ESSAY | STORYTELLING
The PeePee-Dance Fiasco
Trapped between Can I and May I
Diana’s amusing Transformational Thursday story really knocked me all the way back to when I was in third grade. As I’ve explained before, I have memory issues, but I do seem to remember things that were drilled into my head, especially if they were negative and doing a peepee-dance in front of a room full of other kids was definitely a negative memory for me.
I was new to the school, maybe not even a week in attendance. The day began like all others, I assume. I went to school, went to classes and then lunch time rolled around. This is really where my memory clicks into gear. I’d finished eating and had dumped my tray and then went up to one of my teachers to ask to be excused to go to the bathroom.
“Can I be excused?” I asked.
“You can do anything, but no, not until you ask properly.”
She shewed me back to my seat. I waddled back to my table, sat down, and bounced my legs. I really needed to use the bathroom. I watched endlessly as kids went up to her and were allowed to leave. What were they asking that I hadn’t asked?
I went back up, asked again, was told no and shewed back again to my seat. I could hear kids snickering as I walked back with my head down. By now, I was in dire straits. I had two choices — find out what other kids were asking and get excused, or pee my pants in my seat.
Finally, one girl came by the table and whispered, “May I. You gotta ask it like that.”
Apparently everyone had gone through this same scenario and this one girl was kind enough to explain. And I did go back up, asked properly and was allowed to leave the room.
Even though I felt it was cruel then (and still do), I did learn a lesson. I never again failed to say may I to that teacher, or anyone else for that matter, when asking for things. So I guess it really does matter how you ask people things and how you present yourself — especially while doing a peepee-dance.
©2020 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.
This embarrassing mess is in response to Diana C.’s latest thought-provoking storytelling: