“A Sticky Situation,” Ensign, Feb. 1977, 64
My wife, Virginia, had just returned from the hairdresser, and I was busy distributing the hamburgers and french fries that were to constitute the children’s dinner that evening. We had an early dinner engagement and were rushing to get everything settled before picking up the baby-sitter and dashing off to an evening of relaxation with our friends.
The children began to eat their sandwiches as Virginia poured them glasses of pink lemonade. As she placed the pitcher back in the refrigerator, she noticed a sandwich wrapper on the floor. She stooped to retrieve it and just as she did so, a glass of lemonade tipped over, quickly spread across the table, and flowed over the edge right into Virginia’s fresh hairdo. Virginia straightened up, with liquid dripping from her hair, down the side of her face, and onto her housecoat. The children froze! It was obvious they expected a strong reaction.
It started slowly—a silly giggle born of the ridiculousness of the accident—and gradually grew into full-throated laughter pealing forth from Virginia’s throat. Neither the children nor I could believe what we were hearing! The tension dissolved in chuckles from the children and me, and soon every member of the family was laughing uproariously at the spectacle of our wife and mother dripping with wet, sticky pink lemonade. The mess was quickly sponged from the table and floor, and a fresh glass poured to take its place. Virginia finished dressing while I fetched the baby-sitter and we went on our way to a pleasant evening, with no one the wiser that part of the gloss in Virginia’s hair was not from hair spray!
Our children enjoy retelling to family and friends what has come to be known in our family as “the sticky situation.” It is a classic example of how a mother, with calmness and a sense of humor, turned what could have been a very unpleasant situation into a teaching experience that will not soon be forgotten. C. Russell Nickel, Seattle, Washington