I was at a place today where I would have liked to look smart. I suppose I'd like to look smart in a lot of places but I'm realistic.
While at this place, I needed to put my coat in a closet. If I had given this activity much thought before I commenced it, I would have expected to perform it well and perhaps even gracefully. I've put coats in closets. There can be problems with items sliding off hangers, scarves falling on the floor, and struggles to find room for bulky winter clothes but these things are expected. Today, though, this activity presented new challenges. In trying to meet them, I couldn't have looked too smart.
Perhaps I have fallen behind in my understanding of modern closet door technology. I was unfamiliar with the "things" (handles?/knobs?/mystical, magical buttons?) which were embedded in the doors and which appeared in some way to lead their opening. Should these items be pushed? Should I try to slide one in some way? If I simply touched one, would a door burst open, eager to welcome my outerwear? It was a puzzle and it was not one I could easily solve.
In situations like this one, and I do encounter them, I like it when someone says something like "Those doors are tricky, aren't they? Everyone has trouble with them." I don't need to know that no one else has ever had a problem and they're secretly questioning what on earth is wrong with me. I would prefer, of course, if they handed me a detailed instruction manual but a few kind words would help. In this situation, no one said anything. Perhaps I should be grateful that no one pointed and laughed but I could have used a little more assistance.
With fumbling determination, I worked on the door until it finally opened. Another person came into the facility while I was there and didn't even attempt to use the closet. Perhaps she had been warned of its dangers. I decided, on the way out, to risk further humiliation and retrieve my coat. It's quite a nice coat. Again, I had some trouble but I managed to get it open. There were no other coats in the closet at that time. I can see why.
As awkward as we (or maybe it's just me but I'll tell myself it happens to others too) feel when we encounter situations like this, they make life a little more interesting. Opening a door gave my mind a chance to travel in new directions and I had a little fun figuring out a challenge. It's good to keep figuring out and learning new things. I will try to remember these cheerful thoughts the next time I find myself in a baffling and/or awkward situation. The good thing is, I probably won't have to wait too long.