Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Fear

It's Friday night. I'm at a local bar with four fabulous friends appreciating a much anticipated long overdue Girl's Night Out. We spend the evening at the bar's patio listening to a small guitar band play classic rock n' roll hits while enjoying many drinks, appetizers, and laughs. Yep, we really needed it and we all show a renewed sense of relaxation and contentment on our pretty smiling faces. Yea for gettin’ out as moms and girlfriends without the kids!!!

Sadly, the night comes to an end, and we pile in the carpool car and head home. Funny thing, though, my tummy isn’t feeling so well. It’s rumbling. Protesting. Was it all the fried food that I’m not used to eating? Something that didn’t agree with me? Hummm… I wonder if I should say something and sprint back into the bar and head straight for the restroom, only the restroom has this talkative eighty year old woman sitting in there handing out paper towels and lotion for tips. Not good. So, I take a deep breath and hope for the best. Only, well, and this is really embarrassing, I emit an odor that’s umm, not so pleasant. My lovely friend in the back seat with me discretely opens her window and I stare out my window in horror at myself as I grab in vain for my elusive window button. She puts her hand on my knee and calmly says “Oh, you are so quiet sweetie, are you okay?” and I’m all “uh huh” but secretly thinking “OMG! Will I be able to make it home without a massive explosion in the backseat?” Then I ride the roller coaster of feeling okay, then not okay, okay, then not okay despite my efforts to concentrate on something other then the urgency of my desperate bowel situation. My stomach protests as we drive on to the freeway and again, my tactful friend rolls her window down without saying a word. This time I fess up and say “I’m so sorry, I think that’s me and I’m feeling that my tummy isn’t doing so well and I probably should find a restroom…very…soon.” Without hesitation, my friend that’s driving heads for the nearest off-ramp without saying a word with that unspoken “I hear you sista – no problem” girlfriend vibe that I fully appreciate at that very nervous moment.

You’ve got to understand. I grew up as an only child that was raised by a single mom. I didn’t have any brothers holding me down and farting on my face or a dad asking me to pull his finger. My mom was private about her bodily functions and I always had tons of privacy. I do my bathroom business without the audience of my husband and I have no desire to witness him doing his #2 business on the porcelain throne. We don’t do “dutch ovens” (which for some reason other couples find really funny??) and I don’t fart in front of anyone if I can help it. I’m definitely less modest now that I’m a mother, but I still keep some things private and bodily functions are one of them.

Okay, so back to my story. My guardian angels bless me with a nearby gas station and a nice restroom all to myself. And...well, as my husband says, Satan left my body. Done. Gone. Bye-bye. Whew! I rejoin my awaiting friends (who, by the way, said to shout out if I needed reinforcements – bless them!) and we are on our way home again. So, ya...I’m supposed to be mortified and embarrassed to no end because I just don't have those moments of weakness! Only, well, I didn’t feel that way. I feel supported and loved and no shame at all and this is new for me. Wow.

When I arrive home, I tell my awaiting husband all the juicy details (no pun intended) and he’s all “Oh, that’s ‘The Fear’ that Kevin and Bean (local deejays) joke about”.

Here is the definition from my long time favorite morning radio show: “An urgent, uncontrollable need to use the restroom, coupled with the anxiety that there is not enough time to make it to said restroom. The term originated when Psycho Mike related a story wherein he took care of business on his parents’ lawn because he didn’t think he would make it inside. Tales of The Fear also surrounded the later fascination with Hot Cheetos and their undesirable side effects.”

Yep, that about sums it up. I’m actually happy that my understanding man can smile and commiserate about it. When I jokingly say to him that I wonder if my totally embarrassing out-of-my-comfort-zone moment of the night would make my friends so disgusted with me that they would never talk to or be able to look at me again, he just gives me that you’re-being-so-silly look. He suggests that if anything, it finally made me more human to them – less than perfect - that thank-goodness-she’s-finally-like-us-moment and they were probably happy about breaking down those stubborn walls and getting real with me.

It’s so true…and I really love that man. He doesn’t say much a lot of the time, but when he does he is so unbelievably wise. He could’ve said something like “that’s stupid” and dismissed me, but, he gets me. He knows my insecurities and faults and is happy when I grow and show more of the real me that he loves to other people outside of my small comfort zone.

Life is funny that way. Here I have this, uh humm, less than stellar moment and it could go either way for me. I could beat myself up and coward away in humiliation, or embrace the fact that, yes indeed, I can show the less than perfect side of me and feel better for it and people still like me after all. How very weird and unexpected this all is, but unlike my stomach, I’m not complaining one bit.
ps - check out another version of our night out:


  1. My only anger is that I wasn't there to smell it! LOL! We all blossom because you're awesome!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hey, I thought it was me! That fried food was killer! So no worries, I totally understand!

  3. LMAO!!!!!!!!!! really, LMAO!!!!!!!!!!! As a former only child (former because now I share a house with many) I truly understand the bubble of privacy you grew up in. I've had this happen before...just never wrote it down. I just pray my Guardian Angel follows me to Vegas when I go meet 13 other triplet moms and ROOM with them!!!!!!