What do bouncy houses and bladder control have in common?

Juliane Bergmann
6 min readJul 18

I wished for both on my 41st birthday

A Rainbow bouncy castle for my birthday

“Hey guys, we got a bouncy house in the backyard today. Feel free to use it anytime this afternoon.”

I’d walked across the street where my neighbor was hanging out in the front yard with her two little boys. She asked why we had a bouncy house. “I got it for my birthday,” I responded. The younger boy looked confused: “How old even ARE you???”


Little dude looked at me like:

Fifteen minutes later I look out the window and see them bouncing off the walls inside the castle.

Nobody can resist the bouncy house.

You have to crawl into this thing through the tiny orange flaps, flashing everyone on the way in and out.

It was my first birthday in decades that I had a party. I didn’t before because I thought, well, nobody is going to come to a party on a Monday night. It’s dumb to have a party as an adult. I don’t really drink, so what else do grown-ups do at parties? I don’t have any real friends and nobody likes me anyway. It will be awkward. Nobody will have fun. I should just forget about it. If I can’t make it the most amazing party ever, what is the point?

Writing my thoughts out loud is cringe-y. Thinking them makes me feel gross but saying them to you makes it worse. But since I’m tired of listening to that garbage, and maybe you’re telling yourself similar garbage, we can just shut up our inner assholes together for a second.

And so I did what I’ve been practicing for a couple of years now. I say the thing out loud to someone. I commit to it verbally, even when I haven’t actually made any plans or organized anything. This works for me for a really fucked-up reason: I don’t like to disappoint people (I’ve historically been fine disappointing myself though). I don’t want them to think I’m a liar and don’t follow through. I feel guilty when I don’t do what I say I’ll do. Instead of beating myself up about this character “flaw” I’ve…

Juliane Bergmann

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