I have a habit of eliminating embarrassing stories from my memory. There are so many and they happen so frequently that you’d assume I would be able to remember them and regurgitate them on impulse. But, my friend, this is just not the case. My brain blocks them out until something happens to dislodge the memory. And on that note, I can’t believe I’m actually going to tell this story to the Internet, but here goes nothing…
So, I sun sneeze. When I walk outside on a sunny day, I sneeze. Usually more than once. I don’t know why I do this, but Wikipedia assures me that I am not alone. I’ll walk out of my office, feel the sun on my face and then suddenly and overwhelmingly be struck by the urge to sneeze. I’m not a quiet sneezer or a delicate sneezer — when I sneeze I just pray that afterward I’m still in one piece. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t…
My senior year of high school I was dating a boy rather seriously, er, as seriously as you can back in high school. My family spent Easter with just my mom and I grabbing brunch at Great Northern (ahem, at the bar because that’s all they had) while my sister sat pouting in the car after the firestorm argument that was regular for us at the time. I’d had enough “quality family time” and decided to take my boyfriend up on his offer to spend Easter with his family. His “quality family time” really qualified as quality… not just yelling and screaming and everyone ending up in their own corners like my family seemed to do. He lived in Conifer, me in Denver. I got in my red Chevy Blazer and set some jams for the 45 minute drive to his parents.
It was a beautiful day and, for once, I didn’t really mind the drive. With the sun shining, music playing – I made it there in no time. There were so many people at his house — my family all lives out-of-state so we’ve never really had anyone around for the holidays. I loved it. We all ate and talked and spent time together. It was what I envisioned a perfect family looked like.
After lunch the kids were getting ancy to start hunting down some Easter eggs. His mom asked if I would help hide the eggs, I agreed and tried to hit the bathroom before heading out. They had several bathrooms, but they were all occupied and those eggs just weren’t going to hide themselves. I made my way outside, against my better judgment. Once outside I stepped off the deck onto the lawn carrying my bag of eggs when it hits me. The overwhelming, paralyzing need to sneeze. And sneeze I do. But, the difference between this sneeze and the many sneezes that had plagued me prior to that day was the little detail that my bladder decided to “sneeze” along with the rest of my body. I peezed if you will. Or, in laymen’s terms, I peed my pants, at my boyfriend’s family gathering, 45 minutes away from my house.
I tossed my sack of eggs at the boyfriend and ran down the hill, around the house, in the back door to the basement. I then quietly scurried to the bathroom outside his room where I proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes “dabbing” the urine from my pants with toilet paper and praying to the lord of pants to miraculously dry them and make it all go away. Needless to say both attempts were futile. After a considerable amount of time he came down to see if I was alright… probably assuming I was having some other explosive bathroom issues, but checking on me nonetheless. I yelled from the bathroom that I needed one of his shirts to wear — it had to be longer than mine and if I was lucky it might just cover the “I wet my pants” wet spot covering my rear end. He forked it over and I changed… it only helped a bit.
He left me to “finish”, whatever that means. I ran out to my car and grabbed a sweatshirt I could tie around my waist. It was so warm, the thought of wearing a sweatshirt was truly ridiculous, but I had no options. NO OTHER OPTIONS, PEOPLE. After tying the ever so attractive knot around my waist I walked back up the hill to join the festivities. I’d missed most of it. The eggs had been hidden and found. The kids were eating candy and there I was. I found a stone retaining wall that appeared to be absorbing some heat. I lifted up the sweatshirt and proceeded to stick my urine soaked pants on the wall. Hoping and praying to God that it would dry them quicker. It was more than a little awkward to sit there, loner-style.
(Side note… I, to this day, wonder what his family thought. I disappeared for a half hour and reappeared wearing my boyfriends shirt. I sit on a far off retaining wall and keep a safe distance from any of his relatives. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been impressed.)
Eventually I assessed the situation and determined I was cleared for lift off… and re-joined the party as if nothing had ever happened. I said my goodbyes and went home. The moment I walked in the door I couldn’t get those pants off fast enough.
I asked the boyfriend if he had noticed or knew what was going on a year and half later and was happy to know he was completely clueless.
Now, in an effort of pant and ego preservation I cross my legs when I sneeze. So far so good.