I participate in a women’s Christian retreat held twice a year. It takes place on a mountaintop. It starts on a Thursday and ends on Sunday, and every time I attend I have a hard time pooping while I’m there. Oh yeah, I’m going there! I usually bring a stool-softner with me, but this time I forgot; however, I wasn’t too worried there is usually some in the first aid kit.
It was Friday night and I decided to look for the softner, but there wasn’t any. This being a common not talked about issue among us women, I asked around, and one of my roomies had a laxative. I was hesitant because I had never taken a laxative before, but I decided it was now or never and I took the tiny pink pill. That was at 8:30 p.m.
Around 5:00 a.m. my eyes popped open. I had to go! Sleepy, I thought I could hold it, but I remembered this was not an ordinary poo. I’m not sure if it was the fear or sleep deprivation, but I started to contemplate my situation. The cabin we were in was small, and I was sharing it with three other women, one of which I was afraid would give me a hard time, and I got it in my head that if she heard me pooping, or smelled it, the whole camp would know.
I had to think fast! I decided to sneak to another building with a bathroom so I could enjoy the assurance of privacy. Proud about my plan I began to act it out! I slowly unzipped my backpack for a sweatshirt and proceeded to quietly open the door and shut it behind me.
I was just about to exhale when I heard a noise. I looked up from the door knob I’d just closed, and found myself steps away from the backend of a coyote. Startled and scared out of my mind, the animal heard me and ran off, and I quickly went back into the cabin. Gathering myself I snuck to the window between two of my bunk mates to see if it was gone. It was, but my fear remained. I said to myself: “I guess someone wants me to poop in here.”
On to plan B. Wait…I didn’t have a plan B, so I climbed back into my bed to plan.
Maybe the bathroom has a fan, I thought, and into the bathroom I went. No fan. Hmmmm…I’ll turn on the shower…that way they will hear the shower not me, quickly identify it as the shower, and go back to sleep. I’m a genius!
I turned on the shower and headed to the toilet. I did what I had to do. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I flushed, washed my hands, turned off the shower, gave a quick sniff, and then went confidently back to my bed, but that’s when I realized my nose was stuffy from allergies and I couldn’t smell. I laid there listening for movement or stirring. Nothing! Great! I pulled off plan B!
After mentally celebrating my victory I realized I was wide awake. It was around 5:30. I scanned the room starting with the bunk farthest from me and ended with the bunk across from me, there I found two eyes staring back at me.
Unsure if it was my stink that woke her I whispered, “Good morning?” Before she replied she asked perplexed, “Did you just take a shower?” Of course I didn’t. I was busted, but feeling confident she’d keep my secret I whispered to her: “No, I had to poop, so I turned on the shower and went in there.”
Her immediate response was, “YOU POOPED IN THE SHOWER?”
Holding in my laughter as not to wake anyone up, choking on my words I managed to whisper back, “I know that’s how it sounded but I actually went in the toilet. I just turned the shower on!” Both of us giggled uncontrollably. I heard foot steps above our head and told her I was going up stairs. There was coffee up there and I had gained my confidence back to go outside.
Upon entering the top of the cabin, before good morning, one of the women upstairs blurted “Who decided to take a shower around 5:00 o’clock this morning?” Being the culprit, I told the two ladies the whole story. The cabins were built in the 1940’s and apparently the pipes squeal really loud when the shower is turned on. I apologized and they laughed at my silliness. We then talked about poop anxiety and how it is a real thing.
Thinking the horror was over I relaxed with my coffee, when in came another roomie of mine, the girl I was so worried about. “Who took a shower this morning? So and so and I have been down stairs trying to figure it out?” Lowering my head in defeat I said, “It was me.” She was quick to respond that I had already taken a shower the night before. I again had to tell my story.
The poop story was told many times that weekend and we all had a good laugh. I will never forget the weekend I saw a coyote and pooped in the shower! No wait…pooped with the shower running! That’s how rumors get started! My poop story did amazing things that weekend, from developing friendships, conquering fears, and even taught me a lesson.
The moral of this crazy story is that we often go great lengths to control things, I went out of my way to protect myself from the humiliation of a very natural thing. How many times do we try to control the outcome of a situation when it needs to just go as planned? If you find you do this, I hope next time you remember the lesson I learned: you can’t control poop!