tonight we went out for mexican food at our favorite little place in town. that gives me mixed feelings because i love the food there & i like the unpretentious environment, but usually, it doesn't take long for that bean burrito and queso dip to work their magic on my colon. and my honey likes to go walking after we eat so that the food doesn't just settle straight down into our butts and thighs. but this prospect fills me with fear & trepidation all because of that one time.
that one fateful night... at walmart.
knowing that after a big meal, i often need to make a rapid run to the ladies room, i usually prefer for our post dining walks to be in places with convenient facilities and on this particular night, we were at walmart. it wasn't so much a shopping trip as an exercise in loitering. since chris & i don't care to loiter in the same regions of walmart, i was in the hosiery area and he was off looking at electronics or movies or something more manly than knee highs and toe socks.
suddenly, i felt the gurgle of doom. i had a spike of adrenaline, knowing what was coming. i speedily dialed chris' cell number & in a panicked voice, asked where he was because i needed to get brooke to him as quickly as possible. i hate it when i have to take her with me into a public bathroom stall, especially when it's not going to be just a quick pee. and this - good lord, i could HEAR the rumbles - was not going to be a quick pee. i was starting to run in chris' direction. i was pushing brooke in the shopping cart at breakneck speed, dodging racks & unsuspecting citizens and hoping that i could avoid any collisions because i was pretty sure that if i ran into anyone, i would then have the dubious honor of dying from a butt explosion amongst the cheap outer wear and rain ponchos.
i caught sight of him heading my way and with hardly a thought, i shoved the cart containing my child -who was holding onto the rungs in a white knuckled grip- in chris' direction & then did a rapid course correction & made a bee line for the bathroom. i'm not much of a runner, so it wasn't smooth or fluid, certainly not like anything you'd see in a nikes commercial and i was holding a boob in each hand to keep them from flapping willy nilly between my neck & my navel as i gallumped between racks of flip flops and magazines. i had a look of sheer terror on my face & i knew that i looked insane, but i figured that was a preferable alternative to crapping my underpants as i ran between customers in the self check out aisles.
i thought i was going to make it. i was on the home stretch, racing past customer service, shimmying through tiny cracks between meandering rednecks with my eyes glued to the door of the ladies room. there was no cleaning cart parked out front. good sign. there wasn't a long line hanging out the door. great. but then, i felt it. that hot, horrifying liquid on my backside telling me that i was too slow. that my thigh churning, heart pounding rampage through the store wasn't enough to save my dignity. or my underwear.
i skidded through the doorway & nearly crashed straight into a woman who was the last in a line of 2 women. oh shit. i couldn't wait. i was about ready to belly flop to the floor & slither under a stall to join the unsuspecting piddler on the other side of the wall in hopes that i could wrestle the funky toilet from her butt's grasp. but then i saw that the woman directly in front of me was doing a pee pee dance. and she was very obviously pregnant. i understood that a full-bladdered pregnant woman always trumps others in line in a bathroom, so i couldn't just bash past her for the next available commode. i had to wait my turn.
thankfully, the first lady in line saw the distress of lil miss preggers and she let her go first. then she was standing beside me while i struggled unsuccessfully to contain the need to twitch like a junkie in need of a fix while clenching my anus like it's only ever been clenched that one time at bible study.
i'm sure my aroma was filling the small space all too well and since i probably looked and was acting completely nuts, the woman at the front of the line was gracious enough to also give up her space to me. most likely she thought from the stink of me that i was a homeless wackjob and she didn't want to witness me losing my head & flinging dung like a monkey in the wally world bathroom. whatever the case, i didn't look the gift toilet in the mouth so i raced into the middle stall, dropped my dirty pants & planted my ass firmly on the seat without even checking it visually or covering it in paper first. i figured that what i was bringing to the table was probably worse that whatever had been there before i arrived.
if i had tried to cover the seat in paper, i'd have realized that there was no paper. of course there wasn't. because on the day of my most shame-filled dumping experience, what would serve to make the event more memorable than to poop out 12 lbs of sludge only to have no paper with which to wipe my tookus. i knocked politely on the stall beside me & asked if she might have a square or two of paper that could be spared for a poor, needy neighbor. no response. guess maybe she was trying to ignore me in hopes that what probably sounded & smelled like dysentery wouldn't travel into her corner of the bathroom. i tried the other side & was told that she was fresh out too. where is pleppe when you need him?!
i dug through my purse & found a lonesome linty tissue hiding under a tampon & a cracked lollipop in the bottom of my purse. i used it to the best of my ability, but it was sorely lacking. after some thought, i pulled off my pants that were blessedly cleanish, peeled off my undies and then redressed myself. i was never more thankful than at that moment that i'd made the switch from team thong to team granny panty. at least that gave me a buffer in my moment of leaking distress & they also provided me with more surface area to use as toilet paper.
then the problem of what to do with the soiled skivvies. there was no pad disposal box. i debated flushing them, but holy cow, if they plugged the toilet & caused an overflow, i would feel guilty as well as mortified. there was no toilet paper in which to wrap them, so i settled for grasping them tightly in my fist with the cleanest bits i could find on the outside. i steeled myself for the walk past the ladies in waiting and straight to the trash can. i knew i smelled like a walking dirty diaper, but there was nothing to be done but get though it as quickly as possible. into the trash they went & then i covered them with a layer of paper towels before i went & scoured my hands and arms with the hottest water on tap, as well as large quantities of soap.
i didn't make eye contact with any of the women who were unfortunate enough to be in there at the same time as me. i just kept my face aimed at the ground & marched out of the bathroom. i coated myself in anti-bacterial gel while i wound my way back to the company of my loved ones. we left the store right after that & it wasn't spoken of again. because things like this should really be kept to yourself and never ever shared with anyone.