Friday, January 16, 2009

if it looks like a toilet and feels like a toilet...

     It is late, the middle of the night. I am twenty years old and asleep in the bedroom nestled in the corner of my parents' house. The next day I am going to visit my boyfriend in upstate New York, making my beauty sleep even more pressing.

     I get up, though, suddenly having to go to the bathroom. I quickly make my way there and attend to business, feeling a sense of calm as I am relieved of the pressure that drove me to the bathroom in the first place. 
   Wait, stop. I wake up again. No, not again--because I am in bed. What...? 
    I am wet. WET. And the calm gives way to a rising sense of disaster as the slow, awful realization of my situation clears out the cobwebs in my brain. Turns out I didn't get up, didn't go to the bathroom, didn't even get remotely close to a toilet, folks.  

   I dreamt the whole thing. Oh--well, except for the relieving myself part. Unfortunately, that was very real, as evidenced in my bed and all over my legs. 

   I jump out of bed with the reflexes of a cat jumping out of water. I strip it; I strip me, throwing a robe on. I turn on the shower and start piling the bed clothes together and this is how my mom finds me in the middle of the night. 

   What are you doing up, Jess? And (upon seeing me turning my bed practically inside out) what are you doing?

   I look at her. I am too tired, too shocked to even try to make anything up. Besides, she's my mom; she of all people has seen me soil myself before. Just not for a good 18 or so years. 

   I peed the bed, mom. 

   That's all I say, and my mom doesn't even look too shocked (now that I think about it, I wonder why she didn't look shocked that her 20 year-old daughter wet her bed, but well, she didn't). 

  And that was it. I went back to cleaning and I assume my mom went back to bed. However, a small worry did creep into the back of my mind: what if this happens again when I visit my boyfriend? 

  And maybe that was when I decided to not trust my dreams. Especially the ones involving a toilet. And maybe that is also when I started making sure I go right before I go to bed--sometimes twice--and then again, early in the morning. Call me paranoid, but hey, you can't argue with me when I say I've had...well, a bad experience.  

   I always promised myself that I would take that story with me to the grave. But then I stopped caring so much about being seen as an adult who has never wet the bed, I guess. But I would still like to be seen as an adult who has never wet the bed more than once...

  Any stories you would like to share? Any embarrassing moments that, at the time, you swore you'd never tell--even under threat of torture--but now that you've put some time between you and the event you can see the humor in it? 

  If so, do share. 


The DJF said...

Can I just say - I am very happy that you shared that story with the world, because I too have wet the bed as an adult.

I think it was due to stress and anxiety, but I was wetting the bed (about 2 times a week) when I started touring with Hairspray last year. It was a very strange thing because it wasn't something I'd done since I was little. Eventually it stopped, but I was so embarrassed. Luckily I hid it from my roommate at the time, but it's something that still makes me think to this day. Hmm.

semi anonymous said...

When I was a little tiny girl who just started school, my body wasn't used to getting up in time for the school bus, and resetting my body clock for an earlier bed time. This led to several sleep deprivation motivated dreams in the morning where my mom came in and woke me up, and then I fell back asleep and DREAMED that I got out of bed, put on my clothes, and ate my breakfast. I would startle awake twenty minutes later when mom came in the second time to yell at me.

It was a distant memory until the sleep deprivation of new motherhood brought back the "fake out" dreams. I never told anyone else but my husband and sister about it, because it seems too hard to believe unless you've been through it yourself. I too truly believed that I woke up, walked into the bathroom, and sat down on a potty to relieve myself until I woke up midstream in my bed. I'm pretty sure it happened more than once, and I recall doing a foot ball sprint to the end zone, jumping over pieces of furniture and dancing around hallway turns to finish the job in the appropriate room of the house before full disaster struck.

All I needed to do was change clothes, but that's not a fun thing to do in the middle of the night, especially when you're sharing a room with another adult and an easily woken infant. I guess it would be something I'd rather not have to explain to a roommate.

I certainly don't feel embarrassed now, I just tell myself it's a humbling dress rehearsal for the likely state of affairs during the end days of my life. Our egos are much too fragile. If we tell our kids it's no big deal, then why isn't it for us too?

Ash said...

I peed my pants 2x my Freshman year of college (about 8 years ago now)from laughing super hard. My friends still won't let me forget about it!

Honestly I am more concerned that I haven't had any "laugh til you pee your pants" moments than I am embarassed by sharing the story!

kathiek said...

Well, I do have an embarrassing story that I never told anyone until just a couple years ago, but it doesn't involve peeing, if that's okay. I think I was in junior high, I don't quite remember the time frame, but I remember we were living in Claymont at the time, so it was at least junior high. I had just read Farmer Boy (from The Little House on the Prairie series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In that book, someone stuck their tongue on an icy pump handle outside in the dead of winter (a dare, I think), and their tongue froze to it. I could not believe something like that could happen, I guess, so I decided to test it. I didn't have an icy pump handle handy, it wasn't the mid-west (I don't even think it was winter), but I DID have a freezer. So...

As it turns out, your tongue CAN get stuck fast to something frozen. There were people at home in our apartment at the time (the next room, as a matter of fact), but I was too scared and embarrassed to try to call for help, muffled as my yell would have been. My back was to the cupboards and the sink, they were just out of reach anyway, so my initial idea of trying to free myself by pouring a glass of warm water around my tongue was not going to work. I was frantic, so sure that I would get in serious trouble (like my tongue frozen to the freezer wasn't trouble enough!) when I was caught...which I was sure would be any moment. I realized there was only one way out of this situation. I grasped my tongue as firmly as I could and pulled hard. Mind you, all this was done in absolute silence, I didn't dare make a sound, though it hurt like the dickens. Before I did anything else, I stuffed my mouth with paper towels. I then proceeded to clean up all the frozen bloody bits of my tongue off the freezer by pouring hot water on it and scraping it away with more paper toweling. I cleaned up every bit of evidence and quietly snuck out of the kitchen. No one ever knew. The moral of this story (besides the obvious)? Some things are bad for you, plain and simple, you can just take it on faith (or just take it from me), you don't actually have to try it yourself!

Mary F. said...

Jess That was very funny. I have one for you. About 25 years ago Joe & I had a water bed. I had a dream about getting up and using the bathroom. Next thing I know Joe is waking me up in a panic saying "the bed sprung a leak Mary" I rolled over and said "no it didn't I just peed" and I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep but Joe started pulling off the sheets. The next day all we could do was laugh when we looked at each other. I need to ask Joe if he remembers that LOL

Jessica Latshaw said...

thank you for these stories/comments, guys! I suppose we have all been there to some degree at one point or another...;-)