Speaking Up

I noticed the line, 5 people deep, in front of me and my bladder said: “Get help. Fast.”

I approached the bald, 5% body fat, male yoga instructor flirting with another yoga instructor at the entrance to the studio. I waited for a quick break in their conversation and interrupted. “Excuse me, I was wondering if it would be kosher to use the upstairs bathroom?” The instructor looked at me like I had a booger in my nose.

“Upstairs is not open, and you would be skipping all of the people who have been patiently waiting in line to go.” He said. I stared at him, feeling my face flush as the attention I had been giving my bladder filtered into a new energy of embarrassment and annoyance. How do you know I would skip everyone? I thought. Maybe, we could just open that restroom up and the line would go twice as fast, therefore none of us have to wait so long. Instead I said: “But, I really have to pee!” He motioned with a tired look that I should get back in line. “Maybe you’ll make friends with someone and they’ll let you skip them, or something.” He said in a patronizing voice.

I walked, defeated, back to the now 7-people-deep line and waited.

I’m rarely admonished for pursuing other options in solving a problem, so when I am I feel incredibly weird. Was I being selfish in wondering about other alternatives to waiting in the line? Or, was I simply posing a question that caught the guy off guard and he therefore snapped back with a line to make me feel like asking that question was in some way wrong? I felt he had just assumed I was planning on skipping everyone in a selfish pursuit to empty my bladder, when honestly, that was on my mind, but not in a “fuck all of these people, I’m gonna go first” more like a “Let’s make this line shorter… Jeez.”

As I stood waiting the Yoga instructor motioned to the 3 girls in front of me saying: “You three follow me, I’m going to show you the bathroom across the hall.” I watched as the line was shorted by half and I was suddenly next for the bathroom.

Oh. Ok, dude. I get it. You were too busy doing whatever it is that really, really, ridiculously good looking yoga instructors do all the time to realize that there actually was another bathroom. I felt really annoyed. I imagined myself walking up to him and saying “See!? That wasn’t so difficult! And I turned out to be next in line, which is great. And, next time a student poses an ulterior plan, maybe you shouldn’t just assume that they’re in it to screw everyone else over!” Then, the whole room would break in to applause and I’d be hoisted onto the shoulder of the nearest hottie and carried around with cheers of “Way to say what you were feeling, Nat!” and “Nice! way to express yourself!” and “That wasn’t passive aggressive at all! It was downright confrontational! Wahoo!”

I walked over to my yoga mat to begin class and wished I had the guts to say something. Part of me kept repeating my overly used mantra of: Just let it go, I know that was annoying, but it’s not worth the trouble to say anything. The Yoga instructor told us all to get into Child’s Pose to begin class and I folded over, the mantra being repeated over and over like a muzzle on my thoughts. Then, I heard another voice in the back of my head say: You know, Natalie, you’ve been saying this A LOT lately. Like, every time you get home and the apartment is a mess and you wind up taking out all the trash and doing all the dishes and bringing in the mail because other members of the apartment don’t. Or when dozens of people are at the apartment until the wee hours of the morning and you weren’t told they would be there. 

I sighed into my Child’s Pose and sent a silent prayer to my body: Let’s speak up for ourselves, Nat. Let’s be our own Hottie lifting us up onto shoulders and cheering. I shivered at the thought of being that  brave, then allowed the yoga to begin.

October 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm by Natalie Allen