One time... I fell down the stairs, right into the arms of some random Vicar for Clergy.
Yep, that's right. This particular Tuesday morning was a rough one; one of those mornings where, 20 minutes after you wake up, you're kind of wishing you could just go back to bed and start over. Or fast forward to tomorrow.
So I essentially live at a retreat center, and on this particular day, there was a short conference for Vicars for Clergy going on. They were a happy bunch, and as I walked out of my room and down the stairs to go to breakfast, I grumpily thought to myself: There are far too many people up and about and cheerful for this hour of the day. I really hope I don't have to talk to any of them.
Lo and behold, as I rounded the corner to the last flight of stairs, a whole pack of them was walking up the stairs towards me. One smiled and said good morning. Uh oh. Conversation. I smiled back and said hi, inwardly hoping I wouldn't have to continue interacting with him. I needed coffee first, you know? You understand, right?
Well, immediately I missed the next stair, lost complete control, and Fr. Good-Morning caught me as I was falling. I ended up half on my butt on the stairs, half in his arms, and with a look of complete shock and bewilderment on my face. Assuring them I was okay and thanking my rescuer, I walked away laughing at myself. I applaud their self-control in not laughing - at least not while I was there!
Far more interaction than I wanted that morning, and certainly not the way I would have wanted to introduce myself but it certainly cured my grumpiness. That and coffee. Coffee helped.
That's embarrassing anywhere, but with the Vicar for Clergy? Thankfully, he's not from this diocese and I'm banking on the odds that I'll never see him again!
Another time... I woke up and there was a bishop in my hallway.
Running late as usual, I opened up my door and flew out of my room - right into the auxiliary bishop. The 'conversation' went something like this:
Externally: "Oh! Uh... good morning uh... Excellency. Uh... How are you?"
Internally: I said 'Excellency' and not 'Eminence', right? Shoot, why can't I remember his last name? Geez, he's up early. Wait, why is he in my hallway...? My life is really weird. Is this a dream? An alb... he must have celebrated Mass in the chapel with Fr. So&So... that's cool. Oh shoot, that's right: Mass! I'm late!
I have no idea what he responded. I was too busy wondering how I had gotten to a point in my life where the first person I see in the morning could possibly be a Bishop. And all of this before breakfast. "You duped me, O Lord..."