Potty Mouth

Alternate title: To pee or not to pee, that is the question…

I was in a clothing store the other day when a mother and her offspring came into the dressing room. Her little angel was shoved into the stall with the instruction to “be a big girl and come out with that dress on.” A minute later the “big girl” replied with, “Do they have toilet paper in here?”

I’m not kidding, and I’m also still not remotely interested in shopping or other people’s children.

Anyway, the mom freaked out and averted crisis, leaving me with her “Didn’t I ask you if you had to go before we left?” and the idea for this blog post. You can thank the incontinent angel.

Thanks to early (undiagnosed) onset of OCD, my mom never had to worry about asking me if I had to go to the bathroom before we went anywhere. It was—and still is—one of my compulsions.


Now let me explain.

Although I do have a bladder the size of a Fruit Loop and drink tons of water, it’s much more mental. If I’m going to be going somewhere or doing anything, I have to go to the bathroom first. Physically I might not have the urge, but I’m worried that I’ll have to go when I won’t be able to. Thus, I take preventative measures.

Going to bed? Go to the bathroom.

Going for a walk? Go to the bathroom.

Headed to a meeting? Go to the bathroom.

Ready to eat? Go to the bathroom.

While it’s normal to attend to basic human functions, I realized early on that I had a slightly dysfunctional take on the peeing situation.

When I was little, my mom would tuck me in, I would say the same exact prayer in the same exact way and place (another OCD thing, as I still say that prayer even though half the people and pets in it are dead now and I’m not religious) and it would be assumed that I was fast asleep.

However, I was paranoid and would compulsively get up and pee after going to bed. It got to the point where I would be sneaking out of my room and going 10-15 times, quietly trying to shut my door so that my parents didn’t hear me get up. Sometimes it worked, but other times the damn click of the doorknob alerted them to my covert urinary operations.

We discussed this issue and to be honest, I don’t remember how we scaled it down from 20 times a night to one or two. Maybe I got lazy or bed restraints were involved. Either way, it eventually diminished and morphed into some other dysfunction over time.

But I still have a bathroom thing.

Plane trips and movies freak me out, as I’m never sure if I’ll have immediate access if needed. I still plan long walks and activities on whether or not a bathroom will be nearby. It’s not that I don’t trust my strong and youthful bladder, but it’s just one of those things I need for reassurance, one of my neurotic quirks (I prefer that term to compulsions, thank you very much.)

I do remember the first time I tried to “hover” though.

My mom was quick to school me in anti-public restroom behavior, and we were shopping somewhere I can’t recall (but I can assure it it wasn’t in a dressing room.) I remember I was wearing this denim shirt and dress combo; the skirt had three ruffle things, all a different color. Don’t ask why I remember this, but I do.

Anyway, I pissed all over my skirt.

Hover fail.

Thankfully I’ve perfected the maneuver since then, but there are occasional incidents when I realize I peed on my hand when wiping without any idea how.

Now I’m just oversharing and embarrassing myself.

Let’s blame it on shopping and children.

If you’ve made it through this post, you deserve something special, so I present to you a baby raccoon taking a bath. It’s completely unrelated, but I just wrote about peeing and it’s cute. Hopefully that balances out.


27 responses to “Potty Mouth

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I do pretty much the exact same thing. I don’t remember having this issue as a kid, but it’s definitely become more of a problem as I’ve gotten older. (I’m not even 30 yet!) I’m absolutely paranoid that I will have to go and there won’t be a bathroom. I’ve even gone so far as to download apps for my iphone about bathrooms. RunPee, which tells you when the movie is going to be boring, and for how long, so you can take a potty break, and SitOrSquat, which tells you exactly where the closest bathroom is to your current location and whether or not the place it’s attached to is open. It’s ridiculous, I know. And it’s TOTALLY a mental thing, but it’s just not something I’ve been able to change. So THANK YOU so much for sharing this. I feel slightly better about my own (perceived) lunacy.

    • I don’t have apps for anything, but I think it’s hilarious that there are actual amps for peeing. That’s almost enough to make me interested in having a phone that does more than text…almost, but not quite.

  2. Yes! Well, to all but the hovering, I’m anti-hover.

    I go to the bathroom at all transitions whether I need to or not, and then I inevitably really have to go about 20 minutes later, when I can’t. So annoying. I actually looked up the concert set list for the last show I went to so I’d know when the best time to sneak off to use the facilities would be. Then the second that song started, I went.

