It was a wonderful sunny summer day, at an outdoor party and barbeque at the (huge) home of a college friend. Everyone was outside, playing volleyball, hanging out by the pool, listening to music.
I went into the empty house to use the facilities. The bathroom on the ground floor was in use. I headed upstairs, found the extra bathroom, hidden away. It was a tiny closet-like space, without even a window, tucked into a corner.
And when I completely finished my business, I found that the door wouldn’t unlock and the doorknob wasn’t turning. I couldn’t get out.
The room had no window, so I couldn’t call outside (and it felt pretty claustrophobic). I tried yelling for help, but the house was now empty. There was nothing I could use as a tool – there wasn’t a medicine cabinet and I didn’t have my purse. And naturally, this was before cellphones were a thing.
I’ve had a lot of mishaps since then, some really serious and scary, but for some reason I will never forget how I felt with that first “uh oh” when I couldn’t get out.
For about ten minutes, though, my lizard brain was pumping rogue adrenalin into every cell while broadcasting REDALERTREDALERTREDALERTREDALERT inside my head.
Eventually I did, thank goodness – I just kept jiggling the doorknob and the lock. For about ten minutes, though, my lizard brain was pumping rogue adrenalin into every cell while broadcasting REDALERTREDALERTREDALERTREDALERT inside my head. I don’t know why, but that ‘Uh oh” moment really stuck with me.
And ever since then, I always give bathroom doors a test jiggle to make sure I can get out. Lesson learned!
But that’s me. How about you? Tell us the story of your “UH OH” moment, when you got in a jam – and how you prevailed. Share your story in the comments!
Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send Open Thread suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo (top): Jason Leung for Unsplash