At this point I'm going to start using "awkward" as a verb because, honestly, I awkward everything up. I think I spend most of my days awkwarding. It's not even a recent realization. I've been awkwarding for years.
In fifth grade I had this thing about going to the bathroom. Well, that's not an accurate description. Here's the thing: Every day after lunch, on the way back to our classroom, our teacher would stop us at the bathrooms and we'd line up and go in. It was our only organized bathroom break of the day, although, thankfully, we were allowed to leave class occasionally to relieve ourselves because, you know, we were ten-year-olds and children aren't really ready to control their bladder until at least eleven. That's really the only good part of being a pre-teen, at least in my case, and since I didn't hit puberty until I was old enough to drive, I had extra time to work on my bladder's maturation while the rest of my male classmates were using deodorant and showing off their mustache-growing skillz.
Anyway, I digress. Sometimes I would actually have to pee during those organized bathroom times, but I would usually wait until later that afternoon. I wasn't uncomfortable peeing in the same room with other boys or anything. My concern was that, as usual, there'd be some ass who would cause trouble in the bathroom ("Aaaah! There isn't an adult in the same room as me! I'm going to kick over these trashcans and then throw urinal cakes at the mirror before I go into epileptic shockkkkk!!!!!"). Since we were in fifth grade and our teachers' favorite method of punishment was to reprimand everyone within twenty feet of the troublemaker(s) ("Tyler, did you hear Dennis say the H-word?! No recess for a week! I also want you to write, "I will not stand by while my peers break rules," three-hundred times. Due in two hours!"), I would just wait until later when I could use the restroom without fear of being punished because some other boy happened to urinate on the walls.
There was one day, however, where I really had to go after lunch. I mean, I could feel it already. I usually would wait at least an hour and a half before asking my teacher to excuse me; if I asked too soon she would usually make me feel guilty about just having the chance to go after lunch. When I returned to class, I tried really hard to hold it for that long. Finally, after about a half hour of crossing my legs and trying not to noticeably bounce in my seat, I asked if I could go.
To my astonishment, the teacher said no. The bitch said no! She just told me, a ten-year-old without the rational thought (nor the bladder) of an adult, that I could not go to the bathroom! I almost started to cry when she made a fuss about how we always pass the bathroom right after lunch and that I missed my opportunity. Instead of crying, however, I held back the tears. I was no longer discreetly bouncing in my seat. At this point my desk was shaking. I had to pee, dammit!
After waiting for what seemed to be the longest fifteen minutes ever, I raised my hand. I begged, 'cause I ain't too proud. "Pleeeease. I neeeed to go!" She sighed and told me to hurry. I bolted through that door and ran-walk (because I was still trying to use some discretion and good taste) down the hallway. When I got to the bathroom, I burst inside, furiously yanking open my belt as I made it to the urinal.
Only I didn't make it in time. As soon as I stood in front of the urinal, I let go. I was so fucking close! I had almost made it! I was so angry and upset that I started to cry. I fastened my belt and started walking out the bathroom, only instead of turning left to return to my class, I turned right to head to the nurse's office. I was a fifth grader; the nurse could fix all of my problems.
Luckily, the hallway was deserted, and I counted my blessings that none of my classmates were out and about (because they all used the restroom after lunch). As I walked toward to the nurse's office, a door opened and out walked the vice-principal. She glanced at me as she headed up the hall, did a double take, and stopped mid-step. I'm sure the tears running down my face, the large wet spot running down my legs, as well as that I-just-peed-my-pants waddle tipped her off. She sighed and said, "Okay, Tyler, I'll call your grandmother."
(Did I mention how this was probably the fourth time I had peed my pants since coming to that elementary school in the second grade? Sorry, I forgot.)
About forty-five minutes later, after sitting in the crowded (of course!) nurse's office, my grandmother burst in, ready to take me home. (In retrospect, I realize that peeing your pants was the best excuse to get out of school early. Sure, you could pretend to be sick, but then you'd have to keep up the pretense at home. You'd be practically rewarded for peeing your pants. All you had to do was change your underwear and pants, and then you'd get to watch day-time TV all afternoon). While she was checking me out at the office, my teacher burst in, rather embarrassed. After my grandmother yelled at her ("WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO TELL A TEN-YEAR-OLD HE CAN'T GO TO THE BATHROOM?!"), she asked me why I didn't go after lunch with the rest of the class.
Here was my chance to tell her how I felt! I had the opportunity to stand up for all of those well-behaved elementary school kids would get punished for what their classmates do! I could have stopped the practice entirely!
Unfortunately, I was feeling put on the spot, with my teacher and grandmother standing there, expecting a good answer to a pretty rational question. The first thing I said was, "Uh, I don't like going to the bathroom with the other boys."
There was a pause, and my teacher put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I understand. It's not unusual for a boy your age to be uncomfortable with his body." I was a little taken aback by that, and then I realized what I said. She thought I just didn't want to pee in front of other people? Fuck! I blew it! Not only that - now she thought I was "uncomfortable with my body".
From then on, my teacher decided that I should have the opportunity to use the restroom anytime I wanted. "If you need to go, you don't even have to ask! You can just get up and I'll know!" That's not what I wanted. I didn't have an overactive bladder or anything, I just wanted to be able to go when I needed to. Now I had this dumb bitch thinking that I had body issues. Me! A ten-year-old boy with body issues!
If there's one thing I can appreciate about being in the work force is that even though I'm expected to get here on time, get my work done, report my time cards accurately, and leave on time, there's no one to tell me when I can go to the bathroom. I drink a lot of water just because I can. Sometimes I have to think about things like this and I realize that being an adult isn't so bad.
So go fuck yourself, Mrs. Swink.