Saran Wrapped Toilet Seats: Twas the Night Before Competition
It’s the middle of the night in the hotel and I have to pee.
Peak week protocol had me drinking two gallons of water a day (or close to it) and now I am drinking one gallon a day. My body is expelling water like crazy and therefore I pee — a lot.
It’s the night before show and the first layer of tan was applied already.
As someone who has always been shy about her body, this was a jarring experience. I had walked down the hallway to an alcove of pop-up tents. The young woman handed me a paper hospital scrub hat, the kind you get placed on your head before surgery, and told me to undress. I kind of knew the answer, but asked anyway: Like…completely? Like even underwear?
She nodded and smiled. I pulled off my sweatpants (dark blue and recently bought from Walmart since the tan gets on everything). Then my underwear, and finally pulled my T-shirt over my head. Standing there fully naked and shivering, I cupped my arms around my thin frame and tiny breasts, and waited.
I heard a male voice in the pod behind me comment on how cold the tanning spray was. I heard a woman in the pod next to me call out asking of she could get dressed yet. Another woman shimmied past us, eyes down and averted, carrying a plastic blue grocery bag with her.
I picked up my phone and started scrolling on social media — naked — because what else do you do while you are just waiting.
Finally an older woman came back and picked up a spray gun. She instructed me to put my arms out and started spraying. It felt like a garden hose filled with cold water was being sprayed all over me. I shook with cold wondering why I was putting myself through this. She had me put one leg in front of the other and then switch, then turn, then turn again.
“Pop your butt out,” she commanded. I arched my back. “More,” she ordered. I obliged, trying not to think about the fact that my completely naked ass was in her face.
Finally we were done. I had to stand there and “dry” with fans blowing cold air on me and then I was done. I slid my clothes back on again, gathered my phone and walked off.
But now it is the middle of the night and I’m in a dark hotel room and I really have to pee.
I grope my way to the bathroom and look at the gleaming white toilet seat. Saran Wrap. I was told to bring Saran Wrap for the seat so the tan didn’t stain the seat. I grab the box, dancing around, trying not to pee all over the floor and down my leg, possibly ruining the tan. I rip at the plastic but it comes off in shreds. Fuck.
Now the edge is seemingly glued to itself. I pick at the edges, and bounce a little, trying not to think of my bladder. I grasp an edge and pull. It peels back into another shred. Oh my god. Breathing in and out I keep yanking and shredding. If I get even pieces I will puzzle together a plastic over of some sort, I tell myself.
Finally a full sheet comes off and I keep going, getting enough to wrap the seat.
My body is finally happy again. I laugh a little to myself, at how comical the entire scene is. Leaving the seat covered, I wash up and grope through the dark back to the bed.
Tomorrow is a big day. I wonder if people talk about these things — like Saran Wrapped toilet seats, and standing naked in pods in a hotel hallway, and all of the crazy things competitors do. I imagine they do tell their stories to each other.
I lay now, wide awake, trying to find some semblance of sleep again. It’s 3 in the morning.