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I Gotta Go

Travel with me and you’ll know the location and condition of every bathroom across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and France. Bring your own toilet paper in France, and prepare yourself for squat pots in Japan. I want my list to grow and grow and grow.

I am the poster child for the frequent pee-ers club.

In kindergarten I remember seeing a little red head sitting quietly with tears streaming down her face. A puddle beneath her chair engulfed her in an island of isolation. What was the big deal? Our classroom had its own facilities, but the teacher wanted to teach us there was a time and place for everything. What was the woman’s name? God, she was mean. My mom sent me off the next day with my own set of marching papers and a note, “When Missy has to go, SHE HAS TO GO.”

My bathroom habits have become a bit of a joke. I never thought much about it – just a little inconvenient. I make necessary adjustments and seem to survive just fine without the help of any medication. No water on long car rides and no drinks after six.

Yesterday at 9:30 a.m. during the writer’s conference and after my third trip to the little girls’ room, I stood in line again waiting my turn. I noticed the woman behind me and said hello. I remembered her from the first day of the workshop. She was an attractive African American woman with beautiful skin and a tightly cropped haircut. She commented when we first met that she liked my hair. I laughed because she didn’t’ know I’d lost a battle with the hedge trimmers.

As we stood in line, she asked me if I was a model. I looked at her as if she might have a secret camera concealed somewhere on her body ready to record my next move. I said no and fought the urge to make some stupid self-deprecating quip. But she was serious, and I was floored.

I hugged this woman and told her she made my day. She looked at me with the same expression I originally displayed. Now, I’ve never placed a great deal of importance on physical beauty, but I admit it felt good to have a stranger say she thought I was pretty. I wanted to spend my whole day in the bathroom!

I am learning a lot about myself. Who I am today; where I want to go; how I want to get there. I don’t have all the answers. Hell, I don’t even know all the questions.

I’m putting my work out there this week and getting lots of feedback. I’m sharing my thoughts and insecurities with people who are no longer strangers, but barely friends. We all have issues, which stifle us from achieving our goals and dreams. It’s good to see my uncertainty reflected in others who appear to “have it all together.”

I want to move beyond that, and I can get there even as I stand waiting to tinkle.

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