There are some things in life you just don’t share. Some stories that are better kept under wraps. Things that society might say: “Ooooo. Gross. That’s tooooooo personal. We just don’t talk about things like thaaaaaat.”
In honoring our culture’s tradition of selective silence, I won’t let you in on one of the funniest stories I have to tell of late.
Or, I guess, I will. With some disclaimers:
1. If you think things are gross or weird, or it might change your glowing opinion of me, don’t read this.
2. If you are a man, don’t read this.
3. If you are Mike Callicrate, don’t read this.
4. If you are one of the other men at my table at the Y Metro Board Meeting last week, don’t read this.
5. If you are a woman who has ever given birth, do read this. You’ll realize, you’re not the only one out there that weird things happen to.
So, you ready? Here goes. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to regret this. I’ve thought about it for a week, so I think I’ll be okay.
Some of you know I had a hideous cough for like a week. For those of you who don’t, I had a nasty, hacking, cough that addicted itself to my lungs for over a week. I wasn’t sick though. It was the asthma-like remains of a short cold and a day of laryngitis. I sounded like I should have been in a tuberculosis ward. Good thing I live in Colorado Springs, I thought, This is where people came (including my great grandpa) from all over the country to be cured of the disease in the bright sunlight and fresh air. Maybe it’ll work for me?
During the 9 or so days of lung destruction, I tried everything I could think of to stop the coughing attacks. I took Delsym, Robitussin, cough medicine with codeine, Tussin pearls that were expired (left over from a previous bought with coughing attacks), Ibuprofin, raw honey, raw honey and lemon, throat coat tea, herba tussin tea, elderberry syrup with cherry brandy (from Crunchy Betty), warm apple cider with cherry brandy, humidifier, no humidifier, sleeping sitting up, sleeping lying down, in bed, on the couch, homeopathics, putting my face over a steaming pot of water with lavender and eucalyptis in it, sucking on Halls Mentholatum cough drops, drinking water, drinking yogurt, and…
…besides the cough drops (which helped more than anything)…
…and in honor of my great-grandfather, who slept on a screen porch year round (in Colorado Springs) after being cured of Tuberculosis, I slept outside on the deck.
At about 2 in the morning on the third night of no sleep due to the coughing attacks being worse at night, I thought, WHAT ELSE CAN I DO???????? I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING!!!!!! So, in despair, I dragged the couch cushions to the deck, got some warm blankies and a pillow, a cough drop and some tea, and…
…slept. on. the. deck.
It helped. A little. But not enough to prevent the following, which is actually the reason for this post:
Now is a good time for a bathroom break. You’ve been reading for a while. Go fill up your coffee and stretch and come back in five minutes to finish reading. Please. Trust me. If you have a weak bladder, go empty it. Now.
So! Welcome back!
The story goes like this:
I had a Y Board meeting a couple weeks ago. I get all dressed up for those, and I actually shower, wear some make up, and maybe do my hair. It’s a good excuse to get a tiny bit fancy.
So, I show up at the board meeting at noon, and sit down at my round table of choice. (Thank goodness, as you’ll see later, it was by the door.) And, much to my surprise, I was sitting next to Mike Callicrate! He’s on the board too, and I always hope I’ll get to sit next to him, because he’s inspiring, real, passionate about what he does, and he’s the only one who comes in jeans. I love that. Jeans. All the other men, or most of them, are bankers, insurance agents, lawyers, executives…and they are all in ties and suits. 3 of them were at my table. And Mike. And me.
When you’re at Mike’s table, you always become part of a really interesting and thought provoking food conversation. He’s inspiring. He talks about the food realities that most people don’t know about and don’t want to hear. I admire him. Which is why I hope he’s not reading this. Mike: Turn Your Computer Off. NOW.
So, at the point in the meeting, after we’d eaten lunch and when my glass of iced tea was empty, and the room was very quiet, all of us listening to serious Board Business, I got a coughing attack. And not a baby one. I reached for the pitcher of tea, threw some into my glass, grabbed it and ran out the door to the hallway. Coughing up one of my lungs.
