All three girls, my parents and I went to the bathroom at approximately 11:15 AM on January 1 before we pulled out of the driveway for our eight hour junket to Florida. Before noon, we had stopped once for a bathroom break. DJ had a sick stomach, and the man I had admired for years for the size of his bladder had taken this opportunity, “just in case.” Not only did we stop for him in the Tar Heel state, we also visited rest stops in the Palmetto State, the Peach State and the Sunshine State.
I had embarked on a five day journey where the focus of our trip would not be on which attractions we would see at Walt Disney World, but on where we could find the closest bathroom.
My mother’s bladder is the size of a garden pea. They say I have my father’s nose and jaw line. I have my mom’s eyes and urological functions.
For years on vacation my mother and I would plead for stops while my older brother and father would roll their eyes, with bladders the size of camels’ humps. My, my, how the tables have turned.
It did not matter who in the family needed to relieve themselves, my dad joined right in. I suggested he owed my mother and me an apology for years of urination ridicule. He blamed old age and refused to atone for the past.
When we booked the trip, I expected my mother to go…and go…and go. That was no surprise. What I’d forgotten is the length of time each visit would take. My daughters explained that when their grandmother approaches an unfamiliar potty, she meticulously wipes it down. She then wraps the seat, double ply, with toilet paper to ensure that her epidermis does not touch the unknown surface.
Because she is cold natured, she wears a sweater in July mid-day on the beach, imagine the layers of clothing that had to be removed in January in order to proceed with elimination.
I’m not sure what she was wearing on the bottom, but on the top she had a camisole, a t-shirt, a shirt, a sweater, a vest and a white Pillsbury Dough Boyish puffy coat. Children approached her at the Magic Kingdom asking for her autograph. They thought she was a character.
To enter Disney World, you hold your Magic Band, a Fit-Bit type bracelet, up to a monitor and then scan your fingerprint to gain admittance into the park. Time and again, my mother’s Magic Band would work, but the monitor could not detect her fingerprint. My dad said it is because she washed them off. The final ritual of her bathroom experience is a full scrub down of any potentially exposed areas of her body. I have never seen it, but I think she washes her hands, legs and sometimes her hair (depending upon the overall cleanliness of the stall) after each visit. If you washed your hands 27 times a day, 432,525 days in a row, you would be devoid fingerprints too.
It actually worked fine because the girls and I could wait in line AND ride the more adventurous attractions in about the same amount of time it took her to go to the restroom.
We actually had a lovely vacation, and, we visited bathrooms from around the world.