Thursday, July 20, 2006

Going potty in public

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter.

The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there were one, but there isn't - so you carefully but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance."

In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance."

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday -- the one that's still in your purse. That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes open your stall door because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topples backward against the tank of the toilet. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course.

You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper -- not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew because, you're certain, her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose that somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too. At that point, you give up.

You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women, still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them.

A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it to the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?"

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restroom (rest??? you've got to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked question about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door.

This gem was sent to me by my sister, mrsgreenthumb. Thanks, sis, for giving me a laugh today. Hope you all enjoy this too.


At July 20, 2006 1:30 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Boy, does this hit close to home for lots of us!
Funny, but so true!

At July 20, 2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Alipurr said...

Hey, you should try going to the potty at a fast food restaurant when your 2 yr old and 4 yr old have to go #2 at the same time. This happens to me in a public place at least a couple of times a week. Last week I was so tired I actually sat on the floor of the Burger King restaurant (the big owners were there so the floor was mopped 3 times while i was there), while they took turns going poopy(did you know 2 little bottoms will fit on one of those big potties at the same time?). The grand finale was Dancer Girl throwing up in the clean little bag usually used for tampons etc.(gross, I know, but they just put it there and I didn't want her to throw up on me) while Little One said, Look, Mommy, I can balance with no hands (while she was sitting on the big potty). Needless to say, it was naptime for mommy when we got home. Whew!

I am sure all of this is more information than anyone really wanted to know. Thanks, mom, for bringing up the subject. I have been wanting to vent for a long time :)

Note to all those who ever want to take their kids to that aquarium restaurant in Nashville: that silly toilet flushed at least 20 times (i am not kidding) while dancer girl was trying to go to the bathroom. Every time she wiggled, Flush. For a while after that, both my girls were scared of loud flushing public toilets. Crazy.

At July 20, 2006 8:06 PM, Blogger The Four Bears in the Woods said...

This is hillarious and so true. Thanks for the laugh I needed it.

I also wanted to say that I am so happy to hear your report on your knee and that you are recooping well from your surgery. I know this has been so hard on you and I can only imagine how much pain you have been in and how difficult it must be just to get around.

The pool also sounded so good in your last post.. glad you guys are enjoying it and the summer.

Glad to see you are back and blogging again.... I enjoy reading your posts.

Take care.

At July 21, 2006 12:39 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

I am laughing so hard. Thank you for this!

At July 21, 2006 5:29 AM, Blogger susan said...

A little potty humor! The things we have to go through, men are so lucky!

At July 21, 2006 9:58 AM, Blogger DellaB said...

Hello MotherKitty... I have just popped over from Lee-ann's place. How true what you say, but thankfully one of the many advantages of getting out of the rat race is that I don't find myself in that many public toilets these days.

Home comforts rule!

BTW - read your boomer post cruising through your past posts - great job - I've never felt like a lost generation before, but with these boomers taking up all the space, I feel a bit like I've missed out on something - and I only missed it by a year...

At July 21, 2006 9:27 PM, Blogger jellyhead said...

What a giggle! And so true!

My daughter is now traumatised by those automatic flushing toilets in Canada (haven't encountered any here in Australia) and would perch nervously, speed-pee, then leap up anxiously.

Great post, Motherkitty!

At July 22, 2006 12:20 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

LOL!! Tis true though! The stalls are usually so small too. I have to put one leg back behind or beside the commode to even shut the door. I wonder how extra large folks do it, but then I guess they have to use the handicapped one which is larger.

Best to try and avoid them if possible!

At July 22, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger manababies said...

Hehe, thank you for the giggle. I needed that today :)

At July 22, 2006 5:30 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Since my body is rapidly decreasing the lapse of time between "breaks", I am having this kind of experience more and more frequently. Thanks for the laugh!

At July 23, 2006 7:03 AM, Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

This little gem is funny, but it is sooo true.
I'm not a tall person and sometimes my knees are against the door, which is sometimes a blessing when the lock is broken...but I often wonder what tall long legged women do in some of these short stalls.

At July 23, 2006 11:31 PM, Blogger TUFFENUF said...

This is SO funny. My mom is 86 years old, about 4'9" and STILL doesn't sit on a potty! When we go to the rest room togeher I always taunt her by saying, "Go ahead, have a seat, germs in here jump 50 feet!"


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