What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
Maybe it was that time you didn’t notice your skirt was caught in your underwear after using the restroom, so everyone in the office saw that you were wearing your faded, hole-y Tuesday underwear on a Wednesday.
Maybe it was when you thought your crush was waving to you from across the hall at school, so you thought you’d be daring and give a seductive, yet girly pouty wave, but he was waving to Marci. The bitch.
Maybe it’s a series of moments, like every time the box office assistant says, “Enjoy your movie!” and you respond with, “You too.”
My most embarrassing moment, up until a few days ago, was the time I got my lady business in 6th grade and didn’t know what to do. I had to wear my huge puffy jacket around my middle all while playing it off like I meant to wear a hot pink polar bear around my waist, as I moved around the classroom accidentally brushing people’s papers and pencils off their desks.
A few days ago, I went to the chiropractor for the first time. A local chiropractor was offering a $20 spine assessment, so I thought, “Why the hell not?”
Surprisingly, my most Embarrassing Moment of 2017 did not occur in the chiropractor’s office (which is a real shocker, because I was sure I’d choose the exact moment he was pulling on my feet to really embarrass myself. I was sure that’d happen to me).
No. The moment that will be forever etched on my mind and played in a loop in my subconscious, occurred precisely five minutes after leaving the chiropractor’s office.
I don’t know if the manipulation he did on my lower back set something in motion, or loosened things up too much, or what, but as I was driving down a quiet, gas station-lacking street, it hit me.
I’m sure you all know the feeling.
The feeling when your bowels suddenly have a seizure or a rave or whatever, and the need to get to a bathroom is sweaty and urgent.
I’ve had this happen to me before while driving.
I’ve always been able to simultaneously find my inner zen while driving like an Indy 500 driver on crack.
I’ve always made it home to the comfort and judgement-free environment of my own bathroom.
This time was different.
I don’t know if it’s age. Or karma. Or just luck. But I was left frantically scanning the street for a private-looking tree.
It was that bad.
Can I really resort to pooping behind a tree in a neighborhood? What if someone sees me and calls the police? Is there such a thing as a public defecation law? What if I get arrested? WHAT IF I GET ARRESTED FOR POOPING BEHIND A TREE IN A NICE NEIGHBORHOOD?
Then, I wondered how bad it’d be if I didn’t make it to an actual bathroom and it happened in my car.
Bad. Real bad.
I’d have to throw the whole car away.
As my sweaty hands were sliding off my steering wheel, and my hair was matting to my head, and my bowels were imitating a whale’s mating call, I came upon a luxury apartment complex.
I’d been there once before when looking for an apartment with a friend. They were laughably beyond our price range.
They’d have to do.
I veered off the road and into a “future tenant” parking spot on two tires. I don’t think I even put my car in park.
It was far past regular business hours, so I figured I’d just have to find a big rock or a large bush. Or, maybe I’d just black out.
Somehow, beyond all understanding, the door to the lobby was open.
In my peripheral, I saw a woman in an office to the right. She was talking on the phone.
I didn’t say a thing. I didn’t look. I just prayed that if I didn’t see her, she wouldn’t see me.
As I was practically flying across the room, I had a very profound realization that it was entirely likely that, despite how close I was to salvation, I was probably going to poop my pants.
I was going to poop my pants.
I tried not to think about how I looked literally holding my bottom (like that’d make any difference) as I was racing across the lobby of a ritzy luxury apartment complex.
Somehow, my survival instincts (or just good memory) helped direct me to where I needed to go.
Glory be to God, I made it to the restroom.
It was that close.
Guys, since we’ve come this far, and I’ve been so candid up till now, I might as well tell you that I was 100% sure that I had crapped my pants. Literally sure of it.
Well, all of those times I took my cart back to the cart corral, all of the recycling I’ve done, and all of the times I didn’t yell at incompetent drivers really racked up my karma.
My pants were safe.
Just as the realization and relief that I was still someone who could honestly say they’d never pooped in their pants sunk in, the reality of my situation smacked me right in the face.
What’s that sound? Oh.my.god. It sounds like an alarm. The woman in the office thinks I’m a crazy street person and she’s set off the alarm. The police are going to come.
I was shaking and sweating buckets as I sat on the toilet, terrified, waiting for security to bust in.
They’ll be sickened. Disgusted. Maybe they’ll just feel sorry for me and leave me to my shame?
As I sat and waited for my fate, I realized nobody was coming, at least not immediately. I heard no voices. No doors opening. Nothing.
So, maybe that’s not the alarm? Maybe I’ve lucked out? But, how am I going to explain myself when I need to make my eventual walk of shame?
I needed a good excuse for why I practically busted down their door and then ran, pinched cheeks, for the bathroom.
I’ll act like I’m interested in an apartment. Yeah. That’s it.
I figured it was the only viable excuse. I imagined myself leaning against the doorway, hair still matted to my forehead, as I said, mid-burp, “Uh. Yeah. I was wondering if you had any one bedrooms available?”
I realized that whoever was in the office was likely waiting for me, so I begrudgingly readied myself to be seen.
After I scrubbed up like a surgeon (it was the only way I’d feel half clean), I apprehensively cracked the door and peered out.
No angry office woman in a Liz Claiborne pant suit. No Super Burrito security guard. No one.
In fact, the lobby area looked rather dark, and it was at this point I realized the door to the bathroom was through another set of doors that led into said lobby. In my frenzied poop panic, I must not have noticed that I opened an additional door before entering the bathroom.
I bet she’s gone. Thank you, Baby Jesus. I’ll never think a bad thing about the bums who pee in our alley ever again. I promise.
I was in pretty high hopes as I made to open the door that would release me out of my poop nightmare.
It was locked.
THE DOOR WAS FUCKING LOCKED.
That woman locked me in.
Either she never saw a half-crazed woman fly by doing the poop dance or she did and she purposely locked the door.
You have to be freaking kidding me. I’m locked in here. OMG. I’m going to panic. I’m not even a resident and I’m locked in their lobby bathroom.
As it turns out, there was a door further down the hall that lead me outside. I was sure an alarm would go off when I opened the door, but so far, I haven’t made it on the news.
(I keep thinking I’ll be scrolling through Facebook and I’ll see a local news story titled “Police Still Looking For Woman Who Broke Into Luxury Apartment Complex To Completely Defile Custom Bathroom”.)
As for the “alarm” I heard? It was the air freshener alerting anyone who cared to the fact it was out of freshness. I lost several minutes of my life believing cops would be coming for me, when actually the Odor Blaster 1000 was out of Hawaiian Breeze.
To completely exit the complex, I had to wait for a car to come in through the gated entrance, and then I ran like the wind to my car and burned rubber out of there.
When I got home and had to confess to my boyfriend that why I didn’t have the buns I was supposed to pick up for our chili cheese dogs was because I got momentarily locked in a random apartment lobby bathroom, he asked if he should add Depends (to keep in my car) to the grocery list.
I’m highly considering it.
I thought I’d start the new year out with a bang, ya’ll.
I really needed to know why I almost pooped my pants. I’m kind of scared that spontaneous poop attacks will be my life now. I’m also planning a trip to the Bay Area, so I’m engaging in my usual OCD research.