Showering You With Awkwardness

, , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: Garan-Coristar | July 6, 2021

I’m at a campground. I’m on my way to take a shower because I got sweaty while hiking. I find the last open shower. I am about to get undressed when I hear a knock at the door.

Me: “Who is it?”

Woman: “Ugh, can you hurry up? My darling [Child] needs his shower before he goes to bed.”

Me: “Ma’am, I was just about to start. You can look for another shower if you want.”

Woman: “Ugh, but there are no bathrooms left! You can go after my darling [Child]! And I won’t take no for an answer!”

Jeez, this lady is persistent. I hear a tinier voice.

Child: “Mom, it’s fine. I can go after him.”

Woman: “No! Gentlemen are supposed to let ladies go first always! You should get out of there, b*****d!”

I just ignored her after that. Little did I know, I forgot to lock the door.

This lady just walked in like nobody’s business, and even worse, her kid came pre-naked. I shielded my eyes and yelled, “Get OUT!”

She ran out of the shower and finally let me be. I don’t know why she thought she could come in anyway, or why anyone would undress their kid in their RV and let them run around naked, but I’ll always lock my door from now on.

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Sometimes A Nosebleed Is Just A Nosebleed

, , , , | Learning | July 6, 2021

My whole life, I’ve always been prone to getting nosebleeds. Thankfully, the issue has gotten better as I’ve grown up, but as a kid, anything from stress to a drop in humidity, to the lightest bonk on the nose was enough to set it off. After being assured by my pediatrician that, as long as the bleeds didn’t last too long or happen too often, I was fine and would likely grow out of it, my parents and I quickly learned how to properly take care of them and how to get them to stop more quickly.  

One year, when I’m about ten or so, I attend a local summer camp. I can’t recall the exact catalyst for this nosebleed — if there even was one — but I’m stuck in the bathroom for several minutes trying to get it to stop. Eventually, a counselor finds me and goes pale.

Counselor: “Oh, my God! What happened?!”

Me: “Just a nosebleed. I get these sometimes. I’m all right.”

Counselor: “I’m going to bring you to the front office, just to be safe, okay?”

Not really given a choice in the matter, I’m begrudgingly pulled up to the front office after I clean myself up.

Camp Director: “Okay, [My Name], I think we’re going to call your mom about this.”

Me: “Really, you don’t have to worry about this. It’s normal for me and she knows it!”

Camp Director: “We just need to make sure, kid.”

I can hear my mom through the phone as they talk.

Mom: “Hello?”

Camp Director: “Hello, Mrs. [Mom]. It’s [Camp Director] from [Camp]. I’m just calling because [My Name] had a nosebleed?”

Mom: “Is he not able to get it to stop?”

Camp Director: “No, no, it’s stopped.”

Mom: “Did it ruin his clothes? Do I need to bring extras over?”

Camp Director: “No, those are fine, as well.”

Mom: “Did he not tell you that these are normal for him and that he knows how to deal with them?”

Camp Director: “Well, he did but we just wanted to be sure—”

Mom: “Well, you can be sure by actually listening to the kids sometimes.”

She hung up and I was sent back with my group.

Looking back, I see that my mother was a lot ruder than she needed to be to a woman who was just worried about my health, but at least it taught her to note my nosebleeds whenever she signed me up for anything else so that we were both left alone after that!

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No Connecting Here

, , , , , , | Learning | May 26, 2021

I am starting the highest rope courses in camp. Being a rope course, there are many safety procedures, one of them being a partner system. There is one key fact: you must call to your partner each time you finish a course and switch to the next. This is where problems come in as I pair up with [Annoying Classmate]. As I climb up, I clip my safety connectors to the rope. First red flag:

Me: “Connecting!”

There is a response, but it is delayed and I can already see them talking to someone else.

Annoying Classmate: “Continue!”

I continue to climb through the sections, forgetting to call the second and third transitions. Finally, I remember to do so.

Me: “Connecting!”

Silence. I look down and where do I find them? Nowhere in sight. As there is only one area blocked from my view, I rightly assume that my classmate has gone under into the shade. I curse them in my mind and continue in the hopes that they’ll come out. Stupid, I know. As I reach the fifth one, I look down and see the exact same thing: no [Annoying Classmate].

Me: “Connecting!”

I pause.

Me: “CONNECTING!”

Still silence. I am very frustrated at this point.

Me: “CONNECTING, YOU FEMALE DOG!”

As this is the first time I’ve sworn in any capacity, this should be enough to get their attention even though it isn’t an actual swear. I know people down there can hear me because they look up with shocked faces, but no one emerges from the shade. At this point, someone else comes along with his own partner, [Classmate].

Classmate: “Continue, [My Name]!”

