My Mexican Emergency
It was a beautiful summer evening and my husband and I had just returned from dining on Kansas City’s Plaza. Earlier that day we filled up on yummy appetizers, tacos and drinks at Mi Cocina, the fancy Mexican restaurant in the area.
When we got home the temperature was perfect for a walk around our neighborhood with the dogs. We live in an old house from the 1920s and love walking the streets to see the other houses in the area, although it often makes us feel like the weakest link. Our neighbors have beautifully manicured lawns and perfect balls of hydrangeas blooming amidst their tailored flower gardens. We’re lucky to keep the red geraniums alive in our two planters stationed at the end of our walkway.
We strolled along our usual path and headed toward the downtown area. We walked past the tall, traditional churches, cute downtown stores selling fine home decor, and local restaurants. On this evening the weather was so gorgeous, we kept walking to see the even bigger, older houses on the other side of downtown. Our dogs were loving the extra long walk just as much as us two newlyweds who were swinging our folded hands, walking down white picket-fenced neighborhoods and taking in our little slice of the American dream.
As we got further and further away from home, my stomach began to grumble and growl. I kept going thinking that I could “walk it off,” but quickly learned my body wasn’t thanking me for a long walk and delicious food. It was getting ready to rebel. I felt my stomach drop and the unique sensation of knowing that everything I ate had entered my intestines. I mentioned to Mike, “I think I’ve got a problem,” and we started walking faster. All of the sudden I didn’t care one bit about the old houses’ beauty and instead wondered how many restrooms they had.
Although I’m pretty outgoing, I’m also a little shy. I wasn’t about to knock on a stranger’s door and ask to use their restroom. I didn’t have time to explain the “I have a short colon, I had cancer, I ate Mexican tonight” story to someone whose bathroom I was after. So we kept walking faster.
We neared downtown and realized that it was so late in the evening, all of the stores were closed. I began to panic at the thought of acting like a two-year-old and having an accident right in the middle of the street. Sweat rolled down my face as I remembered God’s promise of “ask and you shall receive. ” I tried to ask nicely, but stressed that I needed a reply NOW.
In the midst of my mini-panic attack, I heard bells chiming from the baptist church behind me. We had married in their beautiful sanctuary and were previously involved in their young adult ministry which met in a small detached building near their back parking lot. Although we had switched churches a year ago, we looked at each other and wondered if the code to the door of the small building had remained the same. We hurried to the building and Mike typed in the code as I praised God for his impeccable memory. I heard the door slide open. We quietly tip-toed into the building and located their restrooms. I ran into the womens’ restroom, saw there wasn’t any TP, and sprinted back into the hallway and into the mens’. Finally, my crisis was averted.
Needless to say, we never returned to Mi Cocina. It has actually gone out of business since our visit. Although my immediate emergency was blamed on my semi-colon, Mike also had issues that evening which led us to believe something was wrong with the food. We’ve since taken many walks, however not returned to the other side of downtown. Maybe one day we’ll get enough nerve to go back. And although we no longer attend the baptist church, we feel forever grateful and debted to them. We’re thankful for their detached building in the parking lot, and that they never change the code.