when you gotta go, you gotta go

The trouble with drinking a boat-load of water every day is that you have to go pee. Frequently.

To make matters worse, I’m convinced my bladder is on the small side. Perhaps comparable to that of a hamster.

It doesn’t help that I birthed two gargantuan babies once upon a time. And that I then completely blew off the recommended post-birthing Kegel exercises, rendering me about as effective as a toddler at controlling my bladder.

On Friday, early on in the road trip, we hit a traffic jam. Construction. The highway was at a standstill.

And I had to pee.

I announced the situation to Mr. Enthusiasm, who glibly responded, “Uh…look around, Nanc, we’re not going anywhere.”


I raged quietly inside.

My jaw tightened. I clenched. I cursed myself for not practicing Kegels more often. I tried to take my mind off the increased urgency in my loins.

Nothing helped.

Desperate for relief, I looked around the truck for anything that might pass for a make-shift bedpan. The pickings were slim.

The following is an actual conversation between Mr. Enthusiasm (ME) and I (me):

me: I have to go.

ME: Babe, you can’t go. We are barely moving. You just have to hold on.

me: I can’t. I really have to go. It hurts.

ME: Here, have a bottle cap, that’ll make you feel better.

me: [swatting away the box of bottle caps] NO! I don’t want candy. I need a toilet.

ME: I can’t help you.

me: You don’t have to. I’m going to use the empty coffee cup. It’s perfect. It has a lid I can use to cover it up when I’m done.

ME: No.

me: Yes. I’m going to just crawl to the back seat so I can kneel on the floor to do it.

ME: No. Please don’t. Your aim is not that good.

me: Dude! I can pee in a wee little plastic thing at the doctor’s office. I can surely keep it inside this large coffee cup.

ME: Nanc! At the doctor’s office you are squatting over an actual toilet. And the floor isn’t moving.

me: The floor isn’t moving here either! [although, we actually were going approx. 5-10 mph…]

ME: Please don’t. I don’t want to have to smell pee on the carpet for the next 3 days.

me: What would be better, me peeing my pants and you smelling it on me (and the leather seat)???

ME: LOOK! Exit 1/4 mile ahead. You can hold it that long, right??

me: [Hmmph] I can try, I guess.

This story ends happily, friends.

The kind drivers in rural Illinois let Mr. Enthusiasm change lanes from the far left to the far right and we took that exit 1/4 mile later.

As luck would have it, there was a public golf course spitting distance from the exit, and I made use of their clean, non-moving, wide-mouth toilet.

Most certainly a better outcome than the kneel-and-pee-in-a-coffee-cup plan would have rendered.

I have since added Kegel exercises to my daily regime. Although I think investing in one of these would be the smarter thing to do, frankly.


Keep moving,

xoxo nancy


98 thoughts on “when you gotta go, you gotta go

  1. Hahahaha Nancy! We have the same problem! When I was with the theater group, we used to travel a lot. So many times have I proven my ability to pee anywhere! I’d rather embarrass myself than to suffer the pain! My bladder is as small as a cherry tomato. I’ve peed in a dunkin donut plastic cup while inside a moving bus, I’ve peeed in the bushes beside a busy highway, and I’ve peed behind the bus and did not know that there was a mirror (for backing up) so everybody inside (just my theater mates) were laughing. Pfft. I have no self respect! LMAO

    • Nature peeing is my favourite thing, Jhanis! I seriously prefer squatting au natural outdoors than using a nasty porta-potty. The issue here was bumper-to-bumper traffic. Hubby actually suggested I just step outside; he would open his door, I could open the door behind him, and then do my business in between those two “walls”. Uh, no thanks. Give me some tiny bit of privacy at least! (Plus, in those rural parts, I’d probably be arrested for public indecency and be registered as a sex offender.

  2. haha oh dear!!

    I am completely the opposite…I am a veritible camel and can frequently need to go to the loo before leaving the house and forget and not go until I return from whatever event I was going to…

    It is a useful, but not particularly healthy habit I got into while teaching when I was too busy to go to the loo…

    mind you I have several friends who have bladders the size of olives or something so we rarely go that long between loo stops…I hold bags and coats and wait a lot!

  3. Haha. I evaluated a Go Girl device for my walk. I guess my, um, stream is to vigorous. If one puts too much in the top of a funnel, the bottom can’t keep up. 🙂

    I’m glad you found a clean potty and didn’t go all over the car. When I was little, my cousin Marty decided to go in the car like that. He got his penis stuck in the neck of a coke bottle……

    • Shit, I hadn’t even thought of the speed and vigor of the stream. Ed compares me to a race horse. 🙂 So…the coffee cup may have (in all likelihood) runneth over, even if I had perfect aim.

      Poor Marty… that can’t have been fun.

  4. I was laughing so hard reading that conversation between the two of you because it reminded me of something I’d hear on a Seinfeld episode, especially the bit about the bottle caps. Remember the junior mint during surgery? (If you watched the show.) Kind of reminded me of that. So silly. So funny. Glad you found a potty in time. So is Mr. Enthusiasm, I’m sure.

