Recovering from all that exhausting sobriety

It is such a weird, confusing feeling to have to relieve myself so very badly, only to sit on a commode in absolute silence, waiting… waiting… Last night I was perched in a stall in a women’s restroom in Salt Lake International Airport, contorted, meditating intently on the idea of going pee, so panicked that I considered yelling out, “HELP! PLEASE HELP ME!” It felt like I had run out of options at that point, and if some third party didn’t step in I was going to die alone on that toilet.

The baby had been sitting in such a way that I couldn’t get things going, and when I used the bathroom during our layover in Phoenix I thought we were going to miss our connection because it was taking so damn long. When I first walked in there was a lovely red-headed woman reapplying her make-up in the mirror over a row of sinks, and as I sat there on the other side of the stall door I imagined her pausing, holding the wand of mascara a few inches from her face in disbelief at the sound echoing behind her: … … … drip… drip drip drip… … …. drip… … … … drip… drip drip drip… … …. drip… HELP! PLEASE HELP ME!

I’m not sure someone would know what kind of help to offer a pregnant woman who is unable to go pee, so here are a few helpful tips if you’re ever called upon in such an emergency: 1) assure her that you’ve never heard of someone dying alone on a toilet because they couldn’t go pee, 2) promise her that should it come to such a scenario you’ll at least stick around long enough to call the morgue, 3) if you’re feeling especially generous, tell her you’d gladly reach under the door and hold her hand through the whole ordeal if such a gesture were not totally creepy and completely illegal.

You’d think I would have more to say about our trip to Austin and the SXSW experience, but everything was so overshadowed by the physicality of my pregnancy that the most vivid memories I will have of the last four days are of the size of my ankles and the sound of my hips as they suddenly stopped working. Turns out A CREAKING HALT sounds exactly like you would expect it to. We did get to spend one lovely evening with friends, and I’m glad I pushed my body to the brink of total exhaustion that night because I got to hear one of my Internet idols talk about his sweaty feet. That may not seem like an appropriate topic of conversation to you, and that’s fine, we all have our boundaries, it’s just that his wife was sitting at the opposite end of the table having a discussion with someone else, and when she realized what we were talking about she whipped around and shouted, “No, seriously. You cannot imagine the smell. Think HOT VINEGAR.”

Jon and I repeated those two words to each other for the next day and a half, and I’ve decided that I’m going to whip them out in every interview during my upcoming book tour.

“What do you think is the future of blogging?” HOT VINEGAR.

“Do you ever worry about your daughter resenting you for the things you’ve written?” I’m sorry, did you say HOT VINEGAR?

“How would you compare—” HOT. VINEGAR.
“But I didn’t finish my ques—” GARRRRR.
“—question—” GARRRRRRR!