When I was little, my dad and I would have tickle fights. If you can imagine me as a cute hysterically giggling girl1, as my dad “counted my ribs” or asked “who wants to have a tickle fight, raise your hand!,” then you could understand why it didn’t take long for me to pee…just a little…in my pants.
This only happened once for my dad to be forever on the lookout for any “accidents,” and I quickly learned that all I had to say was “I need to potty” and he would throw his hands up immediately and say “okay, go!” Eight out of ten times, I was lying and would go on the tickle attack 2. That is to say, I was a normal kid without pants-wetting issues. So, I have determined, that a certain future tenth grade Sadie Hawkins Dance 3 moment must’ve been…a fluke?
One of the many ridiculous traditions associated with Sadie Hawkins dances is to wear a matching outfit (usually jeans and the same top) with your date, so several of my friends, my dance companion Garry and I headed to the mall to find something to wear. I remember I was wearing neon green shorts that day at the mall. If I also recall correctly, the material was some sort of moisture-wicking nylon…which was great because I leaked a little pee that day, too.
I couldn’t help it. I’ve always been a sucker for a funny guy, and Garry was a funny guy. So between the nervous laughter from having a little crush on Garry and his witty repartee, it was all too much for my urethra, apparently. No biggie though. It was just a little. No one knew. We bought our apropos-to-the-early-90’s Cosby-esque sweaters 4 and had a lovely time at the dance. I never wet my pants again.
Until eleventh grade’s Sadie Hawkins dance.5
This time there was really no excuse. My date, who was my boyfriend at the time, was dull and, quite honestly, not that bright. But he was cute and sometimes you have to compromise. In addition, the couple we went with was bor-ing.
The evening started as any other. The four of us went out to dinner at some forgettable restaurant with lots of faux-memorabilia all over the walls. Then we headed to our high school’s gymateria for the dance itself. The massive utilitarian hall was dark and decorated with haystacks and other things-that-people-from-Las-Vegas-think-is-country-looking. Before you could even get to the dance, all couples were ushered into a sectioned off area to have their picture taken. Well, it was somewhere between entering the dark gymateria and the brightly lit photography area…I wet my pants.
Now I’m sure something made me laugh very hard, thus again causing this embarrassment, but I can’t for the life of me remember what that was. I just know I was wearing jeans now. Dark jeans. And denim doesn’t wick away moisture like neon green nylon does, in case you didn’t know.
I was trapped, too. I couldn’t get out of this photography line without everyone in the room looking at me walking away. I hid behind my boyfriend, who, as I mentioned was dumb, so he had no idea. We neared the front of the line. I watched as the photographer strewed each of his subjects over haystacks in poses of his choosing. I realized if I was watching each couple getting posed, so would everyone behind us be watching me…and my pelvic perspiration. I was starting to panic. It was finally our turn, and I closely followed my boyfriend as if we were attached like dogs in heat.
I decided the only graceful way out of this mess 6 was to pose us myself. I had seen enough of the photographer’s positions now to figure out the best way to hide a big, wet crotch stain. So I swung around from behind my boyfriend to face him. I put my hand on his outward-facing shoulder and popped my knee. Turned my head. Smiled at the camera. Perfect. Take the picture, cheese ball.
Apparently, photographers have issues with control that probably date back to their mothers ‘cause this guy was not letting me take the wheel. He directed me to sit down. I ignored him. He said it again. I remained standing, saying not a word. My boyfriend just looked at me with a blank face. 7 I grabbed his shoulder tightly and smiled brightly.8 The photographer got a little more forceful in his directions, but I was not playing. He finally looked at his assistant and said, “Well….okay.” and went back to his camera and snapped away.
Whew! Done. Thank goodness.
The photographer instructed the other couple in our party to join us so we could take a group picture. The nerve! How dare he think that (a) he was going to get me to strike one of his poses just to prove a point…and (b) I want to be forever linked to this common couple through film. He did not win.
We were finally headed to the darkness of the dance and I wouldn’t have to worry about being called “Miss Micturate” for the rest of my school days 10. I headed right to the restroom to see if I could fix this but I was stopped by Jory. Jory was my best friend’s boyfriend and he was even dumber than my boyfriend. But, for as slow as Joe might have been, he was the first person to spot my…spot. He started laughing and pointing and I was mortified. Luckily, I quickly remembered how dumb Jory was and said, “I spilled lemonade on me at dinner.” 11 Jory continued to laugh and said, “Sure,” but he bought it. Why would a 17 year old girl pee her pants at a dance?
After the dance we were scheduled to go with a big group of people to a go-kart center. My pants were still noticeably wet and no amount of butter-churning or tootsie-rolling 12 could dry them, so I hopped into a go-kart and, if you can imagine Christoper Cross’ “Ride Like The Wind” playing in the background, I drove as fast as I could with my legs spread eagle and hanging over the sides. My friends tried to wave as I passed, but I didn’t notice. Within five minutes, my pants were dry and I was finally ready to have a good time.
And my boyfriend still only cared about one thing. Little did he know what kind of golden treasure he was after.13
- I can’t. I am pretty much dead inside now. I hope you can though…for the sake of my story. ↩
- I think my dad knew I was fibbing, but he always played along. ↩
- Sadie Hawkins was a homely hillbilly character from the L’il Abner comic strip. Having reached the age of 35 and still unmarried, Sadie’s father declares a holiday and all the eligible bachelors are chased by Sadie herself until someone is caught. The subsequent dance that some high schools celebrate today is based on this pop-culture phenomenon. See, Dad, pop culture is important. ↩
- I saw Garry a few years back and inquired about these sweaters. They were eff’ing ugly. He said his mom was wearing it now…sadly, my mom still wears it. ↩
- In retrospect, it does seem odd that my urination problems are only ever associated with Sadie Hawkins. Maybe, because her character was a hillbilly and probably did her business in an outhouse…oh, screw it. Keep reading. ↩
- Oh yes. Pun intended. ↩
- Probably because the only thing on his mind was “Am I going to get laid tonight?” Am I right, teenage boys?! Huh? Who’s with me?! ↩
- Which to him clearly said, “She’s way into you…you’re so getting laid.” ↩
- Contrary to what you may have thought immediately, this is a topically appropriate joke because the movie Wayne’s World came out around this time. ↩
- No one would have really called me that because they would not have known what that word meant. ↩
- In telling this story to a friend of mine, he remarked how funny it was that I chose “lemonade”…as if one would be able to tell it was yellow in color on my dark jeans. Touché. ↩
- That, too, was a topical reference to popular dances of the 90’s. ↩
- Too much, right? I knew it. ↩
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