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I had my first real date when I was 15. It was the first time that my dad had let me go out with a boy (granted, I never actually asked him up until this point). So how did this day that was supposed to be a memory I will remember forever turn into a complete disaster? Let's just dive right in.
I met this boy during a summer school gym class before my sophomore year of high school. I had known about him since seventh grade, since we went to the same middle school and high school later on. His friend group had somehow merged with my friend group to form one colossal-sized group. Now, I've never been a huge fan of redheads (take no offense), solely based on the reasoning that I seem to attract the bad redheads. And yes, I know that there's such a thing as a "bad brunette," a "bad blonde," and whatever other hair color you can think of; however, it's far more noticeable when you're a redhead. That's another story for another time.
Let's call this boy "Jeremy." Looking back, Jeremy was the typical boy that I would've fallen for: Funny and, more importantly, he paid attention to me. It's safe to say that I definitely did not get a lot of action before high school. I had braces, big glasses, and a really terrible haircut that made me look more like a boy than anything else. On top of all that, I NEVER talked, so in high school, I made it a priority to talk more and to come out of my shell a little more—even if it was only a few baby steps at a time. Progress is progress.
After a few weeks passed and the summer school gym class was nearly over, he finally asked for my phone number. We immediately began texting, asking all those questions you ask a new potential partner—basically, just getting to know each other since we didn't know a lot about each other besides our mile times and how far we could kick a kickball.
I'm not going to pretend that I remember how he asked me out. Because I don't. I believe it was over text, a couple of days after our summer gym class had finished. We'd planned to meet each other at the park, where we would walk around and find a good set of trees to set up hammocks.
The planning of this event was the easy part. The hard part would be asking my parents if I could go on said date. I had never done this before, and neither had they. I'm an only child, so it made it that much more difficult. Tears streaked down my face while my parents laughed. I was that scared to ask them. They thought this was so obscurely hilarious that my dad had recorded a video of it, repeatedly saying, "This is going to be so funny to look back on—we should definitely play this at your wedding." They ended up saying yes, and I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait to go on my first date.
When we got to the park, my dad briefly introduced himself to Jeremy, then sent us on our way. At first the date was going exactly how I expected it to. I was jittery and my palms were sweaty. I seemed to get through just fine though. We walked to an area that he had scoped out a couple of days before (or so he said). It was a couple of trees off the trail right next to the river. We set up the hammocks across from each other so we could look at each other and talk to each other.
The date was going pretty well actually. There were hardly any moments of awkwardness and it seemed that we had a lot to talk about with different questions to ask each other. (Side note: I may have went online beforehand to find good questions to ask him if we were to ever get stuck.) I was having a great time and I was finally hanging out with the boy I was interested in, outside of the wrestling room and off the track. That's when it started to go south.
You see, I've come to notice that I have a nervous bladder. Every time I get nervous, start bouncing my knee, laughing uncomfortably, etc., it is almost always shortly accompanied by the need to pee.
All through that time, I had this little squeaky voice in my head telling me how I needed to go to the bathroom. And the longer I waited, the worse it got. I had remembered that we passed a port-a-potty on the way to our hammock spot and thought that I could just stop by it on our way back, but the fear of him hearing my urine either hit the plastic or the bottom of it terrified me. So I simply tried to hold it.
My dad had set a curfew that I be home before dark. Once the sun began to dip beyond the horizon, Jeremy and I began tearing down our hammocks. I had never actually hammocked before, so he mostly did all the building and tearing down. He was still packing up the hammocks when I realized I was at my tipping point. The horn was about to sound. The floodgates were about to open. Whatever you want to call it, I had less than five minutes before something terrible was going to happen. I began pacing, trying to hold it in. I paced back and forth behind one of the trees, which was facing the trail, all the while people walked past with their dogs, happily on their way to the dog park.
He had even noticed my pacing as I tried continuing our conversation, asking, "Are you alright?" I obviously said that I was fine.
At this point, I was on the verge of tears. The thought of simply blurting out, "I HAVE TO PEE AND I'LL BE RIGHT BACK," crossed my mind multiple times in the span of a few seconds. However, I realized I had made a grave mistake. I had waited too long, and knew that even if I made a bolt for the Johnny-on-the-Spot, I wouldn't make it in time. All rational thinking had gone out the window as I stepped behind the tree, facing the trail as he was on the other side of the tree. I figured that random people seeing me pee my pants was better than the boy I liked seeing me pee my pants.
So I simply stood there, and finally just let it all go. I was terrified that he would walk around the tree at any minute, and see me wetting myself (and not in the good kind of way). I felt like I was standing there forever, and even some random women with a dog walked past me while it was happening; however, I barely noticed because I was preoccupied with other thoughts and problems. The pee had run all the way down both sides of my legs, and my sock and shoes were both soaked. I could hear him and the hammocks rustling around on the other side of the tree, and the way he was talking sounded like he was about to come around to my side of the tree. At this point, I was down to just a slow trickle. Having realized that he'd probably see the liquid on my legs, I bent over and wiped it off my legs. He had walked around the tree to see me bent over, as I pretended to scratch my legs. He seemed to be surprised to see me bent forward, but then said, "Oh, do you have some mosquito bites?"
I simply said yes, and stood up straight to meet his eyes.
My heart was no longer beating out of my chest because I was nervous and excited to go on a date. I was now worried whether he knew a 15 year-old girl had just peed her pants in the middle of a park, and if not, whether he'd notice. We spent about 30 minutes sitting on a park bench talking; however, I sat in the same awkward position for the entire time. My back was aching, but the way I was sitting allowed for my shirt to cover up the wet spot on the front of my shorts, so I dealt with it.
I remember when we were about to leave, I made sure that I waited for him to stand up first and start walking. That way he wouldn't see anything if it were left on the bench, and wouldn't be able to see the stain on my back side. He never said anything about it, even after that date. We went on a few more dates after that and ended up breaking it off when we realized I wouldn't have as much time as he wanted me to have for him. To this day, I'm still unsure whether Jeremy knew that I had peed myself and completely humiliated myself... in front of myself and a dog walker.
If he did, that's a man right there. I can't think of many teenage boys who wouldn't say anything about it whatsoever. And if not, I'm not quite sure it's a good thing that he didn't notice. Umm... oblivious much? I spent the rest of the night laughing on the phone with my best friend about it. It was truly the only thing I could do about it at that point. And besides, if it were someone else, I would be laughing just as hard.