Remember when you were potty-training your children and tried to teach them to (1) always "go" before you leave the house, and (2) if you feel the need and there's a restroom available, use it right away. I think I must need a refresher course on that last part.
We did a good bit of flying during our recent vacation, and most of it went well. But when we were flying from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis (and then continuing on to Charlotte), things got a little dicey.
A little too much turbulence, you ask? No. A little too much Diet Coke.
Picture this: It's a full flight and I'm in the window seat, Hubby is in the middle, some poor sap is in the aisle seat. We're midway through a reasonably short flight and I...umm...feel the urge to go. (I know, TMI.)
Being in the window seat with a stranger on the aisle tends to make me a little shy about making them get up so that I can get out. So I held it, thinking, "It's no big deal; we're only 30 minutes out."
Ten minutes go by. We're starting our descent and the "fasten your seatbelts and remain in your seats" announcement is made. I start to squirm a little. Think about getting up and decide against it.
Another moment passes and a young woman across the aisle gets up and goes to the bathroom, looking a little embarrassed to be ignoring the announcement. I think, "I should go too; after all she did." But I don't.
Another ten minutes passes. It's starting to get painful. I'm mentally kicking myself at this point, and then the panic sets in. I start to imagine what would happen if I didn't make it in time...I'd be an adult wearing peed-in blue jeans and my luggage is checked all the way through to Charlotte and I'd have another flight to get through like that.
Sweat pops out on my brow. I start to tap my feet rapidly. I lean over and whisper to Hubby that I really really really have to go and he needs to make the guy next to him get up. Hubby is mortified and tells me to hold on, we'll be on the ground soon. I gnash my teeth.
More minutes grind by. By this point I'm rocking back and forth and hitting my armrest with my fist in a staccato that's annoying everyone around me in an effort to think about something else, anything else, but how much I HAVE TO GO.
The plane begins to touch down. Sweat is dripping down my face. We start taxiing towards our gate and I lean over and tell Hubby to GET UP NOW OR ELSE. We've been married long enough that this time he didn't argue, just unbuckled his seat belt and nudged the guy next to him to get up.
As I'm scrambling out of my seat I worry about being arrested for interfering with a flight crew because at this point I'd knock down anyone who tried to stand in my way of getting to the bathroom. So I think fast and do what any woman would do under the circumstances. I run down the aisle to the bathroom with my hand over my mouth making lurching sounds. The flight attendants didn't say a word.
Lucky for me. Apparently other passengers have been charged or detained for getting up to go to the bathroom either during a descent or while on the tarmac. Here's one story. The best one I found involves a Georgia Congressman who used a cup to, well...here's the story.
So the moral of the story is: Listen to your mother. Even if you don't have to go, make use of the facilities BEFORE the captain turns on that stupid light. Or you'll be sorry.
Excuse me, but I have to go call my mother now.