Another time when I really, really had to pee

(This is part deux in a three-part series detailing in mind-numbing depth three separate occasions where I, Christine, had to pee very, very badly and managed to inconvenience strangers and family alike)(Oh! I just thought of another...perhaps this shall be a tetralogy).

Winter 2000

We'd been living in Northern California for a couple of months (we're from Detroit originally), and my husband had to travel to Reno to see some clients. I was thrilled to tag along and make my first journey over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. And hey! A free place to stay to boot! Woohoo!

Naive...oh, how naive we were. We left late in the afternoon Friday. No big deal, right? Two and a half hours tops in the car and we'll be rolling into The Biggest Little City in The World in time for dinner.

See, we didn't know. Highways around here are packed on Fridays with people from the Bay Area and such jamming to get some weekend skiing done in them thar mountains. We crawled along the highway. Dinnertime came and went. Our son was two years old at the time and my husband sat in the back keeping him entertained.

It sucked.

And then it got worse. It started snowing. And not a sweet little flurry, mind you, but a veritable avalanche. Yes, just as we were approaching Donner Pass we encountered a blizzard. I was already getting freaked out driving in the dark on an unfamiliar highway with *GULP* cliffs (have I mentioned here that I have a thing about driving on cliffy roads?), so I turned the reins over to my husband and I skedaddled to the backseat where I played with my son and tried to resist the urge to tell my husband how to drive.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, I guzzled a big old bottle of water. No worries, we're only a half hour from Reno, I thought, and if we have to we can always pull off the highway. Which would have been a great plan IF THEY HADN'T CLOSED DONNER PASS.

That's right, they shut the highway down while we were on it, which in retrospect was probably a good thing because visibility was maybe six inches. So we sat in our Volvo wagon (this is pre-minivan days) with white flakes surrounding us like an inverse snowglobe and waited.

But, see, eventually I was in need of a bathroom and dammit my car isn't equipped with one (we didn't elect for that package). At one point I opened the door to consider peeing on the highway but it was completely black and white; I had NO idea if I took a few steps if I'd catapult of the side of a cliff. But I was getting pretty desperate so I didn't think I had many alternatives. I put one foot outside the car and WHOOP! the sheet of ice underfoot knocked me right back inside.

As my eyeballs were starting to float I looked at my son and thought how lucky he was to be wearing diapers and not have to worry about finding a bathroom.

Oh yes, I did. Let me just say that 2T diapers are NOT meant to handle an adult quantity of urine.


  1. Hi Christine, I'm new here. I love Northern California and hoped to move there one day. That day hasn't come yet. I suggest you carry a portapotty next time you attempt to cross Donner Pass in the winter, but you probably learned that lesson already.

    It was Donner Pass for hell's sake, you could have peed on your husband and anyone who's gone over donner would have forgiven you.

  3. Where in Detroit are you originally from???

  4. Daddy Chris4:25 PM

    Oh yeah, I remember that. It was so flippin' funny, wasn't it?!

  5. Okay, not much makes me literally laugh out loud, but you have done it! I can so relate...

    midnight in college after a dance and driving back to school... didn't want to inconvenience the other 3 members in the car. That was the longest car ride EVER!

  6. Oh, this post, this post. We are soul sisters. I'm not going to share why, because I'm not as brave as you are, but trust me.

  7. Yeah, I vote for the 4/3!


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