Paper jam

I have this terrible fear of peeing in my pants. I think maybe because it used to happen so often. As a kid, of course.

I remember, in kindergarten, being inside the bathroom stall, unable to unbuckle the circa 1980’s belt my mom used to adorn my hot pink pants. I, like I still do today, held my pee until the last possible second and by the time I made it into the stall, undoubtedly with my hand on my crotch and bent at the knees, there was no time for a wardrobe malfunction. Out went the pee, all over my pink pants and into my long-term memory forever.

As a result of this traumatic experience, one that I recite in vivid detail to my mother whenever I feel she needs to be tormented with latent guilt, I do not wear belts. I still, however, hold my pee.

Sure, I’ve had some close calls. Super close calls, actually. On more than one occasion, I’ve left work without using the little girl’s room only to then regret my decision while stuck, holding my crotch, in a terrible traffic jam. After a few instances of chanting, “Please don’t let me pee in the car” over and over, I make it a point to tinkle, tinkle little star before I leave for the day.

Don’t think for a second that just because I’m responsibly releasing my unwanted nutrients in liquid form that I walk in there calmly. I still run into the bathroom unbuttoning my pants and forget to close the stall door. I don’t know how to do number one any other way.

Yesterday, without exception, I ran into the bathroom for my evening pee-pee dance. I turned the corner, unzipping my pants, when a voice coming from behind a stall door slowed me down.


I kept walking toward my stall. I figured she was on the phone. Which is both annoying and gross.

“Hello! In here! I need a favor!”

My pants are completely unzipped, with my underwear completely exposed, which is like giving my bladder a green light.

“Are you talking to me?” I asked hoping she wasn’t.

“Yes. I need toilet paper. Just a little bit. I can’t get the new roll released…”

She went on while I wrapped toilet paper around my free hand, as the other was holding my crotch. I couldn’t pay attention to her entire explanation because I was too busy chanting, “Please don’t let me pee in my pants at work” over and over.

Reenactment. (Photo Courtesy of @marisascime)

Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work ( and travel ( and sometimes do both.

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