We are driving back from vacation and dealing with the 'dreaded traffic.' Of course, my definition of horrible traffic is vastly different than my husband’s.
If he gets to stay in the fast lane for more than five minutes without pressing on the brake and keeps his beloved cruise control intact, he is a happy camper. If I CAN read the license plates on the cars in front of me, and I have 60-year-old eyes, my personal space has been invaded, I quit singing, and I go into the 10 and 2 death-grip on the steering wheel.
I don’t really know when my fear of traffic began because I actually have vivid memories of loving to go for a drive. My radio would play a favorite song and I would instantly be one of the Mamas and the Papas. Think you know the era I come from now.
But somewhere, around the time of 'having babies' all that changed. I’m going to blame it on the Pee Pot.
Once upon a time my mother-in-law gave me a porcelain chamber pot that she found at an antique shop. She told me that it would come in handy when traveling with little girls.
After disinfecting the thing about a hundred times because of thinking about all the butts that came before my girls, sent me slightly over the edge. I painted bumble bees on the white porcelain and wrote Bee Pot clearly across the rim in Sharpie.
The pot, a roll of toilet paper, baby wipes, and a garbage sack went into a cute little bag that concealed its true purpose. The Pee Pot, the name 'bee' never really worked, was an actual life saver on many road trips and off-road experiences. I don’t care how many times you say to little girls, "Everyone tries" before you venture out, they inevitably announce 30 minutes into the excursion that they have to pee!
Daddy screeches to side of the road and the Pee Pot is ripped out of its cute concealed bag. I had had hopes that the Pee Pot would be passed down to my daughter’s daughters but dammit if someone didn’t invent a portable potty that goes one step further and doesn’t pollute the environment…IT SEALS! Not to mention that I don’t want to give it up now.
So, the Pee Pot sits in my car very lonely but something weird started to happen about 10 years ago. I found that if I was stuck in horrible traffic, knowing I had the Pee Pot in my car made me feel better. I have no idea how I would use the thing if I really was trapped on a California freeway for 3 hours because a semi and a UPS truck decided to collide. But just knowing I had the option was enough.
Bizarre, I know. Then one day the unimaginable happened. I had eaten at a fast food place and began my 4-hour journey when the dreaded rumblings started. There was literally no bathroom in sight and according to Waze and Google Maps, I was screwed for at least 15 minutes.
Could I wait that long? Could those Kegel muscles help and how long had it been since I’ve depended on them in a life and death situation? Well, maybe not death but definitely disgrace?
I started coming up with secondary plans and then the Pee Pot screamed at me from the back seat. Now I wasn’t looking for bathrooms but turn offs… to anywhere and did I have my stun gun?
The rest of the story isn’t interesting except to say that the trucker who pulled off to sleep by the overpass was probably giggling at the frantic but very organized lady using a chamber pot in the desert.
I still hate traffic but love knowing I have a back up plan…ha ha…back up. Get it?
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