Sunday, June 22, 2014

Awkward Moments: Bath Time

When I was in Boston a few months back I was hanging out in the lobby with my friend JT chatting as we waited for our group to meet up for dinner. I felt a tap on my shoulder while I was talking to him and looked back to see a girl who was bundled up in Eskimo-like attire and sunglasses (we were inside and it was nighttime). She said me, "I have a really random question for you." Confused but slightly intrigued, I told her to continue.

"Is there any way that I could go up to your hotel room and take a bath?"
I don't know what I was expecting her to say, but it certainly wasn't that. She told me how she had driven 12 hours to get to Boston for work and was staying with a friend who turned out to be exceptionally disgusting and she couldn't make herself stay the night in his dirty apartment but she'd been unable to find a hotel with any vacancies so far.

Sympathetic to her situation but not especially trusting of strangers, I was not at all thrilled with the notion of letting her use my bathroom, so I told her that the friend I was rooming with had just left to go back to his house and that he unfortunately had the only room key and wouldn't be back for at least an hour. The hour part was true, though I did in fact have a room key. I figured I'd get myself out of this very strange situation by letting her know she'd have to wait an hour before I could help her out. That blew up in my face when she said, "thanks, I'll just hang out until then" and she plopped down beside us.

I whispered to JT, asking him how I could get out of this and he sort of laughed at me, saying he had no idea. Our conversation sort of died with the presence of our new Eskimo friend (I should mention it had been quite warm that day) and as the minutes stretched on, things became very uncomfortable. After a while, I began to feel bad for her and started thinking that I'd just let her use the bathroom as long as she was quick. Finally I told her that I could get a key to my room and she could use the bathroom if she didn't take too long. I instructed her to meet me in the hallway on my floor and that I'd see her in a few minutes.

Between just wanting her to go and feeling like I should be a good Samaritan for someone who is just having a rough day, I wasn't thinking as straight as I should have been. You want to be helpful and do right by people and do something good for someone who might be in need, but you also have to watch out for yourself because there are terrible, shady people in the world. Deep down I want to believe the best in people, but it's rare that people exhibit good qualities. 33 years of human interaction has jaded me a bit towards the goodness of people. I mean the other day a 97 year old lady in a house near me asked for my help getting her trashcan to the street and the whole time I was eyeing her with suspicion, wondering what her angle was. Turns out her "angle" was that she is old and ran out of energy dragging a trashcan to the street that is as big as she is.

So I meet this girl in the hallway and as I'm walking toward my room it starts to hit me that, hey, I don't really know this person. I could in good faith let her use my bathroom to clean up, thinking I'm doing something nice for someone who needed a break, and then BAM, I might find her OD'd from doing a line of coke off of the toilet seat. Or crack or whatever drug people do lines of. Or she could call the cops and accuse me of rape. This possibility didn't occur to me at the time, but my friends who saw the whole story unfold said, "we were real sure you were going to get ax murdered."
Halfway to my room my sanity returns and I decide this is an absolutely terrible idea and I only have a few seconds to figure out how to get myself out of it. About that time, I hear her get a text and she says one of her co-workers had managed to get a room and she offered to let he stay there, so she could just head to her room for a shower instead. This was a huge relief.

She thanked me over and over for being so nice to her and she follows up with, "you've got to let me give you something" to which I decline. We go back and forth like this a couple of times and she says, "no, no, I really want to give you something".
Now, I can't say for sure, but I feel pretty confident that she was propositioning me for some saucy-time.
I continued to decline until she finally said that she appreciated me trying to help and that I had done my good deed for the week and that maybe she'd see me around.

I honestly think she was on the up-and-up about her day and how she just wanted to get a shower in to feel clean, but all the same I feel like I dodged a significant number of bullets that night.

I've always complained about how I have to approach women instead of the other way around, but if this is the way them approaching me is going to go, it's probably for the best. "Can I take a bath in your room" is a little too intense a first conversation for my tastes. I need someone to find a nice middle-ground between not talking to me at all and wanting to use my bathtub.

No comments: