40,515 Lifetime Quarts

Charles Alexander
By | 2013-05-02T09:00:00-04:00 May 2nd, 2013|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Parting Glances

I can be contentedly thinking of a dozen inconsequential things – Major League baseball scores, movie star divorce trivia, Rebiblican obtuseness – but let me get a city block from my art studio, and suddenly I have to, oh, darn it, pee.
I’m convinced my bladder has a mind of its own and takes a polymorphous perverse delight in reminding me at inconvenient moments just who really runs my private Waterworks Park, who schedules my personal Old Faithful spoutings.
It’s all so sneaky. Underhanded. Always with no advanced warning.
Whoa! Hold on there! I urge the little guy who surely works the valve, bargaining for few more seconds ’til I get my key in the lock and make an unscheduled dash to the loo, there to process yet another distillation of my allotted 40,515 lifetime of golden quarts.
I’m not alone in being ambushed by this most insistent of Pavlovian reflexes. It happens to everybody, and to some with five-alarm frequency, or so maintains a Cosmopolitan article, “Do You Always Have to Pee? (Find Out Why Your Tank Seems So Tiny – And the Surprising Ways to Fix It).”
To be honest, I wouldn’t have brought up the topic in mixed company (tiny vs. big tankers); but if peeing is good enough for that sex-and-plumbing monthly, I’m sure my PG readers – who sometimes pee in the oddest places – and at the most improbable angles – won’t take offense at my piddling commentary.
According to Cosmopolitan, some hapless glamour gals pee as many as 15 times a day. “My boyfriend calls me the pee queen,” says Venessa, 25, “Because I’m at the mercy of a bladder that won’t quit, while he can hold it in all night.” (Note: I wish I could find someone with that holding-it-in-all-night expertise – even an amateur’s half hour would suit me just dandy. Pee Queen, indeed!)
You’ll be pleased to know that bladder size has nothing to do with the frequency of voiding (or avoiding voiding). Nor is male or female equipment a factor, says urogynecologist Dr. Ingrid Nygaard. “No matter what gender you are or your overall physical size, all bladders are capable of expanding to about the same amount – able to hold 18 ounces of liquid.”
The problem is that we’re drinking more liquids these days. “We’re becoming a nation of chronic drinkers,” says Lindsey Kerr, M.D., another pee-in-the-bottle (and smile for me) specialist. “And logically, the more a person drinks, the more she’s going to need a bathroom break.”
As for Cosmopolitan’s “surprising” ways to curb an insistent urge to go on bladder patrol beyond a reasonable call of duty (and occasionally for purposes of auxiliary cruising), desensitization heads the list. “As soon as you feel the need to go into the bathroom take a few deep breaths, relax, and hold it for half an hour.” (Note: Hold your own, not his.)
You may get a little red in the face, or find yourself doing a few spontaneously choreographed tea room dance routines, but don’t worry your pretty unzipped head. In time your feisty bladder will learn who’s boss and come around to behaving itself like a lady or gentleman (or both) in public.
To pee or not to pee. That is the question. Just let it all hang out. (Or, in.) Shake. Rattle. Go with the flow.

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Charles Alexander