    Going to the bathroom has to be the last thing I do before leaving the house. If I go, but then someone else in the house decides they have to go after me, I spend the whole time they are in there trying unsuccessfully to talk myself out of going again once they exit.

    My most frequently recurring dream involves me really needing to go to the bathroom and frantically searching for one. I either can’t find one or each one I find is unacceptable somehow.

    Thanks for sharing. I’d say I don’t feel as weird now, but that wouldn’t be true!

    • Anti-hover, eh? I sometimes do the extra 12 layers of toilet paper on the seat if I don’t feel like isometrically holding the hover position, so I can relate. I can also completely relate to the whole rest of your comment (minus the dream thing.) We’re weird, but obviously we’re all kinds of awesome as well.

  3. Ok, that baby raccoon is so cute!

    And you are too funny! I love that you said, “It’s completely unrelated, but I just wrote about peeing and it’s cute.”

    And don’t feel alone! I have to pee ALL the time. My boyfriend makes fun of me often for it 🙂

  4. Hi Abby!

    First of all, I have to tell you that I have thouroughly enjoyed reading your blog. It is so YOU & I have laughed out loud, shed some tears, and smiled my way through many of your posts. As your older cousin and someone who used to babysit you & love spending time with you & your Mom, I can honestly say that you have always been a smart, witty, fun girl & it shows through here. 🙂

    All I have to say or ask of this one is this: Prior to posting/viewing that video, did you first run to the bathroom? Because after (actually during) MY viewing, I sure did! Yikes. Nice choice there. Thanks for sharing. 😉

  5. I’m the exact same. I pretty much know where every toilet in my city is because it’s the first place I visit whenever going somewhere. I remember during the blackout a few years ago, I was at the bus station, and I was able to perfectly maneuver through my routine IN THE DARK, knowing by heart where everything was (sink, toilet, etc.) I think this is a rare talent; others: not so much! The worst part of it is being at work…I go to the bathroom literally once every 45 minutes. If it wasn’t for the fact that I always bump into my boss in there, I’d be worried someone would think I’m slacking off/smoking crack/pregnant.

  6. Well I sound like a broken record, but Ive done and still do the same. In college , I arranged it so my dorm was the closest one to the bathroom. In fact I took four (yes at LEAST four) potty breaks while I’d work out. I tried not drinking water, but that for some reason made it worse! I’ve considered “depends” among other things. Its for some reason not so terrible now. Maybe my bladder grew? I mean, they can do that, right?

  7. Haha! This is too funny because it is so close to home for me. I may have to have my husband read this so he can better understand me and my peeing (over-peeing?) issue. Same neurotic fear about planes, movies and even moreso, long car trips (mostly because he doesn’t like to stop for anything so I hold it until I feel crazy or I dehydrate myself pre-trip and hope for the best. Oops. TMI. Sorry).

  8. This post and its subsequent comments have totally made me feel less like a neurotic freak! (Or at least to take comfort in the fact that other people are neurotic freaks, too.)

    I have to stagger my bathroom breaks at work so that the people who sit near the bathrooms don’t see me going into the same one every hour. And don’t even get me started on road trips–I think those have to be the absolute pinnacle of anxiety for me. What if there aren’t rest stops? What if we get stuck in a traffic jam?

    Personally, I blame it on growing up in a house full of girls with only one bathroom. Come the teen years, I’d have to use the bathroom every opening I got, because otherwise it would literally be booked up for hours…

  9. I spent a childhood peeing a good 10 times every night before falling asleep as well and am incredibly relieved (pun?) that I was not alone in that compulsion. I probably shouldn’t be putting that in the past tense–I still have to pee at least twice before falling asleep (once before climbing into bed with a book and again before turning out the light and shutting my eyes).

  10. I used to have to pee allllll the time (road trips were horrible!!) but now I’ve expanded my bladder a bit I suppose..haha 😉

  11. See, I’m the opposite. For the most part I love other people’s children but the thought of having my own puts the fear of the Lord in me.

    I’ll talk potty with you any time Abby. We just talked about “elimination” disorders the other day in my child psychopathology course. The intervention methods were interesting to say the least. Did you know there is such a thing as a urine alarm? Yeah me neither!