Whoa! What was that? Once I got to a standstill in the hallway, I felt some wetness. Where there shouldn’t be any. For now, I’ll let you guess what I’m talking about.
I had high hopes that the attack would stop in the hallway after a few throat coating drinks of tea. Not so.
It came on stronger. And I crossed my legs, TIGHT, in an attempt to stop my diaphragm from stomping on my bladder. And drank more tea. And squeezed my legs together. TIGHTER.
Didn’t work. Some faucet briefly opened up during the period that my other lung was coming up.
I fast walked to the bathroom. Hacking. Past all the people checking in a the Y. Choking. Hoping to get there before anything else unfortunate happened.
Once in the bathroom, and still coughing, I close myself into the stall, sit on the toilet and look at my pants. There is a wet spot the size of a small frisbee soaked right between my legs. Too bad I hadn’t been wearing a diaper. Could have avoided this whole incident.
I grab toilet paper and start sopping it up, going through the list in my mind of things I can do:
1. Do I have a change of clothes in my car?
2. Yes! Oh. But they’re my sweaty yoga clothes. I can’t go back into the meeting in my sweaty yoga clothes.
3. Oh, wait. I can’t go back into the meeting in ANY change of clothes! I’m not a potty training toddler. It is expected that he might show back up on the scene from the bathroom in a new outfit, and that would get a cute little chuckle from the understanding parents. It is not expected that the Dressed Up Board Member show back up at the meeting in a change of clothes. That would just be weird.
4. Even if I did change clothes, I couldn’t exactly pretend I’d been to a quick, sweaty yoga class during my escape from the meeting.
5. I’ll just have to dry it up as best I can.
But, my pants were a lighter brownish color. Not black. Black might have hidden the wet spot better. Brownish did not.
6. I’ll go look in the mirror and see if you can see any of the wetness.
But, just then someone comes into the bathroom.
7. I can’t exactly go out of the stall, wash my hands, then stand at the mirror and lift my leg up to see if the frisbee is visable. That would be weird.
8. I sit there a few more seconds.
I recognize the voice in the bathroom. A woman I’ve met a couple times at the Y. A nice woman. With kids. Maybe she’ll understand my plight.
9. I take a deep breath. And go out. And small talk with the woman, who I do know. A little. Then, come out with it. And tell her just what I have to do and why.
10. And, stand in front of the mirror and lift my leg, inspect, determine that my ruffly cardigan is longer in the back, so the only side I need to worry about being visable is the front. If I just keep my legs pressed together while I walk, no one will see it.
So, I leave the bathroom, as if trying to hold a credit card between the upper part of my legs. And walk back to the boardroom. And stop, dead in my tracks about 10 feet from the door.
Are the chairs FABRIC? Or are they not?
Fabric would pose a problem. I’d leave a wet spot. Not good.
I peek through the little window in the door.
Light Pink Fabric. Great.
Well, I’m pretty good on the spot, I can come up with solutions fairly quickly…and this was the only option.
I quietly, with the full dignity and respect required of a Board Member, slink into the room the short distance from door to seat and perch.
On the outside of my right thigh, on the very left edge of the chair, and cross my legs. Left over right.
This precarious position allows my sweater to hang down over my damp backside, (the side where Mike is sitting) and allows me to (pretend to) gracefully drape my arm over the back of the chair (holding on for dear life so I don’t fall off) and smile, listening to whatever was going on at the moment, as if I always sit comfortably in this awkward, lady like, legs crossed, edge perched position. Next to Mike Callicrate, and across the table from 2 male executives and a male lawyer.
If they only knew.
Thank God they didn’t.
And, the meeting ended. After about 15 minutes of perching, smiling, and acting like I was normal, I squeezed the credit card all the way to my car.
– The Weak Bladdered Goat Cheese Lady