  5. It’s good you didn’t have to use the coffee cup.

    Even if your aim is good, once you get started it’s so hard to stop . . . even if the coffee cup is filled almost to the top.

    “OMG! OMG! Stop. Stop. The cup is filled to overflowing.”

    • Bahahahaha! I just said the same thing in response to Andra’s comment. Didn’t even consider that as an issue at the time. And, most certainly, it would have been. I had a lot o’ pee up in that there bladder of mine. 🙂

  6. Hey Nancy…yes, brings back memories of a road trip we took from So Calif to Washington State. We too hit construction on a mountain pass with snow piled high over the roof of our car in both directions. I was SERIOUSLY going to knock on the door of the motorhome behind me and ask how much they would charge for me to use their toilet. Luckily the traffic broke through before things got desperate. I have sense learned that pelvic floor exercises are good for traveling AND for sleeping longer through the night. Not all exercise is sweat producing 🙂

  7. haha! I hope Ms. Naptimethoughts didn’t read this, she probably would have a panic attack 😉 Not just water…green smoothies make me have to pee like i just drank 8 glasses of water. no idea why!

  8. Can you believe I was jiggling when i clicked on your post? You haven’t helped! I have been in this situation more times than I can remember BUT most memorable was driving to the Daytona 500. We’d done a test run the day before from the campsite and it took two hours. On the day it took five!!! We had an empty gallon water bottle in the back and I did exactly what you’d threatened to do. All in the bottle! Result!

  9. HAHAHAHAHA! I actually have one of those ‘go-girls’ – although I think mine is called a fem-kit. It was my saviour on Kilimanjaro. Didn’t have to leave the tent at night. I’ve never used it in a moving car, but I’ve peed behind my fair share of shrubs on the side of the road.
    Had to laugh at the bladder the size of a hamster. Me too. Damn kids!

    • I love nature peeing, Joanne! If there’s a porta-potty right beside me, I’ll still opt for au natural 🙂 but I can see where being half frozen at 20,000+ feet at night the convenience of a go girl would be attractive!

      Yep – my babies definitely destroyed me. 🙂

  10. Um, the coffee cup with a lid trick has worked in my car… it wasn’t me in the squat position but it was my idea. 🙂 And of course I had to finish my coffee to give us an empty cup leaving me worried that I would need to “top it off” before we finally found a place to pull over. 🙂

  11. There are no words.
    I laughed so much at this! I think water and healthy foods like fruit and veg are to blame…
    I fall somewhere in between you and Sam, if I think about it then I really have to go, but if I’m busy I can wait hours and hours if I need to!

  12. I remember you tweeting this and I was so nervous about wether you would make it or not! Speaking of pee, today I had to get my father-in-law who will be 90 in June and still sharp as an arrow, pads for his incontinence. He was so embarrassed to ask and I told him not to worry! Sigh. I’m loving the “Go Girl”! It’s a MUST HAVE!

  13. Water and coffee can do this to me too…I was lucky not to have too many complete traffic jams on my solo route last weekend. Happy you made it! And Kegel is a good companion too 🙂

  14. Funny post, as always, Nancy! We have a friend who is always scheming to make millions, and he is creating something like the “Go Girl”, but made of paper, foldable, and disposable, and targeting the female motorcycle-riding crowd. It may actually go over, if someone hasn’t thought of it yet. 😀

  15. “Go Girl” is completely novel to me. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I’m afraid I’d still be bumbling around trying to figure out how to use it and have an “accident” after all. I think it would be worth investing in, however. There are those times. When you gotta go, you gotta go. I am a big water drinker, too. A couple of years ago we got stuck in horrible traffic on the way to Disneyland of all places. The lines were bad and I was in big trouble. I’ll finish the story by saying I had to go into a gift shop and buy a pair of Mickey Mouse sweats. LOL!

  16. So funny! I’ve been there and actually got out of the car once, in the freeway, in Vegas and went. I got honked at once but it was worth it. Lol I was in dire pain and need and we were on our way to Hoover Dam and passed the exits already! Oh well. Like they’ve never seen a girl pee before? 😉

    • Hey, when you gotta go… 🙂

      I’m more paranoid about these new laws now – where you’re actually named as a sex offender if you get charged with public urination. That’s all I need!

      • Oh I know!! This was like 18 years ago when you could still pee in public, for the most part. 😉

      • Still, even with that fear in play, I pee on the regular out in nature during my hikes. It’s like the minute I hit a trail the valve switches to ‘constant pee’. I’ve marked my territory all over Red Rock Canyon and Mt. Charleston. 🙂

  17. OH MY GOD! Nancy, I posted about this yesterday and used the same pic of the Go Girl! hahahahaha. Aussa mentioned in my comments that she thought you had also just posted about the mini shenis. I had to come find you immediately.

    having to pee all the time IS MY LIFE.

    I’m really, really glad you made it to a bathroom or this could’ve been an entirely different post. One time I waited so long I gave myself bladder spasms. Not. Fun.

    • I’m just catching up on my reading this morning after turning off on Friday. La dee dah… reading thru your post and I see the image of the go-girl. I died. Methinks we are communicating at some weird cosmic level. Now stop invading my subconscious, ya freak! 🙂

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