Monday, September 18, 2006
hiding in the bathroom
This morning found me hiding in the first-floor bathroom of the old stone lodge that overlooks the front lawn on this small campus where I work. I tried to call Jenny for help, but my cell phone doesn't work in the bowels of the building. I washed my hands again, looked imploringly in the mirror, and, not hearing anything outside, opened the door. My finacé stood in the hall, grinning. "He can meet us now" he said.
Bathrooms are a good place to hide, their drawback being that they don't provide separate exits, trap doors, attics, underground tunnels or escape pods. Working and living in a religious community has made me protective of my privacy. Add this to an inherited anti-social streak, an acquired distaste for gossip, and a propensity to be painfully honest and, well, you get me hiding from Dean of Students in the women's bathroom, thinking longingly of tunnels and trap doors.
The school has a tradition of announcing engagements at the end of Vespers accompanied by vigorous bell-ringing. As a non-attendee of chapel I was hoping to avoid this bit of unpleasantness--perhaps they could just ring them in my absence?? Everyone could congratulate my fiancé while I read the next chapter of Gravity and Grace or went to yoga. Pretty please, with sugar and cherries on top?
The problem in this case is, simply: I don't want my personal business in the hands of just anyone. That is, Just Anyone Here On Campus. (You, dear reader, are another matter). As Jenny said so well on the phone this morning, how dare people on campus be nice and congratulate me when I've spent four years trying to keep them out of my life?
So, yes, I met with the Dean of Students. I went to Vespers. They rang the bells. Some nice students even gave us a bottle of champagne. And while I prayed to God that the Dean would forget to announce our engagement, he didn't, and it wasn't that bad.
So now for the bottle of champagne.