This is the final episode in a three-part series (OR IS IT???) detailing in mind-numbing depth three separate occasions where I, Christine, had to pee very, very badly and managed to inconvenience strangers and/or loved ones to accommodate my walnut-sized bladder. You've heard about trains and automobiles, so naturally we should talk about planes.
In the clouds somewhere; Winter 1995
So, I was twenty seven and newly in love with a guy I'd met some years prior and had been interested in, but for a variety of reasons things died before they ignited for us. I'd always wondered about him, and when the opportunity to reconnect presented itself (okay, I sought it out) I was thrilled. I (we) fell madly in love. The downside? We lived about 1,100 miles apart at that point...but my life was fairly malleable as I was a med student and could study there as easily as at home; he was working in the real world so he could afford to fly me out to him. I did so often.
On one bizarre flight, I boarded a puddle jumper as my final connection. Of course I had my ever-present water bottle in hand. Once we were in the air and we were given the go-ahead to undo our seatbelts, I popped mine open and headed towards the lavatories (if you read my train post, this next part will ring familiar.
Nothing. No bathrooms.
Oh, no. Not again!!!
I went back to my seat and looked at my watch. We had a good forty-five minutes left in the air. At least. Once again I squirmed in my seat, trying to figure out what the hell I would do. A flight attendant walked by and I waved her over, "Are there ANY bathrooms on this flight?" I asked.
"No, this is one of the few in our fleet that isn't equipped with a lavatory," she answered.
"Look, I really have to go. Is there one hidden somewhere here?"
Yes, I asked that. The plane probably sat like thirty people...the cabin was one big open area. What did I think she would say?
"Why yes, in this overhead storage compartment we keep one for emergencies!!!"
So I shifted. Did the sitting on my heal thing again. Looked out the window and wondered if there was an airport close by while simultaneously knowing no way was the pilot going to create a miracle for me like the Spanish conductor did.
Still, I had hope. Hope that the flight attendant was lying. Hope that the pilots would take huge mercy, or something. Finally, in desperation, I walked up to the cockpit doors and knocked. The co-pilot opened the door (I KNOW! Isn't that weird now?).
"I'm very sorry to disturb you, but I was wondering how long until we landed. I'm not feeling very well." It was true.
"It'll be another twenty minutes or so. Is there something we can do for you?"
"Um, no. I just don't feel well and I could really use a bathroom."
His face was totally sympathetic but I knew at that moment I was doomed. They didn't have a special cockpit potty. They weren't going to do an emergency landing for my bladder relief. I was screwed.
I shuffled back to my seat and strategized. I was already several minutes past the point of not knowing second to second how long I had until the dam burst. I knew my boyfriend was at the gate waiting for me (I KNOW! I miss people waiting at the gate.) and thus showing up with pee drenched pants was simply not an option. Because if I was meeting someone else it would have been totally fine, right?.
So I did what anyone else would do. I whipped off my scarf and shoved it down my pants and arranged it in my panties (I don't actually call them panties out loud), creating a makeshift Depends. I figured if I leaked it would at least absorb SOME of my urine.
Happily, it served the unexpected purpose of relieving my bladder of its feeling of urgency and allowed me to make it to the gate. Once there I hugged my boyfriend, told him I had to pee, and bolted to the closest bathroom. Later, I told my then-boyfriend the whole story, and as we laughed together I thought that meant I'd for sure found my soulmate...he loved me, almost-pee-drenched scarf and all.
I was wrong. My true soulmate, my husband, laughs at this story along with me despite the fact that he wasn't the guy waiting at the gate. And he has brought me black coffee in bed every single morning since we've been together (but refuses to bring me water too late at night).
I am a lucky woman.