Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Bladder: The Last Frontier of Perceived Control

Having a body that insists on eliminating its liquid waste several times a day is just a big old irritation.

Seriously. Think about it.

You must stop what you're doing, go into the bathroom, (and let's just continue on as if your only option is a public bathroom, although many things on this list apply to home, as well) check for a clean stall, lock the door (if it indeed locks, otherwise block with your big purse), unfasten whatever is keeping your pants on, nest or squat (whatever your preference), do the deal, do the dry, un-squat or un-nest, re-fasten, flush with the bottom of your shoe, unlock the door (or remove the purse, trying not to think of the possibility of any foreign hairs adhering to the bottom of it), wash your hands, read the signs about employees washing their hands and know most probably don't, make idle chit chat with whoever happens to be washing their hands next to you (notice they don't use soap- decide to use foot to open the door), wave your hand in front of a towel dispenser like and idiot and sigh when a piece of scratchy recycled-looking paper the size of a tissue comes out, and exit, knowing it will only be mere hours before having to go through it all again.

This is why I flat out refuse to use the bathroom until I'm sure one more bump in the road or mild chuckle at something halfway amusing will cause me to lose absolute control of my bladder.

Same thing happens at home, with mild modifications. I may be relaxing on the couch, reading a good book, dog at my side, when suddenly..."Are you fucking kidding me?" This is almost always my reaction to the initial pressure indicating a full bladder. I'm not sure why it's always such a surprise. I'm well aware of how the body works in regards to liquids. But, it always puts me out, like getting a telemarketing call during dinner. As a result, I ignore the call.

Yes, I've been warned. I know that by 50, I won't so much as be able to blink without completely pissing myself. But for now, I'm happy with the illusion that I have complete control over my bladder. It does not own me; I own it. I will not be bitchified by a sack of piss.

"Why don't you just go use the bathroom?" Well-intentioned friends who have been forced to witness a bizarre dance of twisted legs and contorted facial muscles try to suggest the obvious. What they don't see is that this would be giving in. Aha! My bladder would relish in its ability move me from place to place like a urinating automaton. No, bladder. I won't play your micturating games.

"Wow. What a control freak," you may be erroneously assuming. Here's the deal. Just about everything else in my life I can take with a grain of salt. Just not the kind that's excreted from the body in a stream of foul-smelling liquid. I've been known to point to a map with my eyes closed and travel. Unexpected house guest? No problem. Bump it up a notch. Loss of my home? Infertility? Divorce? This, I can do with grace and dignity.

But, give me a full bladder, and I will show the universe who is boss.

There are current perks, which I will continue to enjoy until I'm forced to wear an adult diaper at age 45. I can go for an entire day of teaching and only have to use the bathroom once. Some days, I can even skip the once and wait until I get home. (Take that, bladder!) I'm fabulous on a road trip. That is, if I'm road tripping alone, I guess. Or with someone who also has a contentious relationship with their own bladder. I never miss anything while at the movies. I made it through Gandi. 191 minutes. With a large soda. Who's the boss now, bladder? Yeah, I thought so.

Perhaps one day I'll need to make amends to my bladder. I'll speak kindly to it and refrain from idle gossip. We'll vacation together and I'll introduce it to the bathrooms of the world. The bottomless pit with two concrete foot shapes on either side in China, the fancy heated toilets of Japan, the open-air spaces of the American mid-west, the pay-as-you-go stalls on the streets of Europe. One day, I might do this. But not today.


  1. I'm so glad you've started this blog, B! I feel like I've learned more about you from this one post than 18 years of friendship.

    And I've gotta say...I'm so fucking jealous! I'm insanely addicted to water and have to pee seemingly every 45 minutes because of it. I need some pointers on how to get that bladder of mine to behave.

    Good stuff! Keep it up please.

  2. I'd start with the dog whisperer's scolding sound of "Cht!" when you feel the urge to pee coming on. Don't be afraid to use a firm voice and look downward.

  3. I so swear we are twins from different plains of the universe!!!

    I often find myself entering the bathroom at work for the first time in a week on Friday. It's just the way it is. And who the hell would get up during a movie? Girl, we can just share diaper coupon cutting duties together in a few years!

  4. You see, people never talk to me in the bathroom. I find it a little unfair that you get the special treatment.