I know what you’re thinking — based off my latest posts and Instagram “Mary Talks,” this is probably going to be all about overcoming the hurdles of my many mental illnesses, about therapy and big pharma and ENDURING TO THE END.
But it’s not. It’s about the time I was on a plane and had to pee the worst I’ve ever had to pee (that’s probably an exaggeration).
Husband and I recently took a little jaunt to Boston for a vocal competition (which I was promptly cut from in round two, so we spent the remainder of our time as tourists, which was WAY better). Because we brilliantly decided to take a red-eye the morning of my competition (and no, I don’t attribute that to why I was cut), that meant I’d need to be as hydrated as possible all night long, that morning, and till the actual competition. There would be no shriveled up skin or vocal chords that day.
The problem with drinking an entire large water bottle while waiting to board your plane is that you aren’t really given the opportunity to sweat it out, so you’re left with a bladder that magically re-fills itself almost immediately after bathroom usage. And despite using the restroom RIGHT BEFORE stepping onto the plane, I had to go upon being seated.
To avoid using public restrooms as much as possible, I have a tendency to tell myself to hold it.
So we waited while the remaining passengers boarded the plane (which was everyone, btw), whereupon everyone slapped on the eye masks the airline handed out and promptly fell asleep, including (but not limited to) my husband (center seat) and The Woman (aisle seat). Of course I took the window seat because the window seat is the best, most desirable. This is not actually the case when you suddenly have a pregnant woman’s bladder.
I was then left with a dilemma. Do I attempt to hold it for the next six hours or do I climb over husband and The Woman, waking them up, and step into what I can only imagine is one of the most under-cleaned bathrooms ever? Initially, holding it felt like the best option.
But then we hit turbulence. And it wasn’t the sort of turbulence that felt a wee bit bumpy. It was the sort of turbulence that shook the plane, made you think you were actually on a terrible amusement park ride that was going to result in dozens of bloody deaths, and actually forced your bladder to do flip flops in your body. I thought, “I’ll be fine. Deep breaths, and this too shall pass.” But then it didn’t pass. It continued FOR LIKE AN ENTIRE HOUR.
Of course, during this time, the flight crew kept reminding us the seatbelt light was on and we weren’t supposed to get out of our seats for our safety blah blah blah, and not even the flight attendants were responding to calls unless they were dire emergency, which to be honest, I considered mine to be, but probably no one else would have agreed. So I was stuck, for an hour, in the window seat, with a bladder that was filling up by the second (I hit a point where I felt like I had water sitting in my esophagus that couldn’t go anywhere).
It was too much. I waited for the turbulence to downgrade itself to the Dumbo ride at Disneyland and stood up, climbed over husband, and then … deep breath … climbed ever so gently over the Woman who had somehow slept through everything that had just happened. I envisioned her suddenly waking up, my derriere in her face as I was straddling her to get into the aisle. Lawsuits. Court appearances. I was wondering why I thought I should go to Boston in the first place.
The flight attendant was quick to remind me that the seatbelt sign was still on and that we had been asked by the flight crew to not leave our seats, but I hastily announced that I had to pee REAL BAD and used words like EMERGENCY and jumped into the lavatory.
You know that scene in “A League of Their Own” in which Tom Hanks pees for what feels like an abnormally long period of time? That was me, you guys. I kind of hoped I’d open the door and one of the flight attendants or another passenger would say to me, impressed, “Good peein'”, but it didn’t happen. No one was impressed, no one said anything, and I had to climb back over The Woman and husband to my empty window seat with nary a compliment.
Incidentally, I became remarkably dehydrated on our second day, to the point that I felt as though I might pass out or die, with a headache that somehow went down my back and throbbed with each heartbeat because I cannot win.