I am proud to announce a new feature on The Hostess Handbook! My knowledgeable bestie, Rebecca Pollack , will be guiding all of you in lessons on “The Opposite of Etiquette.” Get ready for embarrassing stories, bizarre tips and outlandish mantras in the world of women’s etiquette. A New type of Ladies Home Journal! Enjoy our first feature: What Not to Do on a Date!
When my friends introduced me to Noah, I knew I liked him from the start. We had an obvious connection. Unfortunately for me, Noah had a girlfriend. We saw each other a few times, at social gatherings and large parties and casually stayed in touch. A few months later, Noah and his girlfriend split up and he asked me out! I was ecstatic and nervous!! We agreed to meet in a quirky neighborhood, a little ways out from the city and decided that he would drive me home after dinner.
The date was wonderful. We went to a small and intimate restaurant, where we shared dinner and had a few drinks. I was so excited to finally be out with Noah! I was wearing a cute black dress and really enjoying myself. Mostly, I was looking forward to him “taking me home…!
When we got to the car, we realized that neither of us really knew how to get back to my house. Noah figured he could retrace his steps and eventually figure out how to get to my place. This is when I realized that I really needed to pee. I took a moment to consult my iPhone and tried to map a route back. Noah was talking a mile a minute, as I tried to figure out which direction he was planning to go.
As Noah babbled on and on about his family and genealogy, I felt us getting more and more lost. I finally spoke up. “Do you know where you’re going?” Noah looked me square in the face, “No! I’m waiting for you to give me directions.” At this point, we were really lost and in what I can only refer to as a bad neighborhood. Now I REALLLY have to pee. “Do you think there’s anyplace to stop around here? I really need to go to the bathroom.” I admit. “Around here?” says Noah. “I doubt it!” We drive in a few more circles, as Noah continues to tell me about his estranged uncle who reappeared after 45 years. “Really. I need to pee!” I almost yell at him. Noah- now he gets it. We drive a few blocks, reading every sign. “Laundromat, liquor store, another liquor store, check cashing”… “A gas station!” I yell and instruct Noah to pull in.
I jump out of the car and try a door- locked. I hurry to the front entrance and pull open the glass. Hopefully they have a bathroom inside. The station is desolate. There are a few feet of space, before the bulletproof walls begin. Three solid pieces of wall separate the station from the customers. This is not a friendly place and there is not a single person behind the glass. Hurrying back to the car, Noah points out a supermarket- “try there!,” he yells to me through the window. There are three storefronts separating me from this savior supermarket. I pass a Laundromat with the metal doors shut tight. A small bakery looks that dark and eerie. Last stop is a fried chicken restaurant- serving Island Specialties. “This is IT!” I think to myself. The restaurant looks large and fairly busy. There must be a bathroom here! As I step through the front door, I realize I am awfully mistaken. The large space has several booths- all of them empty. A small register is totally encased in plexiglass, protecting the cashier and whatever profits this business brings in. Beside the plexiglass, is what looks like a jail cell- a large metal door that most definitely is not open to the public. I look around in horror, and realize I will not make it further than this point. As I step outside, into the summer evening, the sun still shining down, I feel my bladder give up. I am already peeing.
Standing on the doorstep of Island Specialties, I am fully peeing in my pants. The moisture drips down my legs as the sun beats on my face and cars whiz by. A puddle is forming at my sandals, as I stand casually on the doorstep of this horror story- too dumbstruck and stunned to move. “If anyone even looks at me, I will tell them my water broke!” I think to myself, appalled that I standing here peeing in the street in public and broad daylight.
I scurry back to Noah, waiting innocently in the car. As I approach, he looks at me and puts is thumb up, then down. He wants a status report. I respond- thumbs down. I approach the open window at the passenger’s side. “What happened?!” he asks. “I peed on the welcome mat at the fried chicken place.” He stares at me. “Yes, I just stood there and peed.” Noah seems to get it and hands me a blanket from the back seat of his car. I wipe down my legs and feet. Standing in the middle of the same bulletproof gas station we started at, I pull off my underwear and tuck them into a nearby trashcan. Noah materializes a pair of his pants and passes them to me. I slip the pants under my dress and get into the car.
The trip back to my house is a blur. Noah tried to reassure me several times- “things happen,” “it’s no big deal,” “I had a friend in high school who used to have to pee every 20 minutes, then he turned out to have a tumor!.” “Don’t worry,” he continues to reassure me. “I won’t tell our friends about this.”
I was still humiliated. “What will you tell your roommate when you walk in with my pants on?” he asks nervously. “I’ll tell her what happened!” I laugh.