I’m not sure exactly when it happened. I don’t think it was a gradual thing, but maybe it was so gradual that I didn’t notice until all of a sudden, one day, my bladder decided it wanted the upper hand in this whole relationship we have going.
While I don’t remember the exact date it happened, I know it was sometime within the last year. I originally tried to pass it off as something else. “I must have forgotten to go before I left work” or some such. But then I really started paying attention and it didn’t matter when I did or didn’t “go”. My bladder seemed to have found an on/off switch and learned how to use it.
Now I go from happily sitting on my car or on my couch or out doing things with not a care in the world to all of a sudden very urgently needing to find the nearest loo. What the heck!?!
Naively – and completely incorrectly it turns out – I had assigned all those bladder-control commercials to being something relevant only to my friends who have had children. Everybody knows that women who have kids have bladder control issues when they get older, right? All that talk about pelvic floor and stuff – damage done during pregnancy and so on. Well, I haven’t had kids so, of all the not-so-joyous parts of getting older that are on my radar, I happily thought I had escaped that one.
And so, nowadays, I find myself frequently and sternly lecturing my bladder.
I’ve noticed that there seems to be direct, exponential relationship between my proximity to a bathroom and the urgency to use it. A woman at work and I were talking about this a couple of weeks ago and she finds the same thing – at least I’m not alone in that. (She did not, however, admit to conversing with the organ in question, so that bit might be just me…)
At first glance, it might seem to be a good thing that the urgency increases with proximity. I mean, if you really have to go, wouldn’t you want to be near the appropriate facilities?
In general, yes. But in this case, no. The urgency and possibility of an “accident” is so great that the fact that I am close to the washroom is only a tantalizing, possibly unattainable tease. You know: so near and yet oh so far. Think about it: How much would it absolutely suck if you lost all control a mere three feet from safety? If you were out in the bush, miles away from civilized plumbing, well, nobody could blame you, right? But three feet from the porcelain god? Really? You couldn’t wait five more seconds?
My bladder seems to take particular advantage of and joy in its newfound control whenever I get home. Putting the key into my lock appears to be a gleeful trigger for that on/off switch. “Oh ho ho!!!!” my bladder seems to cry. “She’s close to a bathroom, but can’t do anything about it from here! I’m the one in control now!!!!!”
And I negotiate: “OK…Listen. We’re in the foyer. You know we can’t go here. I just need 40 seconds – 1 minute tops – to get my boots off and get to the loo. You didn’t need to go at all 20 seconds ago, so surely you can give me one literal minute. Please!!” The lecture, you see, turns quickly into pleading.
Thankfully, it’s never come to the embarrassing scene I’m negotiating to avoid, but if there were cameras in my house, they would catch me doing a quite laughable, cross-legged-penguin waddle (if penguins could cross their legs) to the bathroom – negotiating the whole way. “Only 10 seconds to go…c’monnnnnn…work with me here!”
And so, this is what I have come to.
My name is Lucy and I talk to my bladder.