ByShayna Thornsbury of My Own Kinda Crazy
A woman with severe IBS has no greater nemesis than the elementary school car line. No amount of Imodium or prescription cramping medication can defeat it. I’m talking hot rice bag on my tummy, heated seats on max, and counting down cars with the kid. ”Ya only gotta hold it for six more cars, five more cars, four more cars.” Typically, I shove her out the door at the back car loop and bolt for the front office to unload. Sometimes I distract myself with music, but most of the time I demand quiet. I gotta focus. This shit is serious. I even swallowed my pride and sent a letter to the principal explaining my circumstance, asking to drop off in the teacher lot on the really bad days. I got no response to the first letter so I ballsed up and sent another.
I got turned down.
This line haunts me, but not today…
It’s a good day. The sun is high in the sky, windows down kinda warm. I’m feeling foxy. I’ve got that internal strut of a woman who just had her hair done. The grays are gone and I can deny my age for at least the next three weeks. We are headed out of town the next morning to see our family. I’m uncharacteristically anxiety free. That makes it a darn good day.
Then I feel a shift in my body that I know well, that moment when a solid becomes a liquid and that liquid immediately converts to molten lava.
This is it!
The inevitable…I’m gonna shit in the car line.
And I’m trapped…
I begin to rock, praying I can buy myself some time. I can see the line moving slowly ahead, but I’m every bit of 60 cars back. Those damn plastic barriers that have caused me panic for years are taunting me. They stand between me and a mobile car. At least if the car is moving I stand a chance.
One car moves! “Come on! Come on! Come on!”
A second car moves “Oh hell!”
A third car moves “PLEASE FREAKIN GO!!!”
A fourth car moves and I whip into the middle school lane and speed my way to where the lanes divide. There are about ten cars standing in the way of where I am and the crapper in the school office lobby. I desperately plead with the car at the split to let me through. Can they see me shaking? Either out of sympathy or fear, they comply. Now I’m deadlocked. Now I’m at the mercy of the slowly moving cars in front of me. Those cute little kindergarteners with their backpacks that hit below their knees will be my demise.
GET IN THE DAMN CAR!!!
I’m not going to make it!
It’s gonna happen right here in front of friends, staff, and strangers.
I’ll forever be known as the woman who shat in the car line.
And then I see it! An illegal option, but a chance to maintain my dignity. There’s a bus lane to the left. One way only headed the other way, buses there, but not a kid in sight. And I take it. I yell to the gym teacher radioing in tag numbers “I gotta go!” I’m sweating profusely now, but I can see a small glimmer of hope. The office is in sight. I fly into the front car loop, no time for a parking spot.
I run for the door as quickly as a person clenching their butt cheeks can run. BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZZZZ! I’m begging, pleading for someone to open the damn door, willing my boiling rosebud to stay sealed just a few seconds longer. Finally, through the tinted glass I see a familiar face. She reaches for the handle. Does she see the fear in my eyes? She casually opens it, not realizing she’s about to be swept away in a shit river. I shove past her and streak for the bathroom door. My ass hits the cold seat at the same time the door clicks shut. When I sheepishly emerge several minutes later my kid is waiting in the lobby along with the other forgotten children.
“I’m sorry if I made you worry.”
“It’s ok, Momma. It’s you. I figured you just had to crap.”
About the Author
Shayna Thornsbury: Who I am changes daily. This I know for sure…wife, mother, daughter, podcast lover, wannabe painter, picker, repurposer, student of life, queen of inappropriate humor, and devoted friend. Follow Shayna on Facebook and read more at My Own Kinda Crazy.