At some point or another every person comes to a “crossroad” in their life. Mine happened in the Fall of 1996. It was freshman orientation at Williams Baptist College and I was a newly independent, all-knowing eighteen year-old ready to impress upon the world (and especially the cute boy one row over) just how mature I was.
The head of psychology, Dr. Rhodes, had just finished up his spiel (about what I have no idea since I had spent the entire time in a futile attempt to catch “cute boy”‘s eye) and was leaving the room as his wife Professor Rhodes (math department) entered. When they passed each other Prof. Rhodes quipped, “Crossroads” and continued to the podium amidst the laughter of the entire classroom…well, almost the entire classroom.
I sat there mute, staring at Prof. Rhodes desperately trying to figure out what was so durn funny. Finally about half-way through her speech I got it! They were both Rhodes and they had crossed paths! PHA-HA-HA!
A normal, well-adjusted, mature woman would snicker quietly and move on right? Probably. Unfortunately, I have never been that person. My choice of action? I chose to let everyone know that I now understood the pun by literally shouting out, “PHA-HA-HA! I GET IT!” Pause to loudly suck in breath, wipe tears then resume clutching my stomach and hollering out: “CUZ Y’ALL CROSSED ‘N YER BOTH RHODES!!!” Snort, wipe tears, laugh so hard I wheeze out each word that I’m ridiculously repeating, “PHA-HA-HA! CROSSROADS!”
After several more humiliatingly, unstoppable minutes I finally managed to calm myself a bit, reining in my “whiccupaughter” (wheeze-hiccup-laughter) to a mere body tremor and occasional, “Whew!” With one more swipe at my tears I made eye-contact with Prof. Rhodes. She lowered her glasses, glancing over the brim of the as she made out my name tag. “Uh, Miss Brodbent. Nice of you to join us.” With that, Professor Rhodes finished talking and handed us our class schedules.
I eagerly ripped open the envelope and scanned my classes, unbelieving that even in my 2% world it was possible to end up with both of the RHODES that semester. I wish I could say that my “crossroads” was a fluke and that I totally redeemed myself by the end of the year, but I’m a horrible liar. I CAN say, however, that I definitely made a heck of a first impression!