Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mama always said

This morning I was lounging around in my PJs, playing on the internet, when my step-sister called to see if I wanted to meet her for lunch. Of course her lunch was in 1/2 an hour, so I had to race around to get ready before she picked me up. I'll spare you the details but there are three important points to note:
  • I decided not to wear my long underwear even though it was -25ºC
  • I'm not completely silly, though, and wore my warm winter coat
  • In all the rush, I left the house without going to the bathroom even though I had to pee

We had a lovely lunch with much chatting and eating of Vietnamese noodles. After we were done, I decided to take the bus to a nearby Extra Foods. I needed to pick up ingredients for a dinner party I'm attending on Saturday. (I'm making 2 things - prosciutto-wrapped stuffed shrimp and tiramisu - that I've never made before. Eep!) I wanted to run to the washroom before I left the restaurant, but a quick glance at the schedule told me there was not enough time.

I went to the grocery store, picked up what I needed plus a few extras, and then rushed back to the bus stop with seconds to spare. I did NOT want to have to hang around another half an hour for the next bus. The ride home was uneventful, if a bit awkward as I struggled to keep the bags from spilling their contents on the bus floor. I gathered all my things, got off at my stop, and started the 2 block walk to my apartment.

Well, I gathered most of my things. When I was half a block away from my door I discovered I didn't have my purse with me. My stomach sank as I realized I had left it on the bus.

Instinct #1: I have to call the transit office and ask if the driver found a purse.

Oops. Cell phone is in my purse.

Instinct #2: Okay, I'll go home, drop off my increasingly heavy groceries, and call from there.

Oops. Keys are in my purse.

Instinct #3: I'll wait around until another bus comes my way, ride it downtown to the transit office, and sort things out there.

Oops. Bus pas and wallet are in my purse.

I decided that contacting the transit office should come first, so I walked back to the 7-11 that is near the bus stop. I told the woman behind the counter what had happened and asked if I could use their phone. She said that was not a problem, but she had to dial for me. That's when the following conversation took place:

Woman: What is the number.
Me: It's 777-RIDE.
Woman: 7...7...7...what?
Me: R-I-D-E.
Woman: What?
Me: I don't remember the actual numbers but it spells out R-I-D-E.
Woman: (eying me suspiciously) Is this long distance?

Despite the communication failure, I managed to contact the transit office and receive the good news that the driver had found my purse. They had it in their office, which was a 15 minute walk away. No problem.

I realized, however, that my groceries had quadrupled in weight since I got off the bus and I needed to do something with them. I remembered that the front door to my building hadn't been closing properly lately and that I should be able to open it without my key. To my immense relief that proved true. I left the dry goods hanging off my apartment door and stuck the perishables out on the shared balcony. I was pretty sure no one in my building would take my groceries.

As I was leaving I discovered another problem. The trip home had tricked my bladder into thinking that relief was forthcoming. I had needed to go to the bathroom since before lunch and there was no way I was going to make even the short walk downtown to the transit office. There was no other option but to go across the back alley to the hospital and use the washroom there. I felt a bit goofy walking in, using the facilities, and then leaving, but I was desperate.

Thusly relieved, I walked downtown. I was thankful for my good sense to wear my warm coat but wished I had also worn my long underwear. The reunion with my purse was a joyful one and I discovered that, thanks to the good people that take Regina Transit, nothing was missing. Not my over-the-limit credit card, nor my six-year-old cell phone with the almost-dead battery, nor my favourite ballpoint pen. Treasures, all of them! And no one took a thing.

When I returned home I discovered all of my groceries exactly where I had left them, and the perishables weren't even frozen yet. I let myself into my apartment and scolded my cat Lucy for being a very useless kind of housemate in situations like this. She barely opened her eyes, meowed, licked her paw, and resumed her nap.

The moral the whole story is this: Your mother was right. Always go to the bathroom before you leave the house, because otherwise you might end up in the hospital. Or something like that.


  1. Thank goodness your purse was there!

    I am always forgetting to pee just before I leave to go do something that will have no access to bathrooms. You think we'd learn!

  2. I was going to leave a longer comment, but I think I should go pee now. (This made me laugh, but it was quite the cliffhanger.)

  3. I am addicted to my morning coffee AND I have a 45 minute commute on public transportation, so if I don't pee before I leave, I have to use a train station, which is never a good idea.

    Also, if you'd left your purse on a bus in Boston, I'm pretty sure you never would have seen it again. Never take Canada for granted!