Thursday, February 04, 2010

an old embarrassing story

A friend of mine recently asked me about embarrassing moment in my life, and as I thought of this story I just laughed and laughed. It's maybe more ironic and sad than embarrassing, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

So, I was in first grade in Mr. Hadden's class at Prince of Wales Elementary school in Calgary. There I was, an extremely shy child... like painfully so... sitting at my little table. I got up to ask if I could go to the bathroom, and Mr. Hadden (who was probably only 35 or so, and the handsomest man I had ever seen) obliged. I left the safety and comfort of our classroom and walked out into the hall, which was still kind of scary for me, and made my way to the nearest bathroom. I noticed there was a huge sign on the door. I looked at it for a while... I was still just learning to read... and wondered what it said. I walked into the bathroom which was empty, and suddenly I realized that the sign on the door was probably an "out of order" sign. Thoughts of exploding toilets, and flooded hallways filled my mind as I paced back and forth, and examined every stall. Everything looked fine, but what if I flushed a toilet and somehow flooded the whole school?! I couldn't bring myself to do it.

I tried to think of what I could do instead... there was another bathroom somewhere on the other side of the school that I had heard rumors about, but I knew I would get lost trying to find it. There was also one in the "sixth-grade hallway" but there was no chance I'd wander over there with all those big kids hanging around. So I decided that I would just wait. We had P.E. in about 15 minutes which would last only 30 minutes, and then I would run home for lunch. We lived right across the street. I went back to the classroom after what must have been a long time. I sat down and waited for what felt like forever, but was probably only a few minutes. I approached Mr. Hadden a second time. "Didn't you just get back from the bathroom?" "um, yeah, but I have to go again." Out I went again.

This time I stood in front of the door for a very long time, trying so hard to figure it out. Nothing. I went in again and paced around some more. All the walking around sort of eased the urgency, and I decided, yet again, that I could hold it. I went back to my little chair, and moments after I sat down, I just lost it. I let it all go. I love thinking of my thought process at this point... "okay, this is embarrassing, but I can hide it. When we line up to walk to PE I'll just stand at the back of the line, cause Mr. Hadden always stands at the front, and then when we start running laps around the gym, i'll just keep my back to the wall and kind of run sideways, and then I'll just sort of stand off to the side for the rest of the class, and then I'll run home and change a lunchtime. Mom won't even know."

The bell rang and everyone stood to march off to class. I just hung out in my chair till everyone was lined up. I took my place at the back, and then to my horror, Mr. Hadden came to the back of the line! He had never done that before! We started walking and shortly thereafter I felt a hand on my shoulder, and Mr. Hadden said, "Bethany? Did you have a little accident?" Oh the humiliation! Mr. Hadden, of all people! I just said yes all sheepishly and went to the principle's office while they called mom to tell her what had happened. She came quickly with dry clothes and asked me how in the world it had happened. I told her all about it and showed her the sign. She read it to me.

It was an ad for an up-coming school activity.

An auction.

I would just love to know what Mr. Hadden was thinking as he saw that after two trips to the bathroom, I had still managed to pee my pants. Luckily I didn't have to face him again that day, since dear mother let me stay home and miss the afternoon classes.


  1. Oh that is hilarious. I read it laughing out loud, so then I had to read it to Warren. Rebecca is in first grade now, so I can totally picture that age easily. Btw, Warren is losing his job, so a bit of humor during these "exciting" times is very appreciated. Hope you are well. D.

  2. Oh dreamy mr. Hadden. Love it!
    Ps- finished all 90 minutes of yoga and I loved it.

  3. how funny. (i remembering detouring past mr. haddens classroom just to get a glimpse.) childhood comes with so many awkward moments.

  4. oh my gosh. that is so funny. i love that the sign was just for a school event, yet your mind jumped to so many conclusion.
    p.s. when were you ever shy!? I've NEVER thought of you as shy.

  5. Oh Bethany, what a great story, how sad. Since Ashley will never read this I had to actually go get her even in 5th grade sometimes and the secretaries at school were the sweetest to her because of her disability. She would always apologize and I would tell her it was never her fault---"accidents happen".

  6. Hahahhaha! The very next year, Mr. Hadden had to deal with me peeing my pants when I was in his class!
    Beth, you've been Americanized... it wasn't the Sixth-grade hallway. It was the grade-six hallway!
    ps: those auctions were so much fun!

  7. You are so funny! That is the best story!

  8. I've never heard the full story! Only a mother could really feel your pain. I remember how devastated you were and I didn't want to send you back. I had no idea Mr. Hadden was "dreamy!" But you were the sweetest little girl and so polite and did everything so correctly that this was a major trauma for you for sure!