say cheese

Fourth of July is one of those holidays that I can never really figure out. I mean, do we have to work the day before, are they gonna make you work the day after –  is anything open, what’s closed, should we go to the beach, is everything going to be packed, is it weird if we just hang out at home and eat brats and watch Jaws… ya know, what are the rules?

I think no matter what anyone does, it seems everyone goes to see fireworks. I used to go somewhere every year to see them; now my town doesn’t do them, and the surrounding towns do them at odd times or days and the last time we tried, there was a misprint so we got to any empty lot and by the time we got the next closest display, it was over and we just got to sit in the traffic for it.

The last time I actually saw a fireworks display in it’s full glory was 2009. I was here visiting Steve and we found a spot to go, headed out and decided we would go out to dinner afterward.

Except, afterward was almost 10 pm and there was practically nothing open, not a sit down restaurant, not a fast food joint, not a pizza place. Makes sense, but we hadn’t expected it, so here I am in a CVS getting some snacks instead. You’re probably surprised to find that I don’t remember everything I bought; but I remember I spent about $24 and in the bag I had Tostitos scoops and that microwaveable cheese dip they make. Hey, I’m on a mini vacation and had been eating nothing but meat wrapped in cheese for days leading up to it.

Anyway, we’re back at home, settling in to watch a movie and I put the snacks on the table, get us drinks and he sees the cheese sauce and says “That’s all you, that shit is nasty”


I warm it up and eat most of the jar, it’s so salty and gooey and warm and it just melts in your mouth. I put it in the fridge and forget about it.

The next day is our last day together for the long weekend and we go out and grab [very large] coffees and bagel sandwiches. We park next to this cemetery and eat and talk and drink our coffees before we take a drive.

By the way,  I’m lactose intolerant.

Well, I was. Somewhere between getting older and having my surgery it seems to have dissipated.

Not in July of 2009, though.

He’s driving, music playing and it is a gorgeous day. I am wearing this loose teal short sleeve shirt and black capri length flowing pants, that I referred to as my “pirate pants” and I probably wore them all weekend [read: all summer].

My stomach starts to grumble and I ignore it.

It won’t let me.

My face is getting hot and I am now anxious about it, because I’m sure I have to go to the bathroom and this relationship hasn’t been going that long, certainly not so long that it’s at the stage where I can crap my pants and we can laugh about it.

I’m gripping the door pull and probably curling my toes.

Maybe it will pass.

Maybe melty cheese sauce and caramel iced coffees go together better than I think.

Maybe throwing eggs in that situation wasn’t a bad idea.

Maybe I’m just digesting.

It’s going to pass.

A few zigs and zags later, it’s not going to pass.

I see ahead there are some stores, maybe a little strip mall.

I see a Dunkin’ Donuts.


I breathe easier.

I prepare myself to tell him I have to go to the bathroom and ask him to stop. For some reason I can’t, I’m embarrassed, or nervous, I don’t know.

I say nothing.

I feel sweat on my forehead, guts bubbling like a caldron but I say nothing.

Right as we are passing the entrance I shout


He practically slams on the brakes to get into the lot and let me out.

I feel hot and cold and relieved and embarrassed and of course, ridiculous.

I go in and head straight for restroom; single stall, thank you Jesus!

Everything is fine now.

Well, everything except the part where I have to walk back out to the car and explain why I’m so weird.

I open the door and before I even get in, he says “Everything come out okay? I told you not to eat that nasty cheese”

I half laugh “I just had to pee so badly, that was a huge coffee”

He let me have it, but for a few years, any time we passed it he referred to it as “your Dunkin’ Donuts” or “the bathroom you blew up”

I threw the remaining cheese out the minute we got back to the apartment. I never bought it, or ate it again.

It’s not intentional that I haven’t seen a fireworks display since then, and purely coincidental that I haven’t had a near pants crapping experience since, I know.

But, why risk it.

If you’re looking for me tonight, I’ll be drinking cocktails on my couch and watching Jaws.

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