Archive | 6:16 am

Nice to meet you. Where’s your bathroom?

31 Mar

Last post about my trip to Atlanta, I swear.

The weather was gorgeous while I was in Atlanta, so Liz and I took a few long (five mile?) walks. Liz is in fantastic shape, so I’ve always found it hard to keep up with her when we walk. She’s an arm-pumping kind of walker. I’m more of a stroller. As a result, I’m usually winded, so my strategy is to lob questions at her so she’ll do most of the talking.

This time, when I saw her loading up Jackson in his stroller, I was excited because I thought it meant we’d be going at a leisurely pace. Silly me! She walks just as fast with a stroller – even going up hills and across rocky paths. She’s like a human tank that only weighs 100 lbs. It’s truly impressive.

So we ventured out for a long hustle, and about halfway through my stomach seized up. “Liz,” I asked nervously. “Is there a bathroom anywhere around here?” (We were on a pretty busy road lined by office buildings, but I wasn’t seeing anything that would be open on a weekend.)

“There’s a Starbucks up ahead of us, maybe a half mile,” she said. Then she looked at my face and said, “Oh. Do you think you can make it?”

“I sure as hell hope so,” I told her. “Or else this visit is going to live in infamy.”

I won’t keep you in suspense: I made it to Starbucks just in the nick of time. And I’ll no longer complain about the cost of a cup of coffee there. I now understand their cost structure: that seemingly huge profit margin actually goes toward toilet paper and janitorial services for random people who stop in to use the facilities.

Because we were a good 2.5 miles away from home, I was nervous about the return walk, so I pulled off about two feet of toilet paper and carefully folded it around my hand. Then, because I didn’t have any pockets, I tucked it into my sports bra.

Feeling very much the Boy Scout for my worst-case planning efforts, I met back up with Liz outside and we continued our walk. When we were about a mile from her home, she saw some of her friends out on their deck, so we waved and walked over.

We chatted with them for ten minutes or so, politely establishing how we all knew each other, where we work, etc.

As we walked away, I told Liz, “They seem really nice.” Then I looked down because something caught my eye. I stopped. “Liz! Look at me.” She looked and started cracking up. “Was this hanging out the entire time we were talking with them?” About eight inches of toilet paper was hanging out of the neck of my shirt, as if I were a walking dispenser.

Liz nodded. “I even noticed it,” she said, “but I just thought, ‘Oh yeah – there’s Alison’s toilet paper,’ like it was a normal thing for you to have hanging out of your shirt.” Which, given the weekend we had, probably makes sense.

Let’s agree: I certainly know how to make an impression.

Apparently, I roll like a celebrity.