At the front door fumbling with a key that doesn’t seem to want to activate the lock. Prior to that moment, and on the drive home from wherever I had been not once had I given thought to the state of my bladder.
Suddenly, as I fumble, I am struck by an urge to urinate so profound that I am unsure, if I actually do get that goddamn key to work, that I will make it to the john in time to avoid disaster and mortification.
It’s known as “latchkey urgency”and, according to what I read on that faultless source of all information that we will ever need – the Internet – it is quite remarkably common. So common that they actually do have a name for the ‘inconvenience’. And also, according to my doctor it is not a matter of huge concern because it is one of those damn things that happens as we get a little older. A little older? Easy for him to say, since my doctor, to me at least, looks about 19.
It happens to males and females. For the boys it’s all about the prostate (isn’t everything?) For girls it stems from childbirth (most commonly) and also the passage of time in which the plumbing moves south a bit and that can lead to profound urgency – and worse.
Now, I am not saying that latchkey urgency is a matter of grievous crisis, but if you follow the ads on TV you couldn’t help but believe that at least eighty percent of women are in need of nappies of some sort. And, though I hope not, a few men, too.
I think part of the distress stems from the fact that one of our earliest accomplishments as human beings is the ability to keep our underpants dry and, with the exception of a few mishaps, most of us succeed in that quest. And then relentless time seems determined to reverse that achieved goal.
It reminds me of a gag by delightful comic Rita Rudner who once said: “I’m happy I gave birth to a daughter when I was older. That way we could both be in diapers at the same time.”
I’m not loving this getting older thing, though it happens to us all. I’m still looking for a way to reverse it.