    But lately I’ve really had an issue with the sink. Why don’t people wash their hands? And when they’re in a public restroom with witnesses no less!

  12. i love that racoon. we used to have a baby racoon for a pet. it was the cutest thing. named, coonie of course. ran off into the forest when it got older, but we had fun with that little coonie. id write more but i have to piss.

    ok im back. i have a hard time at home flushing every time because i go SO MUCH i cant justify the water waste with the toilet! and its just pee…right? nathan hates it.

    i wish i would poop more. that might be helpful.

  13. Well, thanks a lot! Listening to all that damn water running made me want to get up and go pee.

    I cannot drink anything if I’m planning on leaving the house in the next hour. All liquid intake must be strictly monitored according to location of next bathroom facilities.

    Then there’s the laughing/coughing/leaking paradigm. So much pee, so little time.

  14. I am totally bathroom-obsessed (always was), and for some of my friends, I alrady am a running gag because of this. They know they can’t take me anywhere if I haven’t been to the bathroom before. It’s a shame. And on top of it, I really *have* a physiology that is very bad with “stamina” …

    Good to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

  15. So funny. I to this day have to pee right before I go to sleep and thankfully in our new house we have a master bathroom which is far more convenient for people of our OCD calibur. Also, I still say the exact. same. prayers…which may or may not contain my stuffed pig…who I may or may not still have…who was (is) so creatively named “Piggy”.

  16. LOL. And I sympathize. My day is pretty much punctuated by trips to the bathroom, like you said, it’s the automatic thing to do prior to a walk, drive, meal, phone call, etc etc. Cutting out caffeine helped with necessary frequencies, but I pretty much go before doing anything significant whether I urgently need to or not. Pretty much the first thing I scope out in a new place is the location of the ladies’ room. My mom has always teased me that with the amount of traveling I do, I should make a photo album with the outside of every bathroom I use on a trip, just to keep a record of how many and how diverse they were, lol…

  17. Ok I have JUST stumbled upon your blog but I JUST had to comment. I’m the same way! It’s awful when I’m falling asleep at night, I literally get up 5+ times to make sure I don’t have to pee anymore before I finally fall asleep… This isnt’ as annoying at home, but I’m in a dorm room now and the bathroom is wayyyy at the other end of the hall. Super annoying. And also why I got locked out my first night of colelge a year and a half ago… Oops.

    The worst was when I drank coffee before a bio test where the prof wouldn’t let us leave to go to the bathroom… I was sitting there in pain for about 2 hours before I finally finished the damn thing and could leave to go to the bathroom. I’m not *super* compulsive about it all the time but I legitimately have to go to the bathroom fairly frequently.

    Anyways. I feel you. And I am super amused by the commenter who wrote about the different apps… too funny. 🙂


  18. I’m the same way and have a pea sized bladder. It got worse after I had my son for whatever reason, so I like to blame him for it.

    Stopping frequently drives my husband crazy, but what am I supposed to do?? He tells me to hold it and ‘stretch it out’, but I just dont think it works that way. Either I have to go BAD or not at all. One of the two.

  19. Oh goodie there are more like me out there in the world. i do also drink my weight in water and diet coke and coffee, so short of having a Foley catheter placed, I just have to deal with the fact that I have frequent bathroom stops. I actually don’t mind that, but the middle-of-the-night visits (plural) really bug me. Luckily, I can get back to sleep.

    My fave: “Hover fail”. Think of how strong our quads are now!

  20. is that someone’s pet racoon…?

    i mean, i’m not susprised- did you see his cute little hands? if i had found him, i would have made him my butler.

  21. And I thought I was OCD about things.
    I love this post. I was engrossed. Compeetely. I don’t know if it was just the topic of Pee or the descriptive writing, but probably a little of both.
    I’ll check out more some other time.

    • Oh, I just read your last post and you are OCD about things, but that’s not a bad thing. I tried to comment on yours, but it “errored” me. I got frustrated, swore and moved on…sigh.

  22. I know I am WAY late for this conversation but as I was reading your About Me section, I *had* to find my over here to learn that I must have OCD as well because you just described me EXACTLY. I have to sit in the aisle seat when I’m flying or at the movies because I’m freaked I will have to go to the bathroom (which I do and have a routine around it) <–just scratching the surface to my peeing addiction. Thank God for that baby raccoon clip. I feel better now, thank you 🙂

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