Damsel in distress…in the bathroom

The other day, after my class at The Second City, I decided to head straight home instead of sticking around for bonus Second City joy like I had originally planned. We had just gotten a new water heater that afternoon, and I was pretty excited to head home for a warm shower. Also, Brian had just been destroyed by our puppy, and probably needed a bit of a reprieve. Mostly, I had a tasty Blue Apron meal with shrimp and peppers waiting for me to cook up and devour.

Leaving the class, I knew I probably should hit the bathroom before rolling out, but I had parked in a 3-hour spot and was drawing desperately close to overtime. I don’t like getting tickets so I raced my ass to my car. It was only a 45-minute drive; I could make it.  (If you can’t already tell, this story is about poop, so fair warning as you continue on).

As I was nearing my home suburb, I happened upon a sign for the second time in a week that reminded me. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc was on sale super cheap at one of the local-ish liquor stores. I knew I’d never make it back there to buy some if I didn’t stop immediately. So I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed a cart. It’s important to always have a backup supply of wine.

As I filled my cart with liquid gold, the urge to poop began to increase. I’m not the kind of girl who can hold it, and I know that when I gotta go…I GOTTA go. I asked the lady at the checkout counter if they had a bathroom (they didn’t), and so I quickly planned my escape. Step one: Pay for wine. Step two: Decide on emergency bathroom protocol.

My options were limitless, but time was of the essence. Could I make it home? Maybe, but there was a risk in that. Could I make it to my parents’ house halfway between the liquor store and home? Tempting, but I decided to see what other choices I had.

There was a small pizza place by the liquor store. But I didn’t want to walk there and chance no public restroom. I got into the car and thought about McDonald’s/Burger King/Wendy’s locations near me, and I knew there weren’t any super close. And then like clouds parting to let the sun shine down on none other than White Castle.

Now, I have a small neurosis about using public restrooms. And it has nothing to do with pooping in public and everything to do with using a restroom while not patronizing the business. And so I always have to buy something when I use a bathroom. Brian has tried without fail to get me to sneak in, poop, and sneak out without anyone being the wiser for as long as I can remember. I almost always leave with a drink…sometimes a full meal.

I decided as I raced into the bathroom immediately next to the entrance door, that this would be the day I do it. This would be the day I opted out of a guilt purchase. Because I’m doing Weight Watchers. And White Castle just didn’t seem worth it.

I hung my purse on the door and sat down on the toilet. Relief was swift, but it only lasted a moment. Until I reached for the toilet paper. Where toilet paper should have been, an empty roll hung in its place. I assessed the situation. No place for a backup roll in this single-use bathroom. No stalls to hobble to with my pants around my ankles. And I was in White Castle. In the early evening. No one was going to be knock knock knocking on this door for hours. I wished I still carried that travel roll of Charmin I bought for my trip to Europe.

As I prepared to bunker down in the White Castle ladies’ room, I realized that I had a golden ticket! I had a freaking phone. I stood up, waddled over to my purse, and pulled out my phone. I waddled back, sat down, and googled White Castle for the phone number.

In seconds, I would be relieved from my public cell. I just knew it. riiiiiiiiiing riiiiiiiiiing

“Thank you for calling White Castle. No one is available to take your call right now. Please leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I pondered leaving a message, “Hey. In the ladies room. No TP for days. Send help.”

Instead, I hung up and called back. The damn store was open, someone had to be here.

“Thanks for calling White Castle. This is _______, how can I help you?”

“Hi. This is awkward, but I’m in the ladies bathroom, and there’s no toilet paper. Help!”

“Oh. Sure. Be right there.”

Commercial toilet paper roll in the White Castle Bathroom

Thanks, lady.

Two minutes later, a knock at the door had me waddling, penguin-style, again. I hid behind the door as I opened it just enough to allow a massive roll of toilet paper past the threshold. I thanked her, and quickly closed the door.

Bathroom selfie in a skinny mirror

I love me a good skinny mirror!

I cleaned up, took a baño selfie in the skinny mirror, and realized I definitely needed to make a purchase now. There was no escaping the employee who rescued this damsel in distress. I made my way to the front counter, and the employee was washing dishes in the back. I could escape. But I took a look at the menu and realized there were a lot of things I needed to try. You know. For research.

