Sunday morning was VBS Sunday at our church where one of the services is dedicated entirely to a recap of VBS. It’s a time for the children to share with the congregation everything they learned the week before. All the songs we sing are VBS songs, the children stand up where the choir would (and there are hundreds, so it’s pretty impressive), the sermon is usually something about raising faithful families, and we see a slideshow with pictures from the week before. It’s a really fun service.
In order to recognize VBS leaders, the staff asks all the chairs to wear their VBS t-shirts to the service. So, Sunday morning, after I had wrangled my two children into presentable church clothes, had convinced my mom that we really were going to leave at 9:00 sharp, and shamed my husband into ironing his clothes for once, I ran upstairs just a few minutes before it was time to leave and got myself ready. It was too hot to wear jeans with the VBS t-shirt and I didn’t want to wear shorts to church, so I dug around my bathroom floor for my denium skirt. I had just worn it the day before, so I figured what could a couple more hours hurt? I finally found it buried under a pile of wet towels from the pool. It was really wet in one area, but I was in a hurry and I figured it would dry on the way to church. And even if it didn’t, it was denium and you couldn’t really notice that it was wet.
We went to church and had a great morning, and then after we headed out to lunch with my mom, who had come down for the day to see the kids in all their VBS glory. In the car on the way to the restaurant, I got a whiff of something sour. Like urine. Which sounds like it should have sent off red flags for me, but when you have a toddler who is potty training, you just sort of get used to things smelling like pee. So, I ignored the smell and moved on.
(This, incidentally, is the reason people with young children have trouble making friends. When you ignore the smell of pee, you clearly are not fit to be around other adults.)
So, we get to the restaurant for breakfast, and when we sit down, I could smell that same sour, urine kind of smell. I quickly checked Gracie to see if she had had an accident, but she was clean and dry.
“Oh, well,” I thought. “I must just be smelling things.”
(Again, this is why I have no friends and very poor judgment.)
During breakfast, Gracie had to go to the bathroom approximately 7,461 times. Every time I squatted down to her level in the bathroom, I would smell that urine smell strongly, but we were in a bathroom. I figured the smell was just part of the atmosphere.
(This is also why I hardly ever go out in public with the very few friends I do have. When you think a urine smell is part of the atmosphere in a public place, it’s time to go home and sit on your couch.)
Finally, on our last trip to the restroom, I started getting suspicious of the smell. We had used almost every stall since we had arrived at the restaurant (Gracie likes a little variety when nature calls…), and each stall smelled just as strongly of urine. Could it be that the smell wasn’t actually the bathroom?
And then my mind began to have flashbacks…
Sitting in the bathroom. And I smell it.
Sitting at the table. And I smell it.
Sitting in the car. And I smell it.
Putting on a wet skirt that morning.
With our dog Lucy sitting there next to the pile of clothes.
No… It couldn’t be… Surely not… But let me just sniff just to make sure…
OH MY GOD!
Yes, friends. Yes.
It wasn’t the wet towels that had made my skirt wet.
I had worn a skirt all morning that had dog pee on it. Because, clearly, every living being in my house feels the need to mark me and my belongings with their pee.
And that, good readers, is why I have taken a vow of reclusitivity. If you need me, I will be in my shower for the next three months, scrubbing my legs viciously and hiding from all civil society. Thank you for being with me during this difficult time.