I go to vendor shows to sell tea and tea accessories. In the last 6 months or so it has become challenging.
Yesterday, I was signed up to do one at a church in the town I grew up in. The weather was filthy but it was to be indoors. Now, I grew up in this town and literally walked or drove by this church thousands of times. I have never been in it. We pull up yesterday. Thank goodness for the handicapped sticker as I didn’t need to park on the grass. Here’s the problem, in order to get in, we need to go down a long driveway. Tom always argues that I shouldn’t use the walker but there is no way I can do this on my own. It’s a long driveway and in the scheme of things not terribly steep. To me, it’s the equivalent of Alpine off trail skiing. It’s slick due to the rain. Cars are coming up and down the drive dropping their wares. Get to the bottom and there are stairs; only three but still stairs! Luckily, my booth is right next to the door. Unluckily, it’s right next to the door and the rescue greyhounds so it is constantly being opened, leading a woman in late afternoon to look at my hands and say “Raynaud’s?”
We settle in. I need to go to the bathroom. In days past and my youth, I was always teased that I had camel kidneys. I used to be able to hold it. I don’t do Porta Potties nor unless over 6 hours, airplane bathrooms. I recall once flying to Chicago, foregoing the facilities so as not to miss the bus to the hotel which was supposed to take 20 minutes. Hello! Chicago rush hour traffic and the bus broke down. Most memorable? Bus from Montevideo to Punta del Este and back. No bathroom in the bus. There was a comfort stop but as it involved a bucket and newspapers. I thought I’ll manage till we get to the restaurant. Uh, curtained partition that didn’t close all the way. At the end of the day, I held it for 13 hours! Of course, with age things are different. My mother always told me I was going to pay for it. I actually refuse to acknowledge it’s my condition. Seriously, why else are incontinence panties being advertised in magazines and television?
My challenge at these events is to get to the bathroom without being knocked off my feet. Yesterday starts out looking good. There is one bathroom. It’s across the floor, unisex and handicapped accessible and equipped. There are no crowds so it appears that I can navigate successfully. The door is ajar, my husband says “Go, go!” I start my slow gimp over. I see two men go in together. My assumption is maybe they are drying off? I get there and the door appears to be ajar. I knock, open and a flustered man shuts it. There are still two guys in there.
Lately, what has been happening is that when I decide I should or need to go, it’s like a faucet turns on. No real holding and I have to NOW!! So, my body is ready and set. I begin to shuffle, do a jig and pray. The last time I wet in front of anyone I was 8 years old and at sleepaway camp for the first time. One minute is creeping into five. It’s getting serious. My husband, across the room is flipping out as his mind is moving in two directions. First, what could two men possibly be doing together in a church bathroom? Second, poor me, if someone has been having “issues.” Desperation is setting in and I am beginning to frantically scan the room for the organizer. The door opens and one man comes out, closely followed by the church mascot. They apologized. They were changing! Emergency averted.
And going up the driveway much better than going down.