Thursday, February 10, 2011

In which a bathroom break goes wrong

Today I'm going to tell you a story from the long ago days of my youth. Back before cell phones, in the very early 90's. Since Lauren and Kinzie both shared pee stories this week, I thought I'd join in. (OK, so it's last week at this point. Better late then never, right?)

When I was in middle school I had a friend, Jessica. We had a lot of fun together, and did all sorts of things together. Our moms were even friends, so even though she lived on the other side of town*, we still got to see each other a lot. Since our moms were friends, we'd go on little road trips around New England together when the weather was decent.

On one memorable occasion we went to the Yankee Candle factory in Deerfield, MA. It was a long trip. So of course, rest stops needed to happen along the way. Now, there's a large stretch of highway where there are no rest stops and very few (and far between) exits. It was on this stretch that Jessica declared her need to stop for a bathroom break. So we started looking out for a rest stop or exit. And looking. And looking. Finally, about 20 minutes later, we happily pulled into a tiny rest stop. By this time we both had to go, and were both relieved to be there. Well, that relief didn't last long. Not for both of us anyway. It turns out that the rest area was closed.

Now, I was a rather daring and practical sort of child. I had also gone camping for a week every summer with my dad. So peeing outside was neither foreign or distressing to me. Jessica was of a more delicate nature however, and was more apprehensive about the prospect. She wanted to wait it out, even though we didn't know if we would be able to find one in time. I on the other had, saw no reason to wait. After all, we could just go behind the building. It appeared to butt up against the woods, and no one else was around.

I scouted ahead around the little building and confirmed that the trees did in fact grow almost up to it. There were also a few bushes, as if someone was thinking of our privacy. By a stroke of luck there were even some maples. I knew already that maple leaves make mighty fine wiping leaves, in the event that you needed some. They're wide, and strong, and easy to identify. You know that they're not something you'll mightily  regret wiping with later, like poison ivy.

I had already decided that not having to pee was well preferable to waiting for a clean bathroom, so I trucked off back behind the building, armed with some hand sanitizer. After a little bit of convincing and, Jessica agreed to go behind the building too. So when I got back, she went behind the building. The moms and I got back into the car and waited. Minutes past, and we were still waiting. After a little bit my mom told me to go see if she was okay. I said that I thought I saw her, and my mom said to go get her, and tell her to hurry up.

Being the dutiful daughter that I am, I jumped out of the car to do so. Well. This is where it gets interesting. This is the bit where a couple of adolescent girls get abandoned at a rest stop somewhere in rural Massachusetts.

You see, when I hoped out of the car, my mom thought it was Jessica hopping back in. So she did the logical thing to do. She waited a moment for us to get settled in and put our seat belts on. Then she drove off. Without us.

(Here I should pause to note that Jessica and I were both only children. And both quiet by nature. So the following isn't really that odd.)

We were just far enough away, and off to the side enough that even running after the car waving our hands didn't help. We just plan old weren't able to get into view of the rear view.

At this point Jessica did what any normal young girl would do when seemingly abandoned by her mother at a rest stop in another state. She panicked a bit. At the same time, I did what any over logical person with a constitution of steel would do. I looked for a decent place to sit down. After all, I knew they'd be back. I convinced Jessica of this after a few minutes, and we actually had quite a nice little time. Like I said, it's a long trip. And even quiet, well behaved kids get sick of being in the car after a couple of hours. The weather was warm, the sun was out, and no one else stopped at the (closed) rest stop to give us alarm. I would even go so far as to say we had a quite lovely time. Even still, we sure were glad to see our moms pull back into reststop about 30 minutes later.

*I'm from rural Vermont. Very rural Vermont. When I say the other side of town it should be noted that I mean that she lived 10 or 15 miles away, on top of a large hill / small mountain. It was a good 20 - 3- minutes to get to her place from mine.