Dear Loyal Readers:
My daughter says if I don’t publish this post by tonight, then she is not speaking to me. There is the answer to anyone who wants to know how my family feels about my blog. They are in full support. My daughter actually says, “You do you, boo,” and wants to know when I will dedicate a blog post to her awesomeness. She is awesome but today I don’t write about her, I write for her because I can’t handle the thought of her not speaking to me. She’s kidding, but I don’t want to take the risk. The wrath of a 15 year old is some seriously dramatic shit for which I have no desire or energy. This one is for you, Baby Genius. Here goes….
Speaking of go, I had to go. To the bathroom, that is. We were in the Atlanta Airport waiting for our flight to North Carolina. The Atlanta Airport is literally the busiest airport in the world. Consequently, there are numerous bathrooms throughout the entire facility. My particular nightmare happened in the women’s restroom in Concourse D across from gate 24.
I hate public bathrooms. I hate doing my business where total strangers listen while I watch them through the cracks in the stall where the walls join, hoping not to make eye contact with other woman in waiting. And women always have to wait because, unlike men, we can’t just unzip, jiggle a little, and then tuck it back in. For me, public toilet usage is a multifaceted, stressful process.
So there I am waiting in line at the airport bathroom, observing other women, analyzing its cleanliness, and focusing on anything to keep from soiling myself. (Unfortunately, the “sharting” gene didn’t skip my generation.) Finally a stall opened for my turn. Please let it be completely flushed. Please let there be no streaks or floaters. Please do not let it smell like a shit-filled port-a-potty on a hot Florida day.
It was my lucky day. The stall was clean and reek free. My stress level rose as I removed my shorts. Do I wipe the seat? Do I line the seat with toilet paper? Do they have those fancy seat covers? Maybe squatting is best, but that’s tough on the quads. Make a decision. People are waiting.
My stress needle was pegged at max because I’m in an episode, feel horrible, and have to do more than pee. It’s bad enough to be a public pee-er, but having to be a public pooper is one of my worst nightmares. (Not for men though, so says my husband. According to him, men have no problem “letting it go.” Apparently, most men are in touch with their Elsa side.) Well there’s no Elsa in my stall, just Rapunzel, and she’s refusing to let her hair down. I digress. Fast forward.
I pulled up my shorts, fastened the button and zipped the zipper. The toilet magically flushed behind me. Thanks toilet fairies. I pulled my shirt over my shorts and reached in my pockets to straighten the bunched up fabric. When I pulled my left hand from the pocket, out popped my super-favorite, oh-so important, nerve-calming, sleep inducing, little yellow pill of which I have a limited number.
Time began to move in slow motion. I watched it revolve end over end on its way to the bathroom floor. My eyes bulged from their sockets, and I grasped at empty air. I stopped breathing all together as it hit the floor, landed on its side, rolled under the left stall wall, and fell flat three inches into the next stall.
Time officially stopped. I heard no flushing toilets. No running water. No blowers or crinkling paper towels. No idle chit chat. No pee tinkles. No farts. No plops. There was only me, the pill, and the lady’s feet next to it.
Shit. Shit. Shit. What do I do? Do I just reach under, grab it, and go? Do I ask her to pick it up and hand it me as if I didn’t have paper in my stall? Do I forget it? Sacrifice it for the greater good? Do I exit my stall so someone can go and wait for the lady next to my pill to finish and get it? Maybe I should run like hell? Will she call the cops? She’ll think I’m a druggie or a dealer or both. Breathe, Jen, breathe. This is just plain crazy.
I decided to stay in my stall and wait for her to leave to grab it. I stood frozen, listening for her toilet to flush and the door to open and watching the shadows move on the ground and through the cracks. Coast is clear. I reached under the stall with my hand, grabbed my little yellow beauty, and opened my stall to make my getaway.
But there she was. Standing in front of her door, half in the stall and half out. Waiting. For me. The potty pill popper. Shame shivered down my spine as we made awkward yet deliberate eye contact. Oh the horror. Oh the humiliation. Screw the judgement.
I buried my head in the floor tiles and brushed by her before she could speak. Yes, I washed my hands even though I wanted to run from her judging eyes. They touched a pill that had spent a significant amount of time on the bathroom floor. Once out of the restroom, I exhaled a huge sigh of relief….
That is until I realized if I kept it and took it, I’d literally be eating off the floor of a public bathroom in the busiest airport in the world.
To take pill or not to take pill? That was my question. I leave it to you, my Loyal Readers. Am I or am I not just plain crazy enough to pop that pill?