I don’t know where my gynophobia came from. I had dated two girls in high school that I still believe were quite pretty and my entire friend group up to entering college was almost SOLIDLY made up of females… But for some reason, when I entered Auburn University as a wee little Freshman, I was just about as terrified around girls as any male could be…
But I will never forget the closest I ever came to being entrapped by them…………
It was the first week of college. My room mate was Franklin Wetzel, a man I still love and respect. We had moved into Graves Hall and I was probably doing something awesome like sitting by myself playing video games [I had a slight problem my Freshman year]. Then, mid sit, MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, I hear a noise… To the average male this probably would have been NO BIG DEAL… but I heard the sound of the female species, and unlike other less intelligent males, my body immediately recognized just how horrific a situation I was faced with. She was rapidly approaching.
Down the hallway she came, methodically knocking on each door, introducing herself all along the way. Oh the craftiness of her approach! Saying hello and then expecting a pleasant conversation to ensue! My terror hit it’s highest point when I realized that this tyrant was not going to yield its rampage before coming upon my abode! I only really had four choices and I had mere seconds to decide:
1. I could hide in the bathroom. Though this would remove me from the situation visually, I realized however that the bathroom was also connected to my suite mates’ room and I would inevitably be discovered due to the loud banging noise those doors made no matter how hard you tried to be silent. Further, Franklin was present and would likely want to communicate with the female, holding her up too long for me to comfortably give the bathroom excuse.
2. I could hide under the bed, but again my room mate Franklin would probably have ratted me out!
3. I could climb out the window. We were on the first story! I TOTALLY probably could have used this option. In fact, my bed rested along the window… I should have gone with this option… This not only would have removed me from the room but also would have negated any chance of Franklin forcing me into conversation.
4. I only had one final chance… and it DEFINITELY proved to be the most practical! There was really only one thing I could do! I mean… What did they do in Lord of the Rings at Helms Deep after the wall was breached? First, they tried to hold back the tide but QUICKLY realized they were overtaken. So what was their option? They had to protect those they loved and they knew that the only way this was possible was to fall back, regroup, and barricade a really big door! Then, they simply had to say deep things until help arrived via horseback. “What can man do against such reckless hate?”
I can only imagine I had watched this Lord of the Rings recently because I drew a MASSIVE amount of inspiration from that very scene. Very stealthily I crept towards the door of my room. I knew the treacherous female could be upon my door at any moment! So, very quietly I opened the door and peaked out into the hallway [I know. Brave.]. Much to my surprise and dismay, it was not any normal girl who stood mere feet away. Oh no. There were two of them. TWO!!!
TWO!?!?!?!? The mere thought of just one was enough to send me into a frenzied panic. BUT TWO! I had only seconds to act, as I knew my suite mates, though smooth talkers, could only hold the attention of the two for only so long! WIthout thinking any further or even CONSIDERING tact or stealth, I slammed the door shut and locked it. Looking back, I definitely should have bolstered the door with some sort of furniture, but in the moment, I was so filled with terror, all I could do was set my back to the door, and slowly slide down. I can only assume that the loud noise I created was enough to frighten off the enemy outside my door, for they never came rap-tapping upon my chamber door.
I could have died that day. And though he didn’t realize it and for a solid two or three minutes stared at me with bewildered confusion, I saved Franklin Wetzel’s life too. He will thank me one day for my valiant deed.
So Franklin, one day when you read this and think back to that glorious day that you probably don’t remember, know that I need no applause for what I do. Merely knowing I did what was right is enough for me my friend.
Photos from that historic day.
Dixie Bibb Graves Hall; August 2010
Dixie Bibb Graves Hall; August 2010
Franklin Wetzel; August 2010
My first meal in college, a peanut butter and jelly sandwish; August 2010
I pray no man ever has to see what I have lived through…