I ahemed a few times until I finally said, “Uhh hi!” Two full minutes after she looked at me and said hi, she set the dishes down and walked up to me, giving me a knowing glance. I should have just left. Why was I so embarrassed? Everybody poops. Right? I ordered and ran the hell out of there so fast.

I survived. And had tots hashbrowns with cheese sauce to assuage my anxieties on the 7-minute drive home.

 

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Drunken Laundry at the Laundromat

In the spring of 2008, my parents’ washing machine was on the fritz…and being a grown woman still living at her parents’ house…I needed to do my own laundry. Of course, I waited until I had practically nothing left…(yes, I would occasionally buy underwear and socks, and even go without one or both because I didn’t want to do laundry…) and my wardrobe options were getting pretty scarce.

drunk laundry escapades

So, one night, after a huge Easter feast, a surprise homecoming from my best friend, Mark, and a lazy evening watching Enchanted for the second of three times in a week, I packed up my car and drove to the nearest laundromat (Actually I packed it up twice–once to move out of Mark’s apartment, where I was living/apartment-sitting while he was on a long-ass business trip, and once with laundry).

I cannot claim whether this was truly nearest my house…But it was nearest my 2nd home–Flaherty’s AKA The Bar. I found out that the laundromat was open on Easter (Woot!)…until 9:30 (which I discovered at 8:40-another resounding Woot Woot!). As I was loading up my arms with Tide and Bounce and laundry and money and keys, I banged my head, not once but, twice on the car door. Keep in mind this was in addition to the neck and shoulder bangs from unloading my stuff from Mark’s apartment. The evening was not necessarily going the way I had hoped.

I walked into the laundromat and there was one guy doing his laundry. Keep in mind, this was a big production for me, since I’ve never used a laundromat. The closest experience was in the college dorms, and that was designed to be easy (and more often then not, I took my clothes home to wash them). So I put soap in three of the nearest washers, which weren’t going to fit ANYTHING. Apparently these were commercial washers. Although I’m still not entirely sure what their purpose was…I knew I messed up and wasted money. So I tried stuffing clothes in anyways, and I soon realized…maybe not. I looked around and realized that there were normal-people washers in the back of the ‘mat. Ahhh… that makes sense-put the real stuff in the backRight? Fits more clothes. Less money. Bingo! I finally got everything sorted, in, and spinning.

At this point, I decided I wasn’t going to sit around and watch laundry spin…so I left. Ok, I went to  the bar and ordered a very necessary drink. And a pizza. Mmmm…pizza was one of my lenten offerings that year, and I was thrilled the sacrifice was over. I started chatting with my pal Liz and telling her about my most recent adventures in Chrissy-land, and we were laughing up a storm.

About 20 minutes later, I ran back to the laundromat with Liz to check on my clothes. And it was locked.

Shit. The guy came out of the office and let us in. He told us that he was leaving and we could prop the door open if we need to leave for anything. Oh dear.

I was about to transfer my clothes, and again, I wasn’t quite sure how this worked because there were also two different dryer types–a bigger one and a smaller one. The guy put money into the big one for me(score!) and said it was the better one. So I stuffed all of my clothes in there–all three loads of laundry–and vowed to return in a bit. (That vodka soda and frozen pizza was calling my name).

Liz and I propped the door open with my Bounce box and walked back to our drinks and the pizza. We hung out for a bit and when it was time to grab my clothes, we invited another girl to join us for round three of laundry-mania. We got over to the laundromat and my clothes were still not dry, so I put more money in and planned to come back after another drinky…you can see where this is going.

After our final return, the clothes were dry, folded (poorly) and put into my basket. As we were walking out, we double checked: Money, keys, clothes, Tide, Bounce. Closed the door.

And oh FUCK! Immediately, I knew that I had left some stuff hanging to dry inside!

3 hours of laundry: $6.75

Tip at Bar: $5.00

Juke Box Money: $5.00

Calling your dad the next morning to retrieve your bras from the laundromat:

Priceless.

Never Again.

Blog Friends, have you ever had to ask one of your parents to remedy your flakiness? Tell me one of your embarrassing stories so I don’t feel quite so bad!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!