Turning in my Girl Scout sash

Posted on July 3, 2011


This post will in-no-way be about fitness & wellness. Stick around if you want to divert from the norm with me.

Last Wed night found me in a conversation with Drew’s dad about camping & port-o-potties. As women, we clearly have the disadvantage when it comes to the latter. The hovering, the touching the door handle that God-knows-who-else-touched, the smell – we have no real alternative when in public company, whereas a man can easily run behind a tree & even though we can see clearly what he is doing, it’s “ok” that he’s ‘watering the tree.’

I was heading off the next morning with Drew on the annual Redbud Motorcross camping wknd. Three days of grilled meats, dirtbikes & showering under a water bag, in public, in a swimsuit. This is as close to “real” camping as you’ll likely ever find me -thankfully. We have a trailer that gets air-conditioning flowing through once its hooked up to a generator…so no tent for this girl. We sleep in the trailer.

So in packing, the conversation came up about how bad the port-o-potties are at Redbud. Drew’s dad was saying how they’re fine the first day, but then the mud…the drunk people….well, it can get a bit nuts. Now, in my experience, they’ve been typical port-o-potties at Redbud – not the Ritz, but not the worst either – & they were cleaned each day {BLESS the people who do that job!} & we were parked near to them, so it was not a long walk to go use the facilities.

So when Drew’s dad offered the personal port-o-potty for us to take (think toddlers’ training toilet adult-sized), I turned it down.

We got to Redbud, which is a giant field with a massive dirtbike track just over the Indiana border in Michigan, that fills up with thousands – literally, thousands – of people with their RVs, trailers, campers, and trucks in tow. They direct you where to park & last year we were lucky enough to park less than a minutes’ walk from the port-o-potties & water stations. Convenient! This year, not so much – we were parked about 5 mins from the port-o-potties. We parked & Drew’s first words to me were, “sorry babe.” “It’s ok, I’m fit, I can walk” I said. I’ll just be mindful of leaving for the toilets a bit before  I get to the “gotta-go-now” point. Seriously, think about that. If you were required to walk for 5 mins before you could get to the toilet, a bit of a different approach is required than when you can just waltz in there in 10 steps from your living room couch.

Drew rode all day Thurs, it was H.O.T.  so we’d gone into town for eggs & a non-Paleo ice cream treat (see, we do eat non-healthy things once in a while!). The rain had been a light sprinkle at first & was cooling after a steamy day. But it quickly turned into a major storm that stretched on and on and on into the night. The field turned to thick, sticky mud. Lightning was streaking across the sky & thunder was booming down on us every minute or so & the wind had picked up considerably. (I think the Chicago side of this same storm saw 85mph windgusts & there was a waterspout on Lake Michigan from this storm) so yeah – not a good night to be outdoors. 

And around 9pm, Mother Nature tugged on my bladder. I spent the next hour thinking about how I’d really like to pee outside the trailer rather than walk in this storm to the port-o-potties, but it’s not dark out yet – why is it not dark out yet?? it’s 9:30!!, I need to pee, I can’t wait all night!, it’s really bad out there, I’m not going in a port-o-potty in this weather, what if it tipped over??, but I have to pee. Ugh. And around 10:30pm I uttered the following statement to Drew –

“Babe? Could you hold the trailer door open to block me while I hold the umbrella & pee outside?”

“You want me to do what?”

“Hold the door while I pee, but don’t look! I don’t want to be seen & you’ll block one side with the door, I’ll use the umbrella on the other side, but don’t look at me!” (You see, despite the storm, there were still guys wandering around other campsites near ours – most likely either peeing themselves or searching for beer – or both – and I didn’t wait anyone to see my bare butt hanging out there)

It was dark in the trailer & it really was nasty out in the storm, so I couldn’t hear if he snickered at me as we prepared for this mission, but frankly, my bladder didn’t care. So in my flip-flops that are washable (you know, in case any pee gets on them) & holding a big umbrella, I pushed open the trailer door into a serious storm. Pouring rain, wind whipping my hair & the umbrella around, it was like Armegeddon out there! stupid bladder.

I jumped down from the trailer & quickly held the umbrella on a ‘leftward & down’ angle while Drew stood inside the trailer, his arm reaching out to the door to keep it open on a ‘rightward’ angle. Except the door to the trailer stopped 18” from the ground. So while blocked from view while standing, my entire lower half was hanging out in all its glory once I squatted down. great.

So there I am, umbrella in one hand, trying to simultaneously shelter me from rain & from on-lookers to the left, door propped open to my right, bare-bottom hanging out below the bottom of the door & me – conjuring up my favorite triathletes who all pee in transition/on the bike/in the water/frankly, I’m not sure where my triathlon friends aren’t free-wheeling their pee release – trying to pee despite the ridiculousness of this whole charade!

I would NOT recommend using this umbrella if you did not want to draw attention to yourself while peeing.

I made it back inside to Drew saying, “maybe next year you’ll take the personal port-o-potty when my dad offers it.” I hate when he’s right. But really, would that be any better?! I mean really…had we had the personal port-o-potty, Drew would have been lucky enough to get to sit in the dark trailer with me, listening to me pee into a adult-sized toilet-training toilet. That’s sexy. But at least I’d have been prepared for any instance, and I’d have had the choice to pee inside or outside.

So, as it seems, I should turn in my Girl Scout sash since I was not prepared for every possible situation. But who would think that you’d possibly have to pee in a massive storm? A Girl Scout would have. And now maybe you’ll think of it too & be better prepared.

You’re welcome.

Posted in: me!