Every once in a while you have a moment that freezes in time and you know you will remember it forever. I had one of those on Saturday night at a Rite Aid pharmacy in Flint.
The evening began with me in a wonderful restaurant with the love of my life having a romantic dinner to celebrate his birthday. No kids, no pizza or chicken nuggets. There was just the two of us all alone with real silverware and candlelight.
We ordered drinks and I ordered Salmon Oscar. It was crab cakes, topped with salmon, lobster, and a rich creamy sauce. It melted in my mouth and I washed it down with a sweet Riesling wine. It was a wonderful romantic much-needed dinner.
We topped off the evening with a rich luscious piece of turtle cheesecake.
On our way to see the musical Shrek I began to feel a rumbling in my stomach that told me my system wasn’t used to such fine dining.
McDonald’s hamburgers in a waxy wrapper are apparently no problem but serve me gourmet food on good china and it’s full system rejection.
Not every area in Flint is a desirable place to stop but at this point being mugged was the lesser of two evils.
As the car skidded to a stop I bolted into the store to get Imodium in an attempt to stage a counter-attack on my full system rejection of real food.
I had just grabbed the items I needed when I realized it was too late. There would be no counter-attack, only surrender.
I stood cross-legged in aisle five thinking “Well, this is it. The Flint Rite-Aid is where I am going to lose my last shred of dignity.
When Brad approached all I could mutter was “Go find out where the nearest bathroom is located!” I knew I could only clinch and pray for about another minute.
At this point, I needed the most direct route to the facilities to avoid disaster. There would be no maneuvering through aisles or displays. I knew I could only run so far with my legs crossed so I had to be smart about this.
As my sweet husband stood patiently waiting to ask the question my situation went to DEFCON 5.
I raced as quickly as I could with crossed legs to the front of the store and blurted out “WHERE IS YOUR BATHROOM?”.
The sweet cashier replied, “We don’t have a public restroom”.
At that moment our eyes meet and I said through gritted teeth “You have to have something”. She took one look at me and made a very quick and accurate assumption that it was either break the rules or get the mop.
The last thing I heard was “all the way back and to the left. BE CAREFUL!!” I raced through the stock room past the mop bucket and into the men’s restroom. At this point, whether the stick figure on the door had on a dress was the least of my worries. What was about to happen was too undignified for the ladies room.
After my walk of shame to the front of the store, I thanked the cashier without making eye contact. I should have hugged her. After all, we had shared a connection and she had unknowingly saved my last shred of dignity and my night.
As soon as we got in the car I grabbed the box of Imodium and couldn’t decide if I should take two tablets or just leave two tablets in the box and take the other 34.
The decision was made for me by the degree of difficulty in getting the self-respect saving pill out of the package. Why would they make a pill that people need to take to avoid pooping their pants in public in such a sophisticated terrorist proof package?
In my opinion, they should be readily accessible and dissolve under your tongue like a Nitroglycerin tablet. When you need them there is seldom time to waste.
I had learned my lesson. I’m not meant for the finer things in life. Apparently, after eating off my children’s plates for all those years my system had developed an aversion to anything that didn’t come with fries and a sauce packet.
While there are many things I will remember about the weekend Brad turned 44 I will never forget that the celebration was almost trumped by the number two.