Has this ever happened to you
We have all had moments in our lives that when we look back on them we see differently than when they first occurred. I have been lucky enough to have had several moments that have left lasting impressions on me. They made me realize you have to be able to not only have the experience in the first place but be able to find the humor in it later. Now I’m sure some of you may think what on earth is she talking about What kind of situation could I possibly have gotten into? After all, I’m in a wheelchair…. Well, let me tell you I have thankfully been exposed to some amazing adventures and unbelievable situations. I don’t know if many of you have literally left your mark on a bathroom wall, if you did I’m sure it wasn’t the way I left my mark. How many of you have spilled nail polish on someone's white sneakers in the bathroom? Or my finale, I don’t think this has ever happened to you. Have you ever been in a public bathroom and had the water supply come off the wall while you were sitting on the toilet? Yup, happened to me!
Most of the unbelievable situations have happened to me in bathrooms. It started with my assistants throughout my school years and carried over to my assistant in college at RCC. The bathroom for me was a place to chat. Still to this day, the bathroom evokes chatter, it is where I download for the day in more ways than one. This incident started with us going into the men’s bathroom without realizing it. I know everyone has done that but for me it means almost wiping out the sink and urinal, not to mention leaving black marks from my wheelchair all over the wall. A good detective would have just had to follow the marks to find the culprit.
Making a clean getaway
One day, we were on a different floor but thought we were on a floor that was familiar to us. We didn’t realize until it was too late that yes you’ve guessed it, we walked into the men’s bathroom. At first glance, we were confused as to why there were no doors on the stalls the bathroom we usually used had doors. That should have been our first clue. It wasn’t until Lisa noticed the urinals on the walls that we realized our mistake. Trying to make a quick getaway was nearly impossible. Between the shock and embarrassment, we were both laughing hysterically that we were in the wrong place. Thankfully no one else was in the bathroom nor needed to use it. Which was a good thing since my wheelchair was wedged between the sink and the wall. I am desperately trying to maneuver my chair in this small unusual space and make a quick getaway. But as usual, things didn't go as planned.
Leave your mark
We were laughing so hard that I’m trying to turn my chair around but couldn’t and got wedged between the sink and the wall. A visible black mark was left on the wall from my armrest. Nana can attest that these black marks are not easy to get off, the Mr. Clean erasers don’t do much to remove them. I couldn’t get control of my chair very well and it was like a pinball bouncing off the bumpers. I hit the wall several times. It felt like a lifetime trying to get out of there, but in all reality, it was probably less than five minutes. Now mind you, we were still hysterical laughing the whole time. We tried not to look at each for fear of never getting out of the men’s room. We finally managed to gain both control over the wheelchair and ourselves and made it safely out of the men’s room without being noticed. I wonder what the janitorial staff thought of the black marks on the wall. Our bathroom adventures didn’t end there.
Spilling the polish
I was getting ready for the graduation photo shoot for my Associate's degree, additionally, I was receiving awards later that night from the school. If you are like me you gotta look your best. Since I wasn’t going home in between I brought all the essentials to make myself look fabulous. This included bright pink nail polish. My partner in crime Lisa was with me. She is my glam squad without her assistance I look like a 12-year-old. We went into the bathroom because everyone knows that was the place with the best lighting and we thought would be quiet. We could chatter up a storm without bothering anyone. We also didn't want to upset anyone with the smell of fresh nail polish. Bathrooms are full of smells.
Creating a Jackson Pollak
The only problem was that the sink did not have a countertop so we used the armrest of my wheelchair. It worked perfectly until someone needed to get to the sink. Forgetting that the nail polish lid was not tightly closed we moved my wheelchair. You guessed it, bright pink nail polish splattered everywhere, especially on the young woman’s white sneakers. We were mortified. We had just created an original Jackson Pollak on her sneakers and the bathroom floor. The young woman laughed it off. She could have gotten so angry and demanded we replace her shoes. We offered but she refused, they were old anyway according to her. Her thought process was that accidents happen, we can’t beat ourselves up over them and the sneakers looked cooler now than they did when she came into the bathroom. We did our best to clean up the floor and remove all traces of the bright pink nail polish but we had to return the next day with remover because it would come up. Again I wondered if the janitorial staff had thought this was some sort of crime scene. So note to self, when painting your nails in the bathroom, make sure you have plenty of nail polish remover. By the way, my nails were on point.
Ice Bucket Challenge or White Water Rafting Anyone?
On another occasion, I like many of you needed to use a public bathroom. We stopped at a gas station. While we went into the bathroom, my friend Dave waited in the car. I am sure he was expecting us to be awhile because like all women we take our time in the bathroom and needed time to chat. Little did he know we would come out of the bathroom looking like we had just survived the sinking of the Titanic. I had just finished doing my business and mom flushed the toilet. All of a sudden, the plumbing came away from the wall and water started gushing out everywhere. This was clean water coming from where the toilet sensor and water supply meet the wall. Before we knew it, I felt like either I was doing the ice bucket challenge or
I was white water rafting on the Youghiogheny River. Which is probably the closest I’ll ever come to going white water rafting.
Mount Vesuvius has erupted
If you can imagine, water is spuing from the wall, I am on the toilet, and both my mom and Lisa are standing in front of me, not to mention my wheelchair was in the stall. Hence the reason we always need the handicapped stall, to say it was tight in there is an understatement. My mom was trying to hold me on the toilet but the water was spraying everywhere. She has one hand on me and one hand trying to put the sensor back on the pipe that is spuing water everywhere. Ok, you can laugh especially if you have a vivid imagination. The water was ankle deep and believe it or not people were still coming into the bathroom to use it. Splish splashing through the water as if nothing happened. Lisa raced out of the stall to get dry clothes for me, help, and someone to turn the water off. Mom had to move my wheelchair out of the way but not block the door while holding me on the stall and water gushing out of the wall.
The trek to get dry clothes
So Lisa braved the elements to go get help. There were at least three inches of water on the floor and my underwear and shorts were soaked and floating away from me like pieces of driftwood. I can only imagine Lisa, soaking wet running through the store trying to find help where it appeared very few workers spoke English. She must have been a sight to see sounding like a red fox screaming for help. Once she got help and the water turned off, she raced to the car to get me dry clothes. Dave must have been so confused when she raced out to the car to grab the clothes,
and raced back into the bathroom without a word, soaking wet. She had no time to explain to him why she looked like she had taken a shower with her clothes on. She later told me that Dave’s expression was priceless, he could figure out if he should laugh or cry.
Clean up in the bathroom
Finally, someone turned the water off and a little old man with a mop came into the bathroom. Mom told him needed to wait a minute because she needed to get me dressed because my shorts were floating on the floor. She managed to wrestle me into my chair soaking wet but at least one of us would have dry clothes. As we left the bathroom we not only heard people complaining about there not being any water coming out of the faucets but the water had made its way to the floor in the store. At this time we didn’t know if we should stay or go, no one came to talk to us, so we left, mom and Lisa were soaking wet. We still get gas at that station but I am too afraid to go inside. Again I wonder what the janitorial staff thought.
The moral of the story
The moral of the story is always double-check to make sure you go into the correct bathroom and be careful not to slam into the walls and leave black marks, Jackson Pollak paintings look better in a museum than on sneakers and bathroom floors, and finally if you want to go white water rafting make sure you have dry clothes to change into.
Thank you for reading until the end!
This is the view from my wheelchair, where miracles can make a difference. Always Strive for the Impossible. Come back next week to hear about my wild ride and hear more about my experiences and The View From My Wheelchair.