If you know me well enough that you are reading this blog, you probably know me well enough to have heard this story at least once. Regardless, someone suggested I put it down on paper (or blog) at some point, so here we go. If someone told you to read this story and you haven’t heard it, I would encourage you, although it is rather long, to read until the end and I promise, you won’t regret it. Also, by reading on, you must understand that this was a bad day (may be an understatement) and not an example of my everyday life, so therefore, you are not allowed to judge me 🙂
It started when my good friend Jenni graduated from Butler University. Almost immediately after graduation she moved to New Jersey as she had taken a job at J & J. Shortly after she moved, me being the good friend I am, booked a ticket to go out and see her. Below is my recollection of the events of that weekend.
So I fly into Philadelphia one evening. Jen picks me up at the airport and we meet my friend Adam and his wife for dinner at Fogo de Chau. Night goes great, we have a great time with the Schmayo’s and the trip seems to be off to a good start.
The next day we kind of bum around Jen’s apartment in NJ. Jen does some work, and then mid afternoon we start to get ready for the evening ahead. Jenni was kind enough to get us tickets to a show on Broadway, so we were going into the city. So we started with dinner at a Japanese Restaurant. I only remember this because I had a steak crusted in wasabi that was delicious. Afterwards we went and saw the show “Avenue Q” (which if you haven’t seen, I would highly recommend, it was hilarious). As we weren’t ready for the night to end, we met up with some of Jen’s friends and went to a club right near Times Square. It was truly a great night. Again, this trip by all definitions is going perfect so far.
Fast forward to the next morning. We decided to sleep in a bit and then got up and got ready as we were going back into NYC for a day of shopping and doing whatever. As we get on the train from NJ, I feel my stomach rumble. Naturally, there were not restrooms on the train, but I didn’t think anything of it and kicked back and relaxed for the ride. So we pull into Penn Station (or is it Grand Central? I don’t know, I have only been to NYC twice in my life) and naturally decide the first thing we need is a little bit of coffee. So we head to Starbucks and are standing in line when I feel my stomach grumble again. I turn to my good friend and ask “Think they have a bathroom in here?” to which she responds “We are in downtown NYC… no way there is a public bathroom!” Makes sense I guess, so decide, I will figure it out later. We get up to the front of the line, order our drinks and are waiting for them when I suddenly realize that this stomach situation is NOT something that can be dealt with later, but needs to be handled immediately. I turn to Jenni and tell her to hang tight as I have to go find a bathroom.
I am now on a mission to find a public bathroom in the center of NYC. I stop at several places and have no luck. Eventually, I end up a Starbucks less than a block from where I started that is bigger and does have a public bathroom. To give you an idea of where I was, I was across the street from Macy’s… like THE MACY’s from the parade. I am immediately relieved thinking all in the world is well. There are 2 people in front of me in line, and there is one person in the bathroom, but again, I have found what I need, so I am good. I stand there for a minute, then another minute, and quickly realize that I am in fact NOT home free. I quickly offer to pay the people in front of me in line because I realize this is an emergency. They gladly accept, and I am now next in line, again thinking “OK, all is well in the world. I am good to go!” I am not sure if the person that occupied the bathroom fell in the toilet or what, but whatever it was it took much longer than normal, and before they could get out, my timer expired.
Without me going into details and grossing you out, I will just tell you I was a complete mess, my shorts (which naturally were white) were a complete mess and there was a very large mess on the floor. So, now, not only has pretty much everyones worst nightmare of shitting their pants in public just come true, but mine happened in the heart of NYC! I did what anyone would do, I fled the scene of the crime. I ran outside, found an alley and backed up into it to try to figure my next move.
