That Sinking Feeling / by Courtney Mehlhaff

Last winter, I went with a friend to visit his sister. Even though she lives in the same city, I'd never been to her house, so I wanted to be on my best behavior.

I asked for the grand tour, which included fascinating stories about all the artwork and renovations. Later, when I wanted a quick bathroom break, I felt like I knew my way around enough to duck in without asking where it was. I left my friend and his sister to their conversation and briefly disappeared.

When I went to wash my hands, I noticed there were several items sitting in the sink, like a hair dryer and curling iron. "Hmmm . . . that's a bit dangerous," I thought. But I moved them and lathered and rinsed and went about my evening. 

We had a lovely dinner and were ready to start some games when my friend got up from the table and headed toward the bathroom.

"Did you tell Courtney about the sink?" his sister called from the kitchen.

"Oh, no. But she hasn't used it."

I had to meekly pipe up, "Yeah, I did. Earlier. Why?"

"The sink's broken."

I was really puzzled at that point.  "But ... I washed my hands."

His sister hurried past me.  "The pipe's not connected! It doesn't go anywhere." 

Oh. Shit.

Luckily for her, she'd placed a small container inside the cabinet and nothing was damaged. 

Luckily for me, I'd just done a quick splish splash, rather than letting the water run while I stared at my own dumb face in the mirror or fussed with my hair or what have you. On the other hand, I hadn't made sure to sing the whole alphabet song while I scrubbed my hands. While this may not speak volumes for my personal hygiene, it saved me the embarrassment of my first impression being "destruction of property." And that's always a win in my book.