This blog was originally published as The Devil Made Me Do It in June 2013 as a guest post for Renee Schuls-Jacobson‘s So Wrong blog series. It’s an embarrassing and true tale from my past that I think really portrays the finer details of true love and underpants. Some edits have been made to update the post.
I am a picture-perfect citizen.
I pay my bills on time. I vote. I use hand signals while driving if one of my lights has burned out. One would assume I have control over my bowels.
Let me backup. My husband and I take a vacation together each summer. We’ve traveled to Portland, Oregon and eaten Voodoo Donuts; we’ve visited Toronto, Ontario and viewed the skyline from the CN Tower. Two summers ago, we decided to take a road trip out west. Starting in the Badlands, we made our way to Yellowstone National Park. It was a fabulous trip.
Except for the day we toured Devil’s Tower.
That August day, the temperatures climbed into the 90’s. Being a mature adult, I was prepared. I packed and wore sunscreen. I drank water all morning. I used the bathroom before we left!
It didn’t matter.
We started our hike around the base of the tower. We weren’t too far in when I felt a rumbling in my gut. I asked to sit on a bench for a minute, pretending to enjoy the view. There was a fleeting moment when I thought to myself, “I should turn back… I COULD turn back… The smart thing to do would be to turn back.”
But alas, that’s not the way this story goes.
It became crystal clear, halfway around the tower, that my mind and body were not at peace. In fact, they were in deep negotiation. And things were getting heated.
When the cramping got so bad that I had to sit down again, I started weighing my options.
1.) I could try to skulk off somewhere. I had every intention of doing just that if it wasn’t for the unsuspecting family giving their children piggy back rides nearby. There was nowhere far enough out of eyesight for me to go.
2.) I could stay on the bench and breathe. This wasn’t really working all that well so far, but a girl can pray. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the cramping is with me…”
3.) I could jump off the cliff’s edge and end my misery once and for all.
In retrospect, I wish I’d chosen the cliff.
Because that’s when I shit my pants.
“Sweet Virgin Mother, what the hell just happened?!”
The worst part was telling my husband (who was my boyfriend at that time) what had occurred. How would he ever look at me with any sense of romance or mystery again? I considered myself a dignified person. But I had just shit my pants! In public! And we were only halfway around Devil’s Tower!
Nothing – and I mean nothing – will ever compare to the cold, wet, mall-walker sprint that I made during my descent from Devil’s Tower. And my husband-then-boyfriend, wonderful man that he is, tried to cheer me up on our journey.
“You’re almost there! You got this! On the bright side, I don’t smell anything!” he shouted from a few yards behind me.
Making my way to the crowded public bathroom, I took note of the collateral damage. The underwear was a goner. I was just lucky I wore full coverage undies that day and not a thong.
I shimmied out of my underwear, wrapped my soiled mess in TP, and dumped everything in the plastic bin where women leave their feminine hygiene products. Then I said a little prayer for the park custodian, cleaned myself up, and walked back to the car no longer feeling feminine or hygienic.
So the moral of the story is sometimes even the best of adults crap their pants. But if you’re lucky, you’ll have someone by your side cheering you on with an upbeat, “You got this!” and “I don’t smell anything!” And when you find that special someone…
Ask them to buy you new underwear.
There you have it, my dirty little secret. Has this ever happened to you?
Sweet Mother Mary, tell me I’m not alone!
Post Script… I thought it’d be a fun fact to share with you all that the desktop image on my laptop is a picture of Devil’s Tower. It reminds me to have a sense of humor about life…and to pack extra undies when traveling.