Even as mature adults, beyond having the right outfits to wear on your romantic getaway, sometimes taking your relationship to the next level means coming face to face with things you have not yet begun to discuss or experience together. It means you are going to have do things in front of this other person, or at the home of his or her relatives, that you normally only do in the comfort of your own home, or in the case of an emergency, at a gas station off a major interstate.
Not long ago, I took a trip to the beach with a guy I had been dating for about a month at the time. The trip was amazing. The beach was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever been to. The whole experience was a new adventure for the two of us that ultimately took our relationship to the next level – in ways that neither of us could have imagined. Once again, an unfamiliar bathroom became my nemesis.
After a very brief discussion, as in…
Him: “Hey, we should totally go to the beach this weekend!”
Me: “Yes! I love the beach! Let’s go!”
…we took the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants approach. We packed our bags – him: one less shirt than he needed for three days; me: eight shirts, two pairs of pants and a skirt I never even took out of the suitcase – and set out for the coast. Several hours later, after backing up on the highway because we were talking and missed our exit (twice), then stopping traffic to rescue a small turtle that was attempting to cross a busy road, we arrived in a charming South Carolina beach town.
“I want to stay at an Old South-style bed and breakfast,” my travel companion announced on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. “You know, the ones with a big porch and old trees with Spanish moss hanging down?” He thought for a moment. “Do you think they are all booked?”
Indeed they were, but the nice woman on the phone recommended we contact the one hotel in town that still had two rooms available. After squeezing into a parking space that wasn’t really a parking space (as in the front tires of four bicycles mounted to the car next to us sounded like they might become unmounted as they rubbed along the side of our Jeep), we unloaded our belongings and went inside this very contemporary, very eclectic, very open floor plan of a room that was the complete antithesis of an Old South-style bed and breakfast.
“This is cool,” I commented as I perused the room. “There is a TV in the bathroom.” Then I noticed the bathroom door. And when I say, “door,” I use the term loosely. It was a frosted, Plexiglas sliding unit that didn’t lock or block out anything – visually, audibly, or anything else you can think of that you might want to block out between a bathroom and a bedroom in which you are staying with someone you have never spent three days. I flipped switches on the bathroom wall. There was a fan. That was a plus.
We went to dinner, we drank wine, we walked along the beach – it was all very romantic. The next day though, I began to wonder what would happen if either one of us had to use this bathroom – I mean really use this bathroom – with the door that didn’t leave anything to the imagination. I secretly hoped he would need to use it before I did. That way, he could break the ice, thus making it easier for me should the occasion arise.
Akin to imagining potential evacuation routes in the event of a tornado, I began devising elaborate alternative options to our hotel bathroom. Maybe I could use the bathroom at a restaurant, or the nearby coffee shop, or the public restrooms at the beach. Maybe I could suggest that he go out to the little market down the street to get some random item that I had forgotten to pack. Maybe I could get up in the middle of the night, or very early in the morning, while he was still sound asleep, and sneak into the bathroom, without turning on any lights so as to draw attention to myself.
Then horror struck. What if he woke up while I was in there? What if he suddenly began dreaming about wandering through a sulfurous swamp, only to discover that the smell in his dream was actually coming from our hotel bathroom and I was in it?!
This is Part 2 of a 3-part series. Please click Everybody Poops and Other Embarrassing Subjects to continue reading Part 3.