Monday, December 04, 2006

If a woman pees in the forest and no one sees her, does she make a sound?

Okay, what if two people see her?

M and I took Alex hiking on Saturday. It was a great day for a hike- the sun was bright, the air was crisp and cool. We hiked a lovely trail that followed a river, with waterfalls and little rapids and everything.

We’d been hiking for about two hours when I needed to pee. This is typical, because my need is pretty much constant. All day. Once or twice each night. On flights! During movies! In the middle of my own wedding ceremony! And we won't even mention how I suffered for two weeks in Italy.

When you're hiking, though, nature is your bathroom. And there's nothing I love more than miles and miles of unrestricted bathroom access.

If you’re a woman, you probably know that winter hiking excursions pose a special problem. All that lush foliage that normally provides such wonderful coverage is gone, leaving miles of naked trees and very high visibility.

Men don't have to worry about this. It takes very little effort to hide their business. They can pretty much pee in the middle of a busy shopping mall and no one will see. For women it's a bit more awkward.

(I totally should have asked for a Whizzy for Christmas)

As my need grew more urgent, M and I stopped to consider my options.

M: What about that spot, over there?

Liz: No! That’s visible from the trail in both directions!

M: Oh. Well, what about there, in that thicket?

Liz: Where all the thorny vines are? Um, no.

M: How about right there- behind that big tree.

Liz: It takes more than a single tree to provide cover for a woman who’s squatting with her pants around her knees.

M: Look, the only other people we've seen was that troop of Boy Scouts, and they’re long gone. I’ll keep an eye out and tell you if anyone’s coming.

Liz: Well… okay.

So I go behind the tree, get into position, and am about halfway done when suddenly a male voice THAT IS NOT MY HUSBAND'S makes my heart stop dead. I look up to see a man and a woman headed straight for me, 20 feet away and closing in.

“AAAIIIIIIEEEEEE!” I shriek. The couple seems surprised and a little frightened to see a half-naked woman leaping into view. I yank my pants up and tear down the trail, clutching the waistband in my fist. M jumps in surprise.

“What?” he gasps, thinking that I saw a bear.

“PEOPLE!” I screech. “THEY SAW ME!”

So we race down the trail, M cracking up and Alex jumping repeatedly to nip at my waistband, so happy that we’re playing this new, exciting game! When the trail forks, we head to the left. I actually make M hide behind a tree with me until we can see if the other hikers are going to follow us.

They go to the right.

“Thank GOD,” I breathe.

M is still laughing. "If you'd just kept still, they probably wouldn't have seen you."

“You were watching, huh?” I huff, buttoning my pants. “You were going to TELL ME IF ANYONE WAS COMING, huh?”

“I'm sorry! They just came out of nowhere.”

“Well! I’m sure they enjoyed seeing my blinding white ass.”

“I’m sure they did,” M says, grinning.

"Great. So what do I get out of it? I flash both of them and I still have to pee!"

"I charged them five dollars to peek."

"That's it?"


"That's better."

To make it up to me he stopped at our local wine shop on the way home and bought a bottle of Sangiovese to go with dinner.

All is forgiven.

Story that has nothing to do with the rest of this post:

Early this morning I dreamed that I was trying to outrun a tornado. I was sprinting across a field as the funnel cloud twisted and howled, closing in on me. And when I say that I was "sprinting" I mean that I was really just jogging and flailing my arms (like this) because I’ve never been a sprinter and never will be and even in my dreams I’m completely honest. Just as my shirt was getting sucked off my back and my toes were leaving the ground, M’s alarm went off and KEPT GOING OFF, and I groggily punched him on the arm because I really wanted to find out what it’s like to twirl around in a tornado. You know, in the safety of a dream.

Napoleon Dynamite: Gosh.

Liz: I know! And then he pushed SNOOZE, too.

Napoleon Dynamite: Gosh!

Liz: I knew you'd understand.

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Blogger Ar-Jew-Tino said...

Wow, and I thought MY girlfriend peed too much. So while you were running away in fright, and your dog was nipping at you, did you find it funny at all?

3:38 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Maybe you can do lucid dreaming...where you control your dreams? You can pick up where you left off ;)

3:45 PM  
Blogger verniciousknids said...

When you mentioned women and winter...I immediately thought "oh yeah, all the layers to unpeel"...rather than "no available cover". What does that say about me? An indoors queen or an exhibitionist?!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I am always on edge when I have to drop-trou in the great outdoors.

I have a funny and curiously interesting pants down around the ankles post waiting to see the light of day.

11:41 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I had to pee in the middle of New Mexico a few years back. Thankfully I could kind of "sit" on the edge of the truck with the door closed so I had some privacy even though the space was wide open. And there were only 3 other ladies around, all of whom are related to me, and 2 of them had to pee too, so it was all good. lol

11:51 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Ar- once I got over the mortification of it all, it was kind of funny.

Bearette- I've tried, but I get filled with anxiety that it WON'T WORK and then it... doesn't.

VK- It wasn't cold enough to warrant multiple layers down below, but yes- that can be problematic, too. Particularly if you're wearing puffy ski pants!

rox- I am adding "drop-trou" to my list of favorite phrases.

suzy- once my mom's friend was stuck in a horrible traffic jam for hours. It was on a stretch of highway that didn't have any trees. Eventually she couldn't hold it anymore and she had to... ahem... use a blanket that was in her car.

That may be my worst nightmare.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Drop-trou is a good one.

I was stuck in traffic once on the way home from work when I lived in MA. It was thirty miles and there was a snowstorm. I was in the same boat as your mom's friend, but fortunately i had an empty plastic bag (it had housed my lunch that day).

2:36 PM  

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