Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Bad Habit

I promise you I don't do it on purpose. It happens just once every 2 or 3 years, usually when I am myopically concentrating on something, leaving me completely oblivious to my environment.

The first time it happened was about 10 year ago while I was on vacation in Milwaukee. I volunteered to take my daughters and their 4 cousins to see a matinee movie. I didn't want to see the movie that the kids were seeing, so we split up. My movie was down the hall and just around the corner from theirs.

Linda was about 5 at the time and her cousin Anna was the oldest (12). I told the kids exactly where I was going to be.

"I'll be in theater # 5, which is right down the hall and around the corner. What theater number will I be I in?"
12 eyes rolled in perfect choreography, "Theater five".
"And where are we going to meet after the movie?"
"In front of the Pac Man machine"
Kimmy, enjoying her independence, tried to reassure me. "Mom!!! We'll be fine!"

I was half way down the hall when I started worrying about what would happen if Linda had to go to the bathroom during the show. She was only 5 and really shouldn't be wandering around by herself. What if she was kidnapped? But who would take her to the bathroom if she has to go?

And speaking of going to the bathroom, I had to go. So I stopped at the Ladies' room, engrossed in my conundrum.

As I walked into the bathroom I noticed a few people standing up along the wall. Maybe I should go back to the kids' movie and assign Kimmy to be bathroom monitor. But Anna's a year older and more responsible, so I maybe it should be her.

I made my decision. It would be Anna. She could be trusted and was less likely to ignore Linda's request to go to the bathroom, especially if I asked her to take her. I flushed the toilet, walked to the sink and washed my hands. I glanced in the mirror and the nice man who had just joined me from the urinal said "Did you know you are in the Mens' room?".

I always run at this point.

And I giggle... to the point of having to pee my pants. In this case, it wasn't a problem...since I'd just gone to the bathroom (in the Mens' room).

That was NOT the case in the Indianapolis Taco Bell a couple years later. 

I was trying to figure out who was going to sit where in the car for the next 4-hour shift and was working through potential scenarios and the advantages and disadvantages of moving to the back seat and who I should switch with, Linda or Kimmy... or should I offer to take the wheel?  If I'm driving I shouldn't have to be forced to listen to a baseball game, right? 

All those thoughts were running through my head as I opened the Mens' room door. I snapped out of it only after the man standing at the urinal looked over his shoulder at me, winked, and said hello.

And I ran (of course).

But there was no place to hide. I just knew he was going to come out of the bathroom and see me. I was trapped like a rat.

I ran back to our table, bent over in laughter, with my legs crossed. Dave said, "What is wrong with you, Lou?"
I gasped, "We have to leave! He'll see me!"
"The guy at the urinal. OMG - I'm going to pee my pants!"
"But you just got back from the bathroom."
"No- I went to the Mens' room"
He raised an eyebrow. "Again?"

Thankfully the man at the urinal walked past our table and right out the door.

Yes. Going in Men's bathrooms has become somewhat habit forming for me. Every couple of years I end up running out of a Mens' room, mortified, looking for some place to hide and compose myself.

I'm not proud of it. And men, beware!  I'm due.


  1. Pshaw! I use the Men's Room all the time!

  2. Lou,
    this is a good one!
    thanks for the laugh =)