Getting Older is a Bitch;
But That Depends
One year left in my twenties and all I have to show for it is an angry, abused liver and a muffin top. There were so many things I had planned for myself and haven't yet accomplished. Good thing I don't take myself or life too seriously otherwise I'd have to be on anti-depressants and have a suicide hotline programmed on speed dial because I literally have not accomplished anything in my twenty-nine years on this planet.
I wanted to travel the world and see places like Greece, Australia, Hawaii, and North Dakota. The furthest I've gone is Ireland and Canada not counting the twelve United States I have visited. I haven't even been to Mexico, although I have taken that destination off my list for now. Apparently, American tourists are targets for violent crimes there. I wonder why that is? What's wrong with Americans?
My number one goal in life has always been to be a published author, sitting pretty in the #1 spot on the NY Times Bestseller List. The only list I'm on is my ex- fiancé's hit list (I broke off our engagement four days before our wedding; can you blame the guy?) and possibly the No Fly list at the airport. I can be a bit loud and obnoxious in public, and some might find that threatening.
Of course I could always self publish my book, but that's about as fulfilling as self-medicating or masturbating. Nothing beats prescription drugs and sex. Even better when you combine the two.
I also thought if I weren't a published author by now that I'd at least have a sweet, good-paying job doing something I love. Like being a crossword puzzle writer, a sandwich shop owner, or a video game tester. That also hasn't happened yet. I do crosswords, write, eat sandwiches, and play Wii, I just don't get paid for it.
I guess I shouldn't be complaining though; turning 30 soon really isn't the end of the world. I could be dead, or worse, in my 40's. At least I don't have gray hair or an AARP membership just yet. I haven't resigned myself to wearing turtlenecks, sweaters with sparrows sewn on them, or watching PBS. I haven't taken up bird watching or crocheting as hobbies, nor do I belong to a bridge club. My smile lines are still under control (no need for botox yet) and my boobs are still perky. At least some things are still looking up for me!
Lately I've noticed I don't recuperate as quickly as I used to after a night out drinking. Back in my early twenties, I could go on a twenty-eight day drinking binge (coincidentally the same amount of time as a stint in rehab) and never felt hungover! Now if we go out for a few drinks on a Thursday night, I'm a tank ass at work Friday, sluggish Saturday, and just exhausted on Sunday. And Mondays suck no matter what, so really I'm not quite 100% until Tuesday!
It could be that I'm not much in shape or that I'm just getting old, but man alive does it take me a long time to get off the floor after I've been on my knees (insert sexual innuendo here). My joints ache frequently, and I have this bulging disc in my back that bulges at inconvenient times. Like when I'm trying to sleep or just relax and watch TV! The only time my bulging disc doesn't give me attitude is when I exercise, but again, I'm not exactly sure what that word even means.
The most significant sign of aging I've noticed is my lack of bladder control. Or bladder size. I think my bladder used to be the size of a cantaloupe, but now it's the size of a cantaloupe seed! I pee about 100 times per day, no matter how much water I drink. If I don't pee right before I go to bed, there's a slight chance I will pee the bed. That happened once in college, but luckily hadn't happened since.
Until recently when I discovered my bladder cannot control itself when I'm unconscious. Sober or drunk.
It was a Tuesday night (I remember because we had gone out for drinks the previous Thursday and couldn't recuperate until that Tuesday) and after watching Biggest Loser, Emily and I headed to bed. Even though I knew it was dangerous, I had three glasses of water before bed. Hey, I get thirsty watching those contestants working those treadmills!
That night, I had the most beautiful, scenic dreams. I dreamt that we were at Niagara Falls and I was swimming and frolicking in the waterfalls. I was with a bunch of faceless friends (I read somewhere people in dreams are just a reflection of yourself and therefore, they are faceless) and I kept telling them I had to pee. My bladder was throbbing like a thumb that had just been slammed in a car door and I was seeing stars. They urged me to pop a squat, saying "C'mon KC! You do it all the time anyway!"
That was true. I do pee outside all the time. I'm a Midwestern tomgal; "up nort", we're not afraid to pee outside in mud, snow, rain, or in an alley leaning against a dumpster or even in someone's backyard.
Then the scene suddenly shifted to the most beautiful toilet, positioned adjacent to a babbling brook. The toilet was made of gold and it called my name, urging me to sit on it. I didn't even think it odd that a golden toilet was next to a body of water. Maybe that's because there's this restaurant called Le Tub in Hollywood, Florida, located on the Intracoastal Waterway, and they have toilets and tubs (used as pots for plants and trees) decorating the exterior of the restaurant.
