It’s arguably easier for a man to urinate whenever the need arises than a woman. While I’ve always been a gold-card toting member of the “When I gotta go, I’ll go anywhere Club,” my husband has peed all over the streets of New York City, on the Great Lawn and Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park, on hikes in Hawaii, in the ocean (like the rest of us) and most notoriously, the day he earned his platinum stripes and he filled up an extra large red Solo cup in the middle of a packed Matisyahu concert in Brooklyn. After he emptied his bladder into the cup which once held beer, he continued to hold it until the crowd dispersed and only then did he covertly threw into the trash. Truly I rank this as one of his finest moments and I wish I had a penis I could aim into a cup or bottle and secretly excrete whenever the mood strikes.
Instead, I have to suffer, finding undisclosed locations wherever I am because I drink a lot of water and consequently have to relieve myself often. I also feel weird about asking to use bathrooms in restaurants in which I’m not eating or bars where I’m not drinking. Anywhere we travel, as I walk I also sweep the area for potential nature potties. I’ve deposited evidence all over Yellowstone and Acadia National Parks, on hills in St Martin, on back streets of Montreal (where my husband meticulously documented me squatting in back alleys, hiking up my baby doll dress), in parking lots of Targets all over the country (lets face it sometimes the street is cleaner than a Target bathroom), on streets of the Upper West side — all the way west, where it’s too windy for even the dogs to pee in the winter. I squatted down in between two open doors of my car and witnessed my pee turn to yellow ice as it hit the New York City frozen concrete. One time I peed right in the middle of Third Avenue, but it was about 1am and I had just broken my foot after drinking a “fishbowl” of alcohol and slipping on my black wedges.
My daughter has proudly followed in my footsteps and doesn’t have any hang-ups about peeing anywhere the urge strikes.
Recently I showed her the movie, Babies, where the African mother wipes her baby’s butts with a corn cob. I wanted my daughter to think peeing on the overpass near the George Washington Bridge wasn’t so bad; at least we used a wet wipe. When my husband was about to propose to me, on the Brooklyn Bridge, my daughter was still in a stroller and waited until we were at the pinnacle of the bridge – and in the midst of the proposal before announcing she had to pee. I got antsy, wanting to speed the romance along, thinking of my little girl’s bladder over my diamond ring, but my husband didn’t skip a beat, and said, “It’ll have to wait!” (And it did.)
The most notorious of my daughter’s bad timing, bad location for a pee situation came after a private school interview. She had behaved like a quintessential precocious four-year-old throughout the entire morning, greeting everyone politely, telling them it was nice to meet them, even extending her hand.
I was so proud of the parking spot we secured as we got there, right in front of the school but as we exited and I buckled my daughter into her booster seat, she looked at me, with a desperation I hadn’t yet seen and said, “I forgot I have to pee so bad. I can’t hold it anymore. It’s about to come out! I have to go!”
I took this seriously as she didn’t make a habit of waiting until a split second before the pee was about to erupt. “Let me just pee on the street between the doors,” she suggested. “Please!”
My brain did a quick risk-reward analysis and concluded, “let the girl pee. I unbuckled her, grabbed her from the seat, and squat her down on the side of the road, hidden from the school. It felt like the longest pee of my life as I kept rooting my head like an owl to see if anyone would see us. What a way to cap off the interview.
She was just about finished, pulling up her underwear when I see the security guard has realized what we’re doing and was headed in our direction. Great parking spot for the quick escape, not so much for stealth urine stream. Security is running, saying something into her old-fashioned walkie-talkie and I’m buckling my daughter back into the car seat but I’m not fast enough.
“No, no, you can’t do that. There are bathrooms inside,” she says and sounds and looks exactly like Rosie Perez.
“I’m sorry,” I say. “It was an emergency. She was about to pee in her pants.”
The security guard walked off, shaking her head, mumbling something into what looked like her shoulder. I’m convinced she gave them my license plate, described my daughter to a tee, and made sure their fine educational establishment wouldn’t accidentally accept a girl like mine, who could squat down in the middle of the street and take a piss.