I fear old age and pregnancy, I really do. Old people are always complaining about how their memory stinks, or how they stink (of oldness), or how they get tired easily, etc. etc. Pregnant women talk about how pregnancy wreaks havoc on their minds and bodies – they crave weird foods at strange times of the day, they lose their girlish figures, their hormones make them crazy and often mean. My problem is that I am not old and I have never been pregnant, yet I already suffer from all of these problems. So how much worse are all my symptoms going to get when I AM old and/or pregnant? It’s a scary thought.
The worst symptom of old age and pregnancy I’ve heard of is loss of bladder control. Maybe I should start stocking up on adult diapers now, because I have the worst bladder ever already. As evidence, I have several examples of me losing control of my bladder under the most inconvenient circumstances. These examples span the decades of my life, and I will begin my Peeing Epic with the earliest time I can remember peeing my pants. (Although I was only 6, this was old enough for peeing on myself to be socially unacceptable.)
I was in my first grade classroom and my classmates and I were gathered at our teacher’s feet listening to her read from some wonderful book. I remember needing to pee, but not wanting to miss any of the story, so I convinced myself I could wait a little longer (note: this will be a recurring theme in all of my peeing stories…I’m not sure what it will take for me to realize that actually I can NOT wait any longer.)
Trying to stem the flow of pee that was slowly making it’s way out of my body, I slowly eased up from sitting Indian style to perching on my knees so I could make a quick getaway when the last page was read. The movement had the opposite effect than I intended and only made the peeing harder to stop. By the time I was sitting back on my knees, my pants were soaked through. Luckily though, because of my sitting position, the front of my pants was not visibly wet.
I sat there in a panic, and desperately tried to figure out a way to not get caught by my unforgiving classmates. Then I noticed Brad sniffing the air. Brad was a little brown-haired hockey player who was usually the leader in pulling girl’s pigtails and leading other boys in playground mantras like “Susan is a Stinkface. Susan is a Stinkface.”
He sniffed again and again and then interrupted my teacher’s reading.
“I smell pee!” He yelled.
I was mortified. Now there was no way to gracefully get out of this. As I took a breath and prepared myself to confess that it was my own pee perfuming the air, Brad rudely pointed at the girl sitting on my left.
“It’s Audrey…She peed her pants!”
Audrey was “that girl” in our class. Her clothes were often second-hand and just slightly ill-fitting. Sometimes she didn’t smell great. She was already socially awkward at the tender age of 6. Everyone’s heads turned towards us and 20-something little noses crinkled at the same time. I was going to defend her, I really was, but before I could, Audrey stood up and ran to the hallway. I paused in surprise and then my teacher scolded Brad and the rest of the class. She left us to go get Audrey. They came back a few minutes later with Audrey sniffling just a little, and everyone could see that her pants were dry and so the incident was forgotten as my teacher finished the story.
While all this happened, I never moved an inch. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but somehow the amount of time it took to resolve the Audrey thing and then finish the book was enough for my pants to dry so that they weren’t noticeably wet. After my teacher closed the book and dismissed us back to our desks, I jumped up and ran to the bathroom to survey the damage and then went through the rest of my day careful to not make any sudden movements that would waft any pee smell into the air. The class believed that Brad was just making a scene for no good reason and no one ever suspected that he had, in reality, smelled pee during story time.
As I said in the beginning, this was only the first of many times I’ve peed my pants over the years. I’m still not completely sure that I’ve learned my lesson and that it won’t happen again. But the bright side to the story is that I felt so guilty about Audrey, I made it a point to be nice to her for the rest of the year. We never became best friends, but we did manage to have some fun times together, and while we were together, Brad never dared to aim his playground taunts in her direction. And I’ve never since let someone who was unable to defend themselves take the blame for something that was my fault. So there’s a silver lining at least, huh?