Tag Archives: embarrassing moments

I Can’t Believe I’m Telling You This.

When I pulled up to my rental cottage in northern Maine this past weekend, I let out out a sigh of relief. Ten hours in the car with a distressed Labradoodle, two wrong turns, and a long, steep decent via gravel road had been worth it.

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I had booked the cottage nearly nine months earlier, anticipating my summer residency, a week-long retreat required as part of my Humane Education Masters degree program. (YES, it’s a THING.)

I knew after nine-hour days of singing Kumbaya and braiding my cohorts’ armpit hair, this New Jersey native and closet introvert was going to need some alone time.

GoJulesGo-noodle

I think we all remember what happens when Jules tries to be a team player.

I arrived at my little rustic gem with a view and, per the check-in instructions, headed straight for what I thought was the front door. “Doors will be unlocked,” the instructions read. “The key will be inside in an obvious location. Should you need a spare, it will be under the back doormat.”

I jiggled the handle. The deadbolt, apparently, was working overtime.

I jumped from foot to foot, having had to pee for what felt like 127 hours.

127 hours

I walked around the side of the cottage and saw another door. “Ah, of course,” I said to myself. “This must be it.” I turned the handle and once again – door locks working the night shift.

My bladder screamed as I tried both doors again. I checked and rechecked under both doormats. Uncle Jesse, my dog, bounced around me as if to say, “Is it time to go back to Jersey yet?”

I groaned loudly and walked back to my car to retrieve the check-in instructions. I called all four numbers listed on the paper and not a single person answered. My bathroom situation went from a slightly unpleasant Kevin Costner film to Waterworld.

Waterworld

I looked around surreptitiously. People were sitting on the porch at the house to the left, but they were almost entirely shrouded by trees. The house at the top of the hill had a partially obstructed view of Fort Knox my cottage, but, maybe no one was home?

There was no time left to wonder. I grabbed a battered box of tissues from my car and tiptoed to the side of the cottage. With one more wary glance up the hill, I said, “F*ck it,” and, well.

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Like we haven’t all peed on the side of a rental cottage in Maine.

The relief was as sublime as the view. I was a woman on a mission now. After wrestling with several ancient windows held secure by what I think were pine tree shivs, I managed to pry one open.

I climbed inside, unlocked both doors, and started unloading my overstuffed car when I saw a man walking down the gravel driveway. He looked like a cross between a young(ish) Jeff Bridges and a basket handwoven by fruitarians.

Jeff-Bridges-basket

That rug basket really pulled the room fruit together.

I gave a shy hello, crusted in sweat, shame and ten hours of car funk, assuming he was headed towards the small staircase that led to the coastline.

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As he neared, it started to feel increasingly awkward. Maybe he was one of the numbers I’d just called? I took a few steps forward and held out my hand.

“Hi…. I’m Jules. …I’m renting the cottage for the week…?”

“I just happened to notice you pull up,” he said. “I live in the black and tan house that’s shaped like a teepee built in 1971 by a blind nudist colony.” He pointed up the hill, his long brown locks swaying in the breeze.

“Oh, yeah, so,” I stammered. Holy hell. He saw…everything. “I couldn’t find the key and no one answered the emergency number, so, I peed my brains out on the lawn and climbed in through the window…”

“I think I know where the key is,” he said without missing a beat. He headed towards the porch and knelt down by a crack in the wooden staircase. “The owner was just here two days ago.” He handed me a small silver key. “Want to give this a try?”

“Wow,” I said sarcastically. “I feel really secure now.”

He laughed and waited for me to try the key, making small talk about my dog and having once lived in New Jersey. Rattled, I tried to shake him off, and he soon headed down the stairs towards the water, as if that had been his plan all along.

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And perhaps it was. Say hello to my new makeshift curtains.

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Still Blonde Over Here.

I thought glasses made you look smarter...

I thought glasses made you look smarter…

I’ve never really understood dumb blonde jokes.

Hey! Why are you laughing?

Okay, fine. There was that time I played a trivia game with friends and thought Interpol was only the name of a band, not the International Criminal Police Organization.

Oh, Julie? You've heard of it?

Oh, Julie? You’ve heard of it?

And that time I got Joshua Jackson’s autograph and told him how to spell Julie.

And that time I brought a baby shower gift to a wedding shower.

Who wouldn't hire me?

Who wouldn’t hire me?

And maybe something similar happened this week.

You might recall I recently started a new position at my company (Big Pharma, Inc.), developing training. I’m pretty sure my dog, Uncle Jesse, got me the job – he was part of the Sudoku lesson I had to put together during the intense interview process.

My new group is creative, fun and hilarious. I’m finally among colleagues who appreciate my memes!

ennui-meme

This team of 13 celebrates everything. On my first day in the new office, it was No Diet Monday, and my manager brought cheesecake for breakfast. She decorated my new cubicle, too. “I think I’m gonna like it here,” I thought.

For the past two weeks, they’ve been trying to plan a surprise birthday party for two of the women in the group. A difficult task, since people work from home a lot.

The first Monday, I made cookies. The birthday girls didn’t show. This Monday, I made tortilla roll-ups, and one woman didn’t show.cubicle-welcome

“Well, as long as Laura comes in, we’ll still have the party,” everyone kept saying.

Later that morning, I popped my head next door to say hi to my cool, spirited cubicle neighbor. We’d only spoken a couple of times, but had bonded right away.

“Hi! Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?” she had blurted when she’d first shook my hand.

I had blinked back my surprise and laughed, dying to know where this conversation would go. She had had a point, eventually.

That Monday morning, I repeated the refrain of the day, “As long as Laura shows up, we’re still having the birthday party!”

She smiled and said, “Okay!” and we started talking about wine. Because of course.

At noon, we all hid in a nearby conference room and set up the food. In walked my cubicle neighbor, and everyone clapped and sang “Happy Birthday.”

I sang along merrily.

“Do you know what you said to me this morning?” the birthday girl asked loudly. I was sure she was going to regale the group with some amusing tidbit I’d dropped, letting all of my new coworkers see how charming and funny I could be, even unawares.

“No,” I replied, grinning.

“You said, ‘As long as Laura shows up, we’ll still have the party’! I thought you didn’t know who I was!”

Yes. That’s right. I told Laura we’d still have the party as long as Laura showed up. Then I sang “Happy Birthday” to Laura, forgetting I’d talked to Laura at all.

Sigh.

I distracted my colleagues with stories of Uncle Jesse and the beautiful chickens down the road. Later that day, Laura sent a thank you e-mail to everyone. I replied with this:

Dear Whoever You Are:

Chicken-foot-in-mouth

Sincerely,

Uncle Jesse’s caretaker

Any embarrassing work stories to share? Blonde moments?

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