A Darker Shade Of Pink The Situation Stephanie Sparer

So here’s the thing: I’m really good at packing snacks for road trips, but I kind of suck at staying awake in the car or doing any of the road trip driving. This did not really amuse Gregory, who must have felt a little like he was driving around a seven-year-old.

By the time we made it from Flagstaff, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico, I had done at least eight hours worth of sitting and bad singing and I had to tinkle. And not just like oh I could go. But an I-just-drank-a-liter-of-water-and-a-large-coffee-and-if-I-don’t-pee-in-like-five-minutes-I’m-gonna-piddle-right-here-in-the-car kind of way.

“Find me a Starbucks in Albuquerque!” I plead, briefing Greg on my bladder status. I had learned my mistake from the random gas station we had found four hours prior somewhere between Nowhere and The Rubicon. In fact, if I learned anything from this road trip that I can pass on to you, it is Starbucks always has clean bathrooms. So if you see a Starbucks, stop even if you don’t have to pee yet. Because chances are you also could go for a latte.

Greg checks his iPhone and finds a Starbucks. “It’s like twenty minutes away on our route,” he says. “But there’s a Trader Joe’s right next to it.”

A Starbucks and a grocery store? Apparently, Albuquerque is heaven. “I can hold it,” I say. “I can hold it for a clean bathroom and the promise of a grocery store.”

Twenty minutes has never felt so long in my entire life. This even beats out the time I was stuck on the 5 in Los Angeles during rush hour and had to tinkle. We weren’t moving at all and I just remember staring wistfully at the man who got out of his Audi, jumped behind the wall of the freeway and emptied his bladder. Like, why couldn’t that be me?

Much to Greg’s delight (read: horror) I start jibber-jabbing to take my mind off the fact that I can’t tinkle right there in his car.
“The sky is really blue today,” I note.
“Yeah,” he says.
“My bladder is about to burst,” I add.
“I’m sorry,” he says.
“That’s a weird color for a car,” I point to something square with wheels that happens to be puke green. “I wouldn’t get a car that color. Oh, and by the way I’m just talking to take my mind off the fact that I have to tinkle.”
“I know,” he says and then sighs, “I know.”

We finally made it to the Starbucks with, I am guessing by how much I was talking about palm trees, seconds to spare.

When what I now refer to as The Situation (capitalized) was over, I ordered a latte to go for the eight-hour drive back to Denton. But a small one this time. Who says I don’t learn from my mistakes?

Featured image courtesy of Drew Coffman.

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  1. I only ever use Starbucks (or coffee shops) bathrooms. Even local places are known for clean(er) restrooms. And you’re right, I could ALWAYS go for a latte. I usually don’t like stopping on road trips, but I also haven’t been in a car for longer than 6 hours since I was about 3 years old. I really don’t think I could hold it any longer than that….

  2. The other day, in New York, I was in a Starbucks that didn’t have a washroom. I was shocked and confused and a little hurt. My life expectations were shattered!

  3. I can relate, but I’m usually the driver. It’s hard to keep your foot on the gas pedal and squirm around at the same time. :)

  4. Oh, I have been in this exact situation MANY A TIME.

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