When I was 14, my friend Stephanie had one of those epic teenage boy-girl parties at her Dad’s house where there was an indoor pool. I prayed to receive an invitation to this party and was soo happy to be one of the exclusive kids to get to go. The party was really fun, especially as evidenced by the fact that I still remember it after all these years, and despite the fact that one of my most embarrassing teenage moments happened there. When I was changing out of my swimsuit in the bathroom that was next to the pool, I forgot to lock the door. The boy I had a super huge crush on at the time actually walked in on me while I was changing. I. was. MORTIFIED!!! I totally freaked out in that bathroom dreading coming out and trying to figure out a way to make myself look composed in order to go back to the party.
Fast forward 4 years, and I was at that same boy’s house for a drunken parents are out of town party at the end of high school. The boy and I were friends, despite the fact that I still had a crush on him, and somehow I hauled up the liquid courage to ask him about “the incident” at Stephanie’s party 4 years prior. He did not even remember it happening. I had been completely scarred by an absolutely insignificant event for him. (Said boy is still my friend and a very lovely grown-up with 2 kids and a beautiful wife now. I wonder if he now remembers either of these events as clearly as I remember both of these amongst a smattering of other memories of him very sweatily head-banging to Metallica at middle school dances and trampling into the trainer’s room in all of his football gear.)
Now we get in the time machine again and go all the way to 2012 when my family took a small vacation to Tropical Islands near Berlin. The rooms did not come with personal showers, so I wore my swimsuit and a bathrobe to the shower rooms about 100m away from our room and took my pajamas to put on after my shower. The showers were each sectioned off, so no communal shower embarrassment and they were separated by sex (also not always the case). The doors were even fairly out of view of the adjoining hallway. Andy and I walked to the showers together and I was surprised to find that when I entered I was alone in the room with 50+ showers to choose from. I took a nice hot shower and came out to towel off wearing only my flip-flops.
I walked over to the shelf where my pjs, lotion, etc were waiting for me and heard some teenagers talking in the hallway. The gigantic tropical hanger was actually full of several groups of teenagers, so hearing chattering groups did not surprise me at all. I was however surprised when three boys who looked to be about 14 years old chatted their way into the ladies shower area where I was standing naked. Initial shock took over for me as I clutched my hands to my chest and exclaimed, “HALLO!!” (Guessing I don't need to translate that one.) The boys looked almost as shocked as I was as they stumbled into each other in a Mary-Poppins-penguin-waiters-esque manner and tried to get out as quickly as they could. As they reached the hallway, I heard one of them say to the other, “Lass mich wieder schauen!” (Let me look again!)
I’m still not sure how I feel about that situation completely, but I took it both as a fun reminder of what it was like to be 14 and feel like your entire life is dictated by your hormones AND a compliment that I might actually look good naked.
Thank you. Thank you boys for that! If only I could somehow go back in time to when I was 14 and get that kind of ego boost instead of mortification. Oh well…live and learn.