He continues to serve as my de-facto partner until the end, which I will be forever grateful for. Finally, as I descend, [Annoying Classmate] comes out of the shade towards me.

Annoying Classmate: “So, how was it?”

Thankfully, a murder did not happen that day.

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Putting A Wedge In Your Pledge

, , | Right | May 23, 2021

My grandparents own a camping site near a lake and offer to rent pedal boats and cabins. They are the only workers there, so I, a fourteen-year-old girl, decide to help them during the summer and look after the reception.

It’s kind of a boring day and only one of the pedal boats is being used. A middle-aged woman comes into reception.

Me: “Hello!”

Customer: “I would like to rent a pedal boat. How much for an hour?”

Me: “3€. But I will need a pledge.”

Customer: “A pledge?”

Me: “It can be anything you don’t want to lose during your trip.”

This is a standard process for safety and we add tiny papers with their start time to them. She hands me 20€ cash.

Me: “Sorry, I can’t accept cash. But people usually leave some documents—”

Customer: “Documents? I won’t give my passport!”

Me: “I can’t accept passports, either. You can leave your driver’s license, ID, wallet, phone, etc.”

Customer: “But I’m renting a cabin in this camping area and I left all my belongings there.”

Me: “It’s our policy.”

Customer: “Actually, how old are you? Can you even work there?”

Me: “I’m fourteen, and from this age, you can legally work with parents’ permission.”

She starts asking for some “grownups” and so on. My father comes into reception and sees me almost crying.

Father: “What’s the problem?”

Customer: “She doesn’t want to accept my pledge or my passport!”

Me: “I said that neither cash nor passport is an acceptable pledge.”

Customer: “I’m staying there. Why can’t she just accept the money?”

Father: “Because the money doesn’t give a guarantee that you won’t go across the lake and steal the boat.”

I don’t remember what happened next because I was crying, but at one moment, my grandfather came into reception. It turned out that the customer’s kids had rented one water bike just a few minutes before and left their phone as a pledge.

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An Unnatural Fixation With Color

, , , , , | Working | April 21, 2021

This happens around 1993 or so. I’m about thirteen and my cousin is twelve. She is visiting for the summer. My cousin has very bright strawberry blonde hair, and her hair turns VERY bubblegum pink when she gets in a pool. This happens pretty much every summer.

The problem arises after we get to summer camp after a day at the pool and beach. [Cousin] gets called into the director’s office for having an “unnatural” hair color. He doesn’t believe her when she says that she didn’t dye it. Our grandmother comes to pick us up.

Director: “The rules are very clear; this camp does not tolerate unnatural hair colors.”

Nana: “Sir, this is her natural hair color. We went swimming yesterday and the chemicals in the pool turned her hair pink. This happens often and it will fade in a week or two.”

Director: “That won’t do! You will take her home and dye her hair back to a natural color. She will not be allowed back in until then.”

We leave. [Cousin] is in tears, absolutely baffled about what she did wrong to get kicked out of camp. Nana is muttering up a storm. I start laughing.

Nana: “What’s so funny?”

Me: “Well, the director said that cousin’s hair had to be a natural color, not her natural color. Didn’t she want to dye it black a few weeks ago?”

[Cousin]’s ears perk up. Nana gets a rather evil grin and tells me that I’m absolutely right!

Nana: “[Cousin], do you still want to dye your hair black?”

Cousin: “YES! YES, I DO! Are you really going to let me?”

Nana: “Absolutely, let’s go to the beauty store.”

The next day comes. The director calls us back into the office and calls our grandmother to come get us. The director lays into Nana about how this isn’t a “natural color.”

Nana: “Excuse me, black hair most certainly is a natural dang color!”

Director: “It’s not her natural color.”

Nana: “The rules clearly state ‘natural colors.’ Nowhere does it specify that it must be her natural color.”

Director: “WELL, THAT’S WHAT IT MEANS!”

Nana: “So, you mean to tell me that your black hair, your secretary with the flaming red hair, and the super bleached-out platinum blonde instructor are all your natural colors? Because I know darn well they are not! Now, you will stop harassing my grandchildren, or I’m pulling them out of this program, with a full refund, I’m reporting you to the super head honcho—”

My nana is very good friends with the head honcho, and the director knows it.

Nana: “—and I will convince every parent and grandparent to pull their kids. You have no right to harass children and their bodies. I don’t give a s*** if it’s just hair or not! You do not give impressionable kids body image issues.”

True to her word, she pulled us out after he refused to let it drop and got all the parents to pull their kids and place them in the other camp across town run by the same organization. The head honcho fired the director since numbers got too low to keep his camp open and transferred anyone who wanted to keep their jobs to the other camp. No one was sad to see him go, and the transferred employees were much happier being out from under that tyrant. [Cousin] never heard another peep about her “unnatural” hair.

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