While shopping for an elusive and particular pair of shorts for picky Daughter 1, we discovered a fairly large thrift shop. Since I wasn’t even certain that the shorts Daughter 1 was looking for even existed outside of her little imagination, it couldn’t hurt to check out the store. So, right after lunch, we got busy browsing. And then, we got busy having to tinkle.
Daughter 2 (because she’s the fastest) sprinted to the front of the store and grabbed the restroom key, while Daughter 1 and I argued about who would get to go next. Eventually, Daughter 2 emerged from the restroom looking markedly relieved and Daughter 1 caught the door and scurried in before I could guilt her into letting me go first by reminding her that I delivered her 9 pound 6 ounce self and that left me with very little bladder control. After an eternity of NOT thinking of waterfalls, Daughter 1 came out shaking her wet hands because the towels looked “yuck!” and I sprinted to the toilet, doing the pee-pee dance until I could finally and joyfully relieve myself.
After washing my hands, I left the bathroom and joined The Daughters in browsing the shorts for “white ones with one big button”. (Picky, I told ya!) Daughter 2, who bores easily, said, “Momma, if you give me the key, I’ll run it back.”
Ummm… what key?
Oh. Yeah. The bathroom key.
Heaving a big sigh, I hauled my forgetful self up to the front counter.
“I’m sorry,” I began very apologetically to the clerk, “but I accidently left the bathroom key in the bathroom.”
“Oh” said the clerk, whose bright pink roots very well could have been blonde. “I don’t think we have a spare.”
“Really?” I questioned. “I’m really sorry about that, too!” Then, having done my confession and with my soul as light as my bladder, I turned to go back to my quest for white shorts with one big button and skinny belt loops.
Before I could get back to The Daughters, the intercom crackled, “Attention all shoppers. Would the person who borrowed the bathroom key please return it to the front counter? Thank you.”
I turned in time to see the exact same clerk that I had just confessed to placing the intercom back on its holder. Maybe she thought I WANTED the key. OK – I’ll go make it clear that I had lost the key.
“Excuse me, but what I was trying to tell you before was that I had the key, but when I left the bathroom, I left it in the bathroom and the door locked behind me. The key is locked in the bathroom.” I spoke slowly and plainly. “I’m sorry.”
“Well,” the clerk began, “I don’t think we have a spare key.”
“You told me that before, and I’m really sorry to hear that. Maybe a manager can open the restroom and get the key out.” Then I turned. Again.
The intercom crackled. Again. “Attention all shoppers. Would the person who borrowed the bathroom key please return it to the front counter? Thank you.”
This time, I spun quickly and dashed back to the counter. Maybe, I was launching into unknown tongues as I spoke. I’d have to approach this differently.
“OK.” I said loudly and clearly and, I’m pretty sure I was speaking in standard English. “I came and borrowed the key, OK?” I paused and she nodded. “Then I went to the bathroom with my daughters, OK?” I paused and she nodded. “Then I left the bathroom and left the key in there, OK?” I paused and she nodded. “Then the door shut behind me and the key was locked inside, OK?”
She nodded, then, with me standing RIGHT THERE, she picked up the intercom and said, “Attention all shoppers. Would the person who borrowed the bathroom key please return it to the counter? Thank you.”
I looked right at her and said, “What?”
And she looked right at me and said, “What?”
At this point, Daughter 2 joined us and said, “Excuse me, ma’am,” at which point I knew she wasn’t talking to me, “But, may I have the restroom key? I really have to go again.”
“She,” the clerk gestured her thumb at me, “Locked it in the bathroom. Sorry kid. Let me get the manager to unlock it for you.”
Oh well! It’s good to know there’s a job out there for everyone!