In my dream, I followed the commands of the golden toilet and took a seat upon the throne. As soon as my ass hit the golden seat, a stream of gold was released from my body. Ahhhhhh...sweet release. It was the most amazing feeling in the entire world. Then suddenly, the toilet disappeared and my dreams slowly merged with reality and I was lying in my bed, staring up at the ceiling fan.
Every other time I dream about urinating, my body forces me awake so I don't pee the bed like an eight year old who still uses plastic sheets on his bed. But that night my brain and body both failed me.
I lifted my butt off the mattress and felt below my ass and there it was. A puddle of pee. Scratch that. It was a goddamn lake of pee! I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 4am. Emily was sleeping peacefully beside me, unaware of Lake KC that had just formed in our bed.
I ran to the bathroom to finish the job and it sounded like Adam Sandler's Longest Pee skit. Even my cat got bored with the unexpected early morning excitement and fell asleep at my feet.
I faced a difficult decision. Should I wake up Emily at 4am and tell her we have to change the sheets because I peed the bed? Or do I use the extra large beach towels in the closet to sop up the mess and hope it dries in three hours when we have to get up for work?
Beach towels. Clearly the obvious choice.
I grabbed the beach towels from the closet, trying to make as little noise as possible. I put one under the fitted sheet and one on top. I slept like a rock (from the bottom of that babbling brook) for the next few hours and woke up thinking that had all been a dream.
Until I realized I was sleeping on beach towels, not sheets. When I got out of bed, I removed the towels and put them in the laundry basket. They had done their job beautifully and soaked up Lake KC to the point my sheets were dry!
Second difficult decision. Do I tell Emily what happened when she wakes up and wash the sheets right away? Or do I pretend like nothing happened and wash the sheets after work?
I did a mixture of both. I got ready for work, left the house, and I failed to mention I had lost all bladder control that night. When I got to work, I was dying to tell someone I peed the bed. If I were going to tell anyone, I knew it had to be Emily. She was out walking a dog and I knew she would be home late morning before going to her real job (social worker real job; dog walker second job).
"Hey hons. When you get home, do me a favor and wash the sheets. K?" I texted her.
"Just do it. Please?"
She wasn't going to let me off the hook.
"I peed the bed."
"Laugh it up."
"Do you want me to pick up Depends on my way home too?" she added.
I was hoping I wouldn't have to wear Depends until my late 80's, but I guess lack of bladder control came 50 years early.
One of the reasons I love Emily is that although she teased me relentlessly, cracking jokes about bed wetting ("Remember that time you peed the bed? As an adult?") and asking me if I should wear Depends to bed, she did offer to pay for a Detrol LA prescription and even printed out paperwork for an AARP membership. Quite a gal if you ask me.
For a few months after this incident, Emily was also the Pee Police. She would force me to try and pee, even if I didn't have to go. I remember my mom saying the same thing when I was younger and I couldn't believe this was my new bedtime ritual. I might as well be in a nursing home with a bedpan catching my pee dribble.
I was so scared to drink anything before bed. I was even scared to rinse my mouth out with water after brushing my teeth because I might swallow some. I would have a hernia trying to squeeze every last drop of pee out of my bladder before heading to bed. No matter. I still sometimes had a full bladder at night. The dreams about peeing in a babbling brook still came, but since then, my body hasn't failed me.
I've gotten a bit more relaxed about my water before bed restrictions. I still tempt fate by drinking a cup of tea or an ice-cold glass of water before bed. I still bring a bottle of water to bed in case I get thirsty at night. Sometimes I have phenomenal sex dreams and I get parched.
Even though I sometimes feel old, I know I'm not. Getting older is a bitch, but it depends on the way you look at it. I'm so excited about my last year in my twenties but I'm ready to say goodbye to them and welcome the 30's with open arms and plastic sheets.
Although I haven't set any unrealistic goals for myself, I have high hopes that this book will be published and someday I will be on that Bestseller list, that I will get to travel to exotic places, and finally learn the definition of "exercise".
If I live to see 30 I will have accomplished at least that. For my birthday that year, I plan on either taking an Alaskan cruise, flying to the land down under, or at the very least, getting the F out of Florida.
Hopefully I won't have to pack an extra suitcase just for my Depends.