5 minutes of standing there, and I really made no progress. I finally give in to the fact that I am going to have to call Jenni. I call Jenni, and when she picks up I quickly say “Listen, this is not a good time for questions, but I need a favor. I am at the Starbucks at the corner of _____ and _____. There is a Macy’s across the street from me, I need you to grab me a pair of boxers and a new pair of shorts. I am size 34.” She doesn’t ask any questions and says she will be there shortly. I now have a new problem. I don’t want her to see me like this, but really have nowhere else to go. Eventually, I concede that I have to go back into the Starbucks. I man up the courage, head back in, to which I am immediately greeted by the gentleman cleaning up the mess I left for him yelling “What are you doing in here? You just shit on my floor!” I am speechless and humiliated and ready to cry at this point as nothing in life has prepared me to react to a situation like this. He see’s this and changes his attitude. He gets whoever is in the bathroom out, and tells me to take as long as I need.
I am FINALLY in the bathroom I have tried so hard to find for the last 2 hours. First thing I notice, no paper towels. I start cleaning myself with, what seemed like, 1 ply toilet paper the best I can. Jen shows up, hands me a bag through the door and I tell her I will call her later. About an hour and a half later, I am finally OK with how I look. Since starting to clean myself up though I have realized 2 problems I hadn’t previously considered. 1) Even though I have tried my best to wash my legs, they still probably smell, I really should have had her get me jeans, and 2) My shoes and socks are also ruined.
Again, I psych myself up, open the door with the Macy’s bag full of soiled clothes in one hand and $50 in the other. I run out of Starbucks as fast as I can, leaving the money on the counter, throwing the bag in a corner trash can on the street, and then heading into Macy’s. So here I am inside of a department store, again downtown NYC, barefoot and smelling like shit. I immediately head to the shoe section and find someone to help me. I quickly inform him I need a pair of shoes in size 14. He quickly informs me all they have in that size are Doc Martin like boots that are just over $100. At this point, money is no object. The next thing I need are socks, that is easy. Finally I find a pair of jeans. I pay for all of those items, find their restroom, and close to 2 hours and $200 later, I finally feel pretty comfortable going out in public again.
I turn on my phone to call and meet Jenni only to realize my battery is shot. Could ANYTHING else go wrong this day? Eventually I get in touch with her and she tells me she is at the museum she had previously bought us tickets to and to meet her there. On the way there, I stop at one hotel and ask if I can rent a room for an hour, which they are quick to inform me they “aren’t that kind of hotel!” I then tried to rent a room for a night, just so I could shower (again, at this point, money is no object), to which they informed me it would be too early for me to check in. Defeated, I putse my way around New York, and eventually find my way to the museum, embarrassed as anyone can be. The first few minutes are pretty quiet. Eventually, Jenni tries to break the ice by making a joke along the lines of “Well, thanks a lot for leaving me alone in the city all day…” Too soon for jokes, and sadly I completely lost my composure in the middle of this quiet museum. We didn’t stay at the museum long, and the ride back to her apartment seemed like an eternity.
The next few days were very quiet and very awkward. Finally the time came to go to the airport. Due to the awkwardness, I was dropped off a few hours early. Naturally, given the events of the weekend, my plane was delayed, so I went to a bar and had a few drinks. In the meantime, I called my friend Adam, who I had been texting through this whole debacle and recounted the story for him. It is because of what he said afterwards that you are reading this story. He said to me “You have two choices Jordan. You can live in shame and bury your head in the sand, or you can laugh about this and tell everyone you know the story, because I sure as hell am going to!” Anyway, I continue my drinking on the flight home, and my good friend Tyler picked me up at the airport. He probably heard the best version of the story due to how fresh it was in my mind and how much I’d had to drink that night.
Eventually, Jen and I did talk and are somehow still friends, although it took awhile. The first time she heard me tell this story in public, she had to walk away, but over the years she has gotten used to it and will even laugh about it and add to it.
What I want you all to take away from this story is this lesson: If you are ever in New York City and REALLY have to go to the bathroom. Find an alley, pull your pants down and take the 30 seconds of embarrassment. You will never see those people again, and it will save you a lot of money and humiliation!