t taken them in a long time. I was disappointed for needing a “bathroom break” from my kiddos even though I didn’t have to use the toilet I was sitting on.

But really: YOU try spending a whole day with twelve-year-olds squawking at you from every angle, and tell me you don’t need a break. I’m just saying.

This would be a short post if it ended here – a “junior high kids driving me to psych drugs” type of post, but OH. It does NOT end here.

Remember the part where I was sitting on the toilet fully clothed? Well, once I took my pills and spent a minute or two breathing without anyone screaming at me, I decided it was time to go face the yahoos once again. I stood up, straightened my teacher-chic cardigan, and prepared to leave.

That’s when I felt drops of water on my legs.

I paused a moment, thinking something like, “Hmmm…I should look down now, but I can’t imagine seeing anything pleasant that’s dripping on my legs in a bathroom stall. Perhaps I shall ignore it.” Obviously, I couldn’t ignore it.

In my haste to pull out the drugs when I first closed the stall door, I inadvertently let my skirt fall in the toilet. I’d been sitting there with my skirt hanging in the toilet THE ENTIRE TIME. The water had been creeping up the fabric, and now the whole back of my skirt was sopping wet.

You can tell I’m clearly one of those cool teachers. *facepalm*

I rolled my eyes at this point. What a day. At least I calmed myself with the reassurance that this is the year 2017, and nowadays everyone’s about being green and recycling. We were at a science center for the field trip, so surely they would have electric blow dryers instead of paper towels. I could use the dryer to dry my skirt.

Ha!

Of course not. That would be far too convenient at a moment like this.

So then the next logical question: what do I say to the kids?

“Yeah, um, I didn’t have to use the toilet. I just sat there and dipped my skirt in it for kicks.”

“I had to pee so badly that, um, I didn’t quite make it.”

“The toilets in there have a very aggressive flush. I didn’t stand back in time.”

“This is how I save money on laundry expenses.”

Clearly I went with the only logical answer: wring the skirt out the best I can, and then stand against a wall for the next half hour until it dries.

You’re probably over there on your computer/phone, thinking, “Ha ha, Hazel, obviously that didn’t work! What happened next?” But you underestimate my stealth skills, my friend. It worked like a charm. It was a very stressful time (good thing I took those drugs, lol), but it became like a game. You know the game  “The Floor is Lava,” where people have to jump from thing to thing and can’t let their feet touch the floor? Well it was kind of like that, except it was “The Wall is a Magnet.” My butt always had to face a wall. Some students looked at me a little weird when I would jump from wall to wall to help them, but my skirt fiasco went UNDISCOVERED!

WIN!

And noowww it’s time for summer break.

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10 thoughts on “The Bathroom Fiasco

  1. Hazel,, we need to talk.
    I will get to the skirt issue in a moment because that deserves its very own set of comments and snickers and giggles and empathy, but first we need to discuss your thoughts on pre teens, field trips and medication.

    If you think,for one moment ,that you are weak, or pathetic or any other thing other than normal and responsible because you needed a few minutes to yourself and a xanax you are wrong. Very wrong. Going to the bathroom, taking a few minutes to gather your wits and take a little something is exactly what you SHOULD have done in that situation and what any reasonable person would have done. The situation you described may seem to some of the uninitiated as not that big a deal. To those of us in the know, it is what nightmares are made of.

    I love children. I mean, love them. I love teaching them, I loved raising my 5, I loved my nieces and nephews and the dozens of children I have provided daycare for over the years. I have loved teaching religion class and coloring and drawing and language and manners and ASL and how to swim and hot to share etc… However, there is not enough money, xanax or alcohol in the free world to even tempt me to take a field trip with a bunch of 12 year olds. I’m not kidding. I would rather vomit blood out my eyeballs. There is a gang mentality among kids that age and they can smell fear like an animal. I wouldn’t ever want to be that age again, I am glad none of my own kids are that age any longer and I try to limit all contact with people that age. It’s like the Walking Dead when they ‘turn.’ they hit puberty and these formerly awesome kids turn into something else. They turn TEEN. (shudder) Not adults yet and not zombies certainly, but something to be just as damn afraid of and hide from. Unfortunately stabbing then in the head is frowned upon in society. All you can do is wait for a few years to pass and cringe when thinking back to your own life and personality at that age.

    There have been times as a mother – many, many times, when faced with just one or two children I have become so overwhelmed and over stimulated that I have gone to the bathroom to get away from them and frankly, so I could sit down. If I sat down in their sight it was like inviting a coup. Even the bathroom wasn’t sacred for a long time when the kids were little. I remember calling my husband in tears one day. I had two of my own sons at home and was also watching two other children. This should not have been beyond my ability but for some reason that day it was a lot. I called him and said “when did I lose control of the situation here?” more to myself than to him really and he said “I think it was when we had Timothy.” (my youngest.) what? No! You idiot, not when did I lost ALL control, I Mean TODAY! He said “well, everyone has bad days, Shan.” It was only 8:30 am.

