I recently had jaw surgery. As a result, I was given some pretty heavy meds. The nurse informed me, as I was being discharged, that I should think about purchasing a stool softener on my way home since the meds have a way of “backing things up.” Duly noted.

After 4 days of no “activity,” I decide its time. I swallow. I wait. Nothing. I swallow some more.

I’m feeling pretty cocky by day 10, post-surgery. I have GOT to get out of the house. My hubs and I decide to spend a kid-free day getting some Christmas shopping done downtown.

We hit up Macy’s first and head in different directions so that he can get the Dads done, and I can shop for his Mom (aka myself). I’m slowly browsing around, reveling in the alone time. No kids. No responsibility. Just as I am thinking “I wonder if they have this shirt in my size?” it hits me.

What follows is the summary of the next 30 seconds of my life.

My tummy hurts. Ohhh, this sweater is ADORABLE. WOW, I should maybe find a restroom soon.

They TOTALLY have this in my size. SCORE! Uh oh.

OMFG, excuse me, ma’am? Is there a restroom nearby? “Sure hon, if you go down this hall, turn left at Petites, hang your first right at Intimates…. “ OK, MA’AM, you need to talk faster. NEVERMIND. HOLY SHIT, I’LL FIND IT!!!!!!!

I race down the aisle, profusely sweating and not 10 feet from the restroom sign, it happens.

The next paragraph is the text I send my two best friends from inside the bathroom stall.

Me: I just shit my pants in downtown Macy’s. I repeat. I just shit my pants in downtown Macy’s.
Marti: Throw your undies in the garbage and keep moving. Happens to the best of us.
Me: I don’t have underwear on.
Carrie: You are at the mall? How’s your jaw?
Me: Can we please stay on topic here?
Lisa: You may have to abandon mission.
Marti: Stay strong, my friend. Buy some new pants and move on.
Me: I was just innocently shopping for a new sweater when all HELL broke loose!!
Marti: It can sneak up on you. Next time, don’t gamble; you will lose. What color pants are you wearing?
Me: Black.
Marti: What are you even complaining about? Try having khakis on. Not that I would know….
Me: This has not been helpful in the least.



Julie has a Masters degree in Psychology, which has proved useless in trying to understand her teenaged daughter. She has the attention span of a gnat, zero sense of direction and loses at least 3 things every day. Except for a minor situation at a county fair, her children are not on the short list of items she’s lost. She is extremely proud of this. You can find her writing on Facebook or Twitter. She has been published on the Washington Post, Babble, McSweeney’s, Scary Mommy, and Huffington Post, among others.


  1. This made me laugh…and it made me think of the time I had a “small accident” while wearing khakis. My daughter still brings that one up at family gatherings…

  2. Oh my word! Thank you so much! I seriously thought I was the only one that has ever had this happen. I laughed until I cried.

  3. Black pants = the answer to all of life’s little emergencies. Thanks for the laugh!!!

  4. I feel your pain (and humiliation). I have what I refer to as occasional IBS moments. A handful of close calls, including one travel incident in the middle of Utah during a thunderstorm with no place to stop. We were traveling in a two car caravan with friends & their kiddos — on our way to CO from AZ. I was saved by a hole-in -the-wall “store” in the middle of nowhere — surely put there by the Pooppouri Angels. There were NO frills and a two stall bathroom with the door propped open and a short line awaiting the coveted thrones. I about died from the thought of going in with the door wide open… but no choices were to be had. I was grateful for the porcelain, no matter the make or model. Now… that is not the life altering event that I was going to “share”. Back in ’07, I was on the interstate on my way home one evening after dark (it happened to be the night before we were leaving for a long awaited 10-day family vacation to Disney World) and I got that “feeling”. Of course no visual on a good exit to pull off to find a restroom (as I was passing the downtown area)… and as it intensifies, I am only focused on finding the nearest restroom. Little did I realize that I was speeding while preoccupied with my “issues”. Next thing I know a State Patrol is in my rear view mirror. I am beside myself… Feeling utter doom! Realizing the consequences of this traffic stop, I succumb to the inevitable. I held back what I could, but there was no other resolution in this situation. I tried to tell the officer that I was feeling ill and was preoccupied trying to find a bathroom… sparing the details that I had crapped myself. So, I got a ticket and proceeded to pull off at the next exit just ahead with hopes of sneaking in a Wendy’s to use the bathroom (I was not done). BUT, you could never imagine what happened next… I pull in the parking lot and there happens to be a couple police cars precariously parked. Really?? Next thing I know, the State Patrol who pulled me over, comes barreling in behind me. A police officer in front of me is motioning for me to turn around and leave. I am hysterical at this point… WTH is going on?!? I am crying uncontrollably and yelling out loud in the car, to myself, “I just want to use the bathroom!” I give up and drive home (about 20 min) sobbing. Turns out there was a robbery at that Wendy’s and I just happen to stop there in the midst of it?!? Again, really??? I had already called my husband during the traffic stop, so he knew what to expect… but I walked in the door, dropped everything — still bawling — and said I was going straight to the shower. Funny how the details of such an incident never leave you, yet things I want to remember escape me. I was 39 at the time… Oh gee what fun I will be when I am really old!

    • Laurie ~ Maybe the traffic stop was God’s way of keeping you from the danger you may have encountered at Wendy’s while it was being robbed. Just think, you could have been in the bathroom while the whole thing went down.

  5. I had had surgery to remove a cyst at the bend of my arm (inner elbow) and in less than a week was having to scrub my kids’ artwork off the walls of the house we were in to pass inspection before we could return to the States so hubby could out process/retire from the military. It caused enough trouble that when we finally got to the post in the U.S., I went to the ER and got some more pain meds — I had a pocket of fluid at the incision site. We had to extend our stay on post because the person DH was dealing with to get his paperwork processed quit the day after setting up the appointment, and they had to wait for some authorization from another post. This put us eating fast food for over a week. We had already packed up, loaded our U haul trailer, and checked out of our room. We had been sitting in waiting rooms for hours just to get one paper, faxed, signed, and faxed back — all with two kids under age 8. The kids were getting antsy and I was tired of trying to keep them quiet, so I sat in the car with them so they could play their video games and make all the noise they wanted. Oh! And I didn’t have a cell phone, but hubby did! My tummy started hurting and I decided to try to get the kids’ shoes on, lock up the car, and get across the street to the office where hubby was waiting (and a nice clean bathroom!). I opened the door and stepped out of the car and that was as far as I got! I took out my tablet and downloaded a text app (took about 15 minutes to download) and texted hubby. When he came out TWENTY MINUTES LATER I was sitting on plastic shopping bags to keep the seat clean and (GROSS!) keep my shoes clean! He said, “I’ll stop at the shoppette (basically a gas station) and you can go there.” I was sweating and nearly in tears and finally got him to understand that I needed a shower! He had to go back to the on-post hotel and rent a room so I could go in and get cleaned up so we could start driving to his dad’s house four states away! Pain meds and fast food do not mix!!!

  6. Oh my GOD! I love everything about this! I was once the best friend on the other end of the poop texts when my friend pooped her pants at work. She was a waitress! It was awesome.

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