Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rachel, I have to pee

Twenty-something females visit public bathrooms together and share the same stalls when they’re at bars. They just do. Ask any girl you see at the bar but don’t ask why. I’m not excluded from this statistic. After all, I am a girl. And so, whilst sharing a stall in the bathroom, my friends have noticed my fear of public stalls. They have also noticed my routine:

The Preparation:

(1) Survey the area.

(2) Pull up legs of jeans if needed and balance gingerly on toes of heels if area flooded by sewage and/or spilled drinks.

(3) Hold breath.

(4) Wad an extreme amount of toilet paper in hand. Wipe down toilet seat and make sure wad of paper is thick enough so nothing can, or ever will, seep through and touch said hand.

(5) Layer several sheets on left side of toilet with care so that no portion of the seat is exposed.

(6) Repeat step five but apply layers of toilet paper to right side of seat.

(7) Sit down.

The Act:

(1) Pee.

The Aftermath:

(1) Kick toilet paper in toilet with point of right heel while balancing on left.

(2) Flush toilet.

(3) Get upset when someone is standing in front of the sink fixing her hair or makeup when, clearly, I need to use the sink.

(4) Scrub hands with soap and hot, hot water.

(5) Use paper towel to get out of door.

* * *

One night at the bar, I realized that nature was calling. Or, maybe the three glasses of wine and the Dirty Girl Scout Slut were calling (that’s a shot, my friends).

“Rachel, I have to pee,” I flatly stated.

She rolled her eyes. She knew the routine. She ended her conversation with another friend and we briskly walked to bathroom at the back of the bar.

The line to the two stalls (one handicapped, one non) was approximately ten people deep. I tried to pull my thoughts away from the fact that I was about to release the equivalent of Niagara Falls into my jeans and tried to focus on other things, like how my heels were suddenly shooting searing pains up through the balls of my feet.

What if I were to just cut in line? Would anyone have the nerve to ask me to wait my turn? What if I offered each person a dollar so that I could stand at the front of the line? Do you think that would work?

Fifteen minutes later, the line barely seemed to budge. Meanwhile, my urge to pee was almost unbearable. My stomach was cramping and I was starting to hunch over. I began wiggling my knees back and forth out of anxiety. Girls slowly exited in and out of the bathroom stalls in pairs. While they were in the stalls, I heard giggling and talking. I saw cameras flash and drinks spill from underneath the stall doors.

Are you kidding me?

Before I had a chance to lose my cool and my bladder, it was my turn. Rachel and I entered the handicap stall, and I was in the midst of commencing step one of The Preparation. But to my dismay, I realized that I could not go through with the said Preparation. There was not enough time.

I did what any rationale-minded person would do in fear of peeing herself:

I skipped The Preparation and (gasp) squatted over the toilet seat.

The Act was going fine and the squat was staying balanced. But I noticed Rachel began moving towards me, closer, closer.
Suddenly, she stretched out her right arm and with the palm of her hand, forcefully pushed me on the seat.

The unprotected seat.

“RACHEL!” My initial gasp of horror soon turned into a maddening shriek.

She began cackling and fell with her back against the wall. Stunned, I stood up mid-pee. I slowly regained my balanced, back to the squat. I finished and mentally evaluated the damage: Clamydia? Gonorrhea? Swine flu? I couldn’t even fathom.

“Shut up! Get over it!” she said and laughed harder. Then, she added, “Hurry up! There are people waiting!”

As I stumbled out of the stall, my routine now thrown in shambles, the girls waiting in line began glaring at me.

They thought that I was socializing! That I was one of those in-the-bathroom-camera-snapping-girls!

I walked up to the sink and quietly waited for a girl to finish applying her make-up. By then, Rachel realized my face was washed of all pleasant expression.

“What’s wrong?” she said.

“Cladmydia’s what’s wrong!” I snapped.

I suddenly noticed that girls began staring and snickering at me. I glared around, tossed my hair over my shoulder at them, and left.

* * *

Later that night, Rachel asked to use some of my hand gel. Out came the Vera Bradley cosmetic bag stuffed with alcohol wipes, burn gel, band aids, and hand wipes. I dug past these items and pulled out a mini-sized hand gel.

“Just don’t say anything. You know how I am,” I stated.

Oh, I know.

Before she could squeeze a dollop of that germ-fighting miracle gel into her hand, sensory alarms began ringing in my head.



I could feel those four words edging their way out of the pit of my bladder, up against the back of my throat, until...

I spilled out: “I have to pee.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine, let’s go.”

* * *

No comments: