To Pee or Not To Pee

Andrea Freedman

I am not sure how I could put this more delicately, but sometimes, it seems that my whole life revolves around when I will have to pee next. In fact, even while I was writing this I had to take a few bathroom breaks.

Every outing I take is preceded by a last minute trip to the washroom, whether necessary or not, as a precaution, especially if a long elevator ride will be involved. I call it my insurance pee.

I often deny myself the simple pleasure of a beverage to sip while I am out browsing around and envy those walking along casually with their lattes without having to worry about immediately having to pee afterward.

I don’t know how many times I have had to cut an enjoyable walk or activity short simply because I knew that if I didn’t get to the bathroom right away I would pee in my pants. No sooner do I leave home, eager to start my day, when something comes over me and I have to turn back or find a washroom in a hurry.

If I am at a restaurant and treat myself to a glass of wine, there is no chance I will make it through dinner without having to excuse myself; once the floodgates are open there is no turning back. Crazy as it may sound there are often times where one pee leads to another. However, the initial opening of the proverbial dam is impossible to avoid.

When attending a wedding or other such formal event, although the open bar is fun, it presents the inconvenience of having to make frequent trips to the washroom, sometimes navigating a long dress.

Sitting through a movie can prove to be quite challenging, especially if I foolishly opt for even a small soft drink to wash down my popcorn. I struggle toward the end of the film, squeezing my legs tightly shut until the credits finally start rolling, and then I make a run for it so that I can beat the crowds before it is too late.

Any time I have a manicure, although I always pee immediately beforehand, after the manicurist has done the filing and buffing and is about to apply the polish, I ultimately end up taking a break to go to the washroom again at the salon; if I don’t I surely will have to soon afterwards, probably smudging my nails in the process.

On the days I go to the gym, between my morning coffee and the water I drink during my workout, I spend on the average of about three hours after exercising running back and forth to the washroom, occasionally even having to interrupt my workout to go at the gym.

The only time my frequent need to pee came in handy was when I was working full time and wanted an excuse to leave my desk and socialize with my co-workers who were in the ladies’ room at the same time as I was.

Not too long ago one of my uncles expressed concern when he realized that I had spent an entire afternoon on an unusually hot day without drinking so much as one sip of water. I sometimes think of him and laugh when I am thirsty but hesitant to drink more water for fear of having to pee yet again.

If I need to be in the car for an extended road trip, I would rather become parched than take the chance of being overtaken by the urge to pee while we are stuck in the middle of the highway. As much as I have gotten used to peeing so many times a day I lose count, I still have a hard time bringing myself to do it in the bushes or on the side of a road. If my husband so much as asks me if I want a coffee for the trip, I immediately answer no. Even the mere suggestion is not safe.

As I do not feel comfortable using the ocean or lake as one big communal toilet, many times while on a beach on vacation or a hot day in the summer, if there are no conveniently located washrooms nearby, I have sometimes declared that I would rather boil to death than take a drink and risk having to pee.

Sharing one bathroom with even one other person can have its drawbacks especially if I come home planning to use it right away only to discover in horror that it is already occupied.

There are occasions when I actually proudly announce that I made it through an entire ride, visit or social even without having to run to the bathroom but those times are few and far between.

I thought about whether or not I wished to share this about myself; I decided that it is really nothing to be embarrassed about and I suspect that there are many others out there like me when it comes to ridiculously frequent peeing who also might hesitate to overdo it when it comes to beverage consumption as a preventive measure.

While I do not like the idea of being a slave to the washroom it is something I have learned to live with. All I ask of anyone who may happen to be on a walk, long drive or anywhere else with me on a hot day or otherwise, is that if there are no washrooms in sight, please, whatever you do, do not offer me anything to drink!♠

Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2013


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on September 4, 2013, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m luckier cause I can pee more easily outside than a woman. I’ve made a change in the last year – I’m drinking a lot more water. It’s true that I can stand in front of the urinal for what seems like forever but it’s worth it to my inner organs (I know that it sounds funny to say that) to be well-watered. Getting my wife to drink more than her usual teas and chais, however, is impossible.


  2. What can we say about this inconvenient way your life is surrounded with the bathroom. Let’s hope someday you find the answer to your problem and can enjoy all the pleasures of not having to worry all the time about not making it on time whenever you are enjoying the day. Good article.


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