A few weeks ago our church youth group went on its annual Full Circle Winter Camp. I think that I get just about as excited for this camp as the kids do. For one, my youth group didn't have camps, so the novelty of camp hasn't worn off for me, and secondly, I just love spending that time with the kids.
We separated into 5 cabins, and our cabin of 5 girls and 3 leaders was packed full. We had our set "Lights out" time that as leaders, we were supposed to enforce. The second night (last night) of camp is always a more emotional night, and we fudge the lights out time a little because our kids are a little more wound up and take a little longer to settle in.
So Saturday night we had everyone settled into their beds playing a game of "Truth or Truth" (This is church camp after all) and we were down to the last few who were still awake enough to play when I, the oldest of everyone there and supposedly a responsible leader, discovered to my horror that the ball-top of my belly-button ring had come off.
It was 1:30 am at this point, and half the cabin was asleep when I said aloud, "Oh NO!" I immediately began searching through my sleeping bag, and checking my pajamas, doing all of this by the light of my iPod screen, because it was well after lights out time. Finally, I had no choice but to get up and turn the lights on and start searching in earnest. Now I should point out that if you have a belly button ring, and it comes out, the piercing will start to heal VERY quickly. So I was doing my searching one-handed while I held onto the barbell to keep it in place. I looked high and low, but to no avail. At this point my McGyver instinct kicked in. I was desperate to keep that ring in place because I did not want to face the possibility of having to let it heal and get it redone and wait through the healing process AGAIN. So I started searching for anything that I could use as a temporary cap. I thought of a pencil eraser (which I had used with some success as an earring back in high school earring emergencies,) but I could not find a pencil anywhere.
I was about to pull a Laffy Taffy out of the candy bag when my eyes fell upon an earplug. An orange foam earplug. An earplug that was most assuredly used, and lying on the floor, the painted plywood, dirty gross cabin floor. A light bulb went off in my head and I pounced on that earplug and ran into the bathroom where I completely coated it in anti-bacterial soap and gave it a good scrubbing. After drying it with a paper towel, I got to work. After a couple of attempts, I managed to firmly secure the earplug so that the threads of the barbell stud were sticking out the other side.
Satisfied that this would hold, at least until morning, I turned the lights out and let everyone go back to sleep. (Aren't I such a good leader?)
I woke up the next morning and found that my temporary cap was still in place. I made my way through the morning, checking it often, and decided then and there that from now on my packing list would ALWAYS include extra rings and caps. That is Lesson number one!
Camp ended, and I packed up my car and drove home, arriving home about 1:00 in the afternoon and was going to go straight up to my jewelry box and get a new ring and remove the orange earplug-stopper. However, my husband was still not awake and I didn't wish to wake him early since he had to work that night, so I patiently waited.
As soon as he woke up, I ran upstairs and grabbed a new ring and went in to change it out. Here comes lesson number 2, and even though I had learned this one the HARD way 10 years ago, I had forgotten it. Lesson 2 is always, ALWAYS, plug the sink before changing a belly-button ring. I had sterilized and put in a new ring, when to my horror, the silver ball-top slipped out of my soapy fingers and went straight down the drain.
Cursing, I went back to the jewelry box, again, and got yet another topper. I managed to get this one attached, and then I set to work emptying out the cabinet under my sink so that I could remove the trap. I plugged Matt's sink and then dumped the trap contents into that one. To my dismay, the ball was not among the water and other assorted debris that had collected in the trap. So I went back to my sink and started shaking the stopper until I heard the tell-tale plink of something hitting the bottom of the cupboard. I reached down and grabbed it, dropped it into the waiting dixie cup full of anti-bacterial soapy water, and then went back to work re-assembling my sink.
Its been a few weeks now, and the frustration of the whole thing has faded and left me with just plain old amusement at my plight. I often wonder, am I the only one who does stuff like this? Or just the only one dumb enough to admit it to others?