I am here at the beach with my writer’s group – eight ladies total, and there’s a big problem. The bathroom is right off the living area.

After careful planning, all eight women were assigned the food we were supposed to bring, and all eight of us worried that we might run out and starve to death, even though we have six cars here and the store is a quarter mile away. Each of us brought a few extra things, mainly in the potato chip, cookie, candy, and pastry food groups.

These are the exact foods I find it impossible to resist. You add lemon drop martinis and red wine to the equation, and that is one lethal mixture, especially with the chili we had for dinner last night.

There are two problems with the bathroom being right next to the living area. The first is that, when you combine alcohol with all the food a perpetually hungry person, such as myself, can shovel in before bedtime, you are looking at scientific chemical reactions that occur all through the night, some of which interfere with sleep itself. In the morning these chemical reactions produce certain byproducts that are explosive in nature. When the bathroom is in the center of the house, people are gonna hear you, even if you’ve got the fan on and in some cases, the sink water running.

If this weren’t bad enough, the number two problem, as it were, is that these scientific chemical reactions, and their explosive byproducts, are unpleasant to additional senses besides hearing. To illustrate what I’m saying, one time someone entered the bathroom after me, a skinny, uneducated, uncouth young man, and rushed out gasping a few seconds later, rubbing his eyes like a child who just woke up from a nap. He exclaimed so everyone could hear, “Whew-whee. It’s not so much the smell as the burning of the eyes.”

If the bathroom is located near the living area, a scented candle of a few sprays of Glade is not going to prevent the entire living area from smelling like a latrine deep in Arkansas backcountry. In a house shared by people you know, you can’t pretend some stranger was in the bathroom before you – some sickly old woman with parasites and diverticulitis who just walked out the door when you were walking in.

You’d think a person like me, prone to these types of problems, would cut down on the eating in order to avoid the embarrassment. But when there is all this food around, I have no control.

So sorry, ladies, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do – I apologize in advance for what’s going to happen tomorrow morning. Now pass me those chili-cheese Fritos.