    You are not alone in your need to have three minutes of quiet. To gather your thoughts. My mind often feels like a deck of cards someone dropped on the floor when all the kids and the guy are home. So many things going on at the same time and coming at me from different directions all at once. It feels like I am standing in a racquet ball court with 5 people hitting balls at me that I need to deflect. So (to mix my metaphors ) I need to walk away and pick up the deck of cards that is my mind and put the deck back together. Sometimes the cards really scatter and I have to hunt for a while for a missing one, but then I gather them all and square them up and put them back in the pack and I am ready to face the world once again. Sometimes I need some help finding all the cards and that help may come in the form of a pill. There is no shame in that, Hazel. You are taking a chemical most people produce naturally. You aren’t cheating or getting anything extra or giving into a weakness. It doesn’t mean that you struggle to deal with a situation on your own that others can deal with without medication.(because most people can’t deal with what you described, to be honest. Medication or not!) You are being smart and healthy. What would not be smart or healthy or responsible would be trying to deal with all those people with your own deck of cards scattered all over the place.

    That being said. OH. MY. GOD. on the skirt! That is both fantastic and horrible! Kudos for your super hero problem solving skills! I also loved the description of the thought process that went on when you stood up and felt the water. That’s GREAT. That’s why you are so fun to read. You are so very human and you are so easy to relate to because you are able to articulate what we all think and feel at one time or another but are sometimes unable to capture in words ourselves. I read things you have said sometimes and think “Yup. AHA!” and it’s a great feeling to have someone put your own thoughts and feelings into words so you can say “see, this is how I feel. This is what I have been trying to say.” and also so you can say “and I’m not alone.”

    Class is dismissed. Come to Florida to visit because when better to visit the sunshine state than in the middle of summer? Cause it’s freaking sweltering and so humid you can’t breathe. Isn’t that enticing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahaha!! Thanks so much for that response. I absolutely loved it. You’re so right about junior high kids – they smell fear, and they’re absolutely unlike any other humans. Even the sweetest elementary students “turn” and become evil somewhere between the ages of 12 and 14. It’s scary. Thanks for the props. It’s a battle sometimes.

      Thanks for making me feel normal for needing some time to myself. I think everyone (understandably) puts their best foot forward at all times, but in this age of social media it is so easy to see everyone looking bright and cheery and “look at these lesson plans I made from scratch, MacGuyver style, with only dog hair and a glue gun,” and I get all WHY CAN’T I BE A SUPERTEACHER LIKE THAT?!?

      I want to be standing at the end of the day with a minimum number of students trying to get me fired, and then I call that a win.

      Props to you for raising five kids – whoa – I can’t imagine that. At least I get to go home at the end of the day and not have people screaming at me.

      Anyway, thanks for the support! It is so appreciated. 🙂

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  2. You are not weak or somehow less than for needing something to help you out in a stressful situation. I’ve been known to do the same, minus the drugs and dipping my skirt into a toilet accidentally.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I learned the hard way how to keep a skirt out of the toilet in junior high because our choir uniforms were these hideous purple crepe (I think that’s the right word) things that made us look like a herd of Barneys.

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  3. What they said above, but also, OH MY GOD, that’s hilarious!!. I never had a wardrobe malfunction while teaching myself, but I DO remember one time a student was giving a presentation, but I had to go to the bathroom SO badly that I had to excuse myself right in the middle. I was like, “Oh–I just have to leave for a sec” and then I was gone for over 5 minutes (damned IBS). The poor kid–left standing there at the front of the room because I couldn’t hold it any longer! Then I came back in and said, “Sorry about that. Carry on,” like nothing happened, because what else are you gonna do?!

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    • Ugggghhh…IBS is THE WORST. One of my teacher friends had that, and she always had to run out of her classroom. She ended up fixing it with some health-product called Plexus (not sure if you’ve heard of it), but she posts on facebook about it approximately 657 times a day, haha. She’s in love. And I think you handled it well – sometimes teachers have to pretend like it was all in the lesson plan to begin with. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never tried Plexus–although I like a musician with the same name–maybe I should listen to him more often! At any rate, I changed jobs so I don’t have to worry about it any more!

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  4. Dude, I bet at least half the other field trip chaperones were either popping their own anti-anxiety meds, drinking from hip flasks, or wishing to high hell they could be doing one (or both) of those things. Y’all are heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

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