Baring it All

Since last week’s blog was a little heavy, I thought we could use some humor, after all, this blog is supposed to be about dealing with anxiety WITH humor. So here you go, a few of my all-time most embarrassing moments that happened in the SAME trip…

I promised the pee story, so here it is…in all it’s glory. And just FYI the above picture is a picture of an actual picture. This was 2003, back before digital cameras were the norm, everyone had iPhones, and even before Facebook…gasp. I know, I know…it’s hard to believe. Did this trip even happen if it’s not documented in an old Facebook album??? Yes, it did. And I humiliated myself not just once but TWICE. Oh yes, you are getting way more than JUST the one cringe-worthy story today…

It was my freshman year of college at the University of Washington and I was a naive small town girl from Arlington, Washington attending a college with a student body probably 2-3 times the size of my hometown. I agonized over my outfits every morning, I convinced myself oatmeal raisin cookies were a healthy snack at midnight while I was studying (it couldn’t have been the cookies making me pack on the pounds, the dryers had to be too hot and were obviously shrinking my clothes…right?) and I actually learned how to work said washer and dryer.

My closest friend was Sarah, a girl I met in my FIG (Freshman Interest Group – a program designed to help freshman meet people on the huge campus) and we quickly became inseparable. Our quirky personalities clicked and we were always together. When the topic of spring break came up I mentioned that a former boss (remember that Ace Hardware t-shirt I was wearing the night my dad left? – well I ended up working there on the weekends during high school) of mine  (and family friend) had a son that went to school at BYU in Hawaii. There had been an open invitation if I ever wanted to come visit.

We convinced our parents it was a good idea for us to go to Oahu for a week by ourselves (and for them to pay for it) and that we would stay with our family friend and his roommates. They had a gorgeous little beach home right by the water on the North side of the island. They had class and serious girlfriends, we weren’t old enough to rent a car and we couldn’t walk to a ‘sunbathing’ worthy beach. We got bored real quick. Luckily one of the roommates took pity on us one afternoon and drove us to Sunset Beach. It was gorgeous, and one of the prime surfing locations on the island – everything we had imagined when we planned our trip. The roommate warned us to pay attention to the waves, but to otherwise relax and get our tan on.

We spent some time ogling the surfers before settling in and assuming our sunbathing positions. Sunscreen and sunglasses on, magazines out, and bathing suit ties undone to avoid the dreaded ‘tan lines’. I must have drifted off to sleep because I suddenly felt a chilly rush of water sweep over my body. I sat straight up, panicking as I saw my belongings being washed back toward the ocean. I managed to snatch up everything…except one sandal. I couldn’t have just ONE sandal for the rest of the day (plus I had a pretty bad shopping habit during college so they were probably pretty expensive), so I hopped up and chased the sandal down the beach until it stopped in the sand and the rogue wave returned to the ocean.

It was at this very moment, as I bent down to pick up my runaway sandal that I noticed a very uncomfortable feeling – like a million eyes on the back of my head. And while bending over, noticed that my bathing suit top was hanging only from the bottom set of ties around my rib cage. The entire beach had just watched me run, basically topless, down the beach, after a shoe. I. Was. Mortified. I clutched my suit top and sandal to my chest and basically did a walk of shame of sorts back up the beach, head down, face burning red, sat down, re-tied my bathing suit and said to Sarah, “we have to leave, now.” I didn’t look that particular roommate in the face for the rest of the trip. He had seen too much.

I really didn’t think it could get any more embarrassing than that moment right there. But you know what they say – never say never.

A few days later Sarah and I, being bored – again, decided to take a bus to the other side of the island and check out Waikiki. Our hosts were busy and didn’t have time/weren’t interested in driving two bored teenage girls to Waikiki on a Sunday. They suggested the bus. Now this is where it gets tricky. The buses on Oahu run on “island time”. And it being a Sunday, apparently run whenever they feel like it. We waited at the bus stop down the street for about an hour, finally boarded the bus and then shopped, bought sarongs and souvenirs, explored, and checked out the beaches in Waikiki. We also drank A LOT of water because it was hot.

The day started to get away from us and we found out the buses stopped running after a certain time from one of the vendors so we hurried back to where the bus station was. We waited, and waited…and waited. No buses to the North Shore. We contemplated how much an hour long taxi drive would take and then realized we didn’t even know directions to where we were staying and had maybe $40 between us.

After almost 45 minutes, I had to pee. Bad. My anxiety kicked in, big time which never helps with the peeing sensation. I knew if I left to find a restroom, that the last bus would come and we would be stranded. So I held it. Such a bad idea. I sat, I paced, I rocked back and forth…all to distract myself from the several bottles of water now threatening to explode from my bladder.

Finally, the bus showed up and we believed our worries were over. As we sat down I realized that while our problem of getting back was solved, I had never had to pee this bad in my entire life. I had to pee so bad it hurt. So bad it was making me nauseous. Sarah tried to distract me but talking or laughing just made me have to go even more. I asked the bus driver exactly how long the ride would be and he explained it would be over an hour with all the stops. I knew I wouldn’t make it. No bathroom on the bus – something had to be done, drastic measures must be taken. Measures you can only go through with one of your best friends.

Sarah and I devised a plan. We had:

  1. An almost empty water bottle
  2. A sarong to hide behind
  3. An almost empty bus

We moved toward the back of the bus and Sarah held up my sarong. I grabbed the empty water bottle and looked at the opening – it looked like it was the size of a straw. Didn’t matter. I did what I had to do…and ended up peeing all over my hand AND the bus seat. SOME got in the bottle, I’m still not sure how. It took everything I had in me, but I stopped.

“This isn’t working!'” I cried to Sarah. I put the lid on the bottle and threw it to the back of the bus. To this day I feel so guilty about whoever found that bottle. So gross. But I was frantic and convinced about 3 liters of liquid were about to splash all over the floor of this poor drivers’ bus.

So back to square one. I was pretty much covered in pee so I wrapped myself in my sarong and we discussed our options. We asked the bus driver when the next stop was. He explained the next and last stop before the North Shore was at a shopping center. It would be an hour after that until we would be home.

I knew I would never make it. We had to take the next stop. All I can say is that Sarah is one loyal and true friend. She never once questioned my need to get off of what might have been the last bus to the North Shore to for the evening – and for that I m eternally grateful. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally made it to the stop. I practically ran off the bus and saw a Chili’s right in front of me. Sarah headed toward the entrance, thinking I would be heading into the bathrooms inside the restaurant. As I stood up and started walking, the liquid inside my bladder surged forth like the rogue wave at Sunset Beach. I couldn’t make it.

I sat down next to the bus stop, in the grass, and let it all go. Sarah turned around and asked what I was doing before she came to the realization that I had sunk to a new low in life. Peeing in the grass, next to a bus stop, right outside the Chili’s dining room windows. I didn’t even care. I just sat there, contemplating what I had just done and wondering if I would ever be able to tell a soul this had happened. Sarah came and sat (a safe distance away) from me. That is one true friend right there.

As we sat in silence, a random teenager rode by on his bike, “hey, you guys waiting for the bus?’




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