Sunday, November 11, 2012

The bathroom incident

This post may be too much for some of you. It's almost too much for me. But it's NaBloPoMo so I'm posting stuff that would otherwise not make the cut. You're welcome, in advance.

ALSO.

I usually try to save major (ahem) bathroom trips for home, but this morning at work I just couldn't wait. So I  gave in and went to the ladies' bathroom. There are two stalls in there. It's nice that there's more than one so you don't have to just stand there awkwardly and wait (ooh, foreshadowing), but on the other hand, two stalls doesn't allow for a lot of anonymity. There's you, and there's them. This morning, I was lucky (or so I thought) to be the only one in there at the time I entered.

Anyway, right after I went in and, uh, sat down, I heard the cleaning lady come in the restroom and start to clean out the stall next door. Fine. It was less embarrassing than it could have been because all of her mopping and sweeping and toilet-paper-changing provided some nice background noise. I was sure that after she finished the one stall and then realized the other was occupied, she would leave the bathroom and come back later.

BUT NO. To my very, very great horror, she finished cleaning out the stall next to me (it took her about one minute, lest you get any ideas) (too late for this post, I guess), and then, as far as I could tell from my limited audio and visual clues, just stood there. In the bathroom. The tiny, two-occupancy bathroom. Right. outside. my stall. Where I was trying (key word TRYING) to finish my business. It was soooooo uncomfortable and awkward and shameful and quiet, so quiet.

Obviously I wasn't operating under ideal conditions, so I decided to abort. As I finished up, I told myself that maybe my mind was playing tricks on me and that I just hadn't heard her leave. I even allowed myself a smile at how foolish I was for thinking she could be right outside the stall, just standing there and waiting for me to finish. Because seriously, how weird would that be??

And then I opened the door and saw that that's exactly what she was doing. We practically brushed by each other in the small space as I went to wash my hands and she went to clean out the stall.

WHAT THE HECK, people? I ask you. She broke all the rules of bathroom behavior. She broke rules of bathroom behavior that I didn't even know existed. Awful awful awful I will never forget this day.

14 comments:

Steven said...

It might have been more awkward for her than it was for you. But if that was the case, maybe she would have waited outside the bathroom.

This was a very entertaining post, though. I was beginning to think that nobody pooped but me.

Bridget said...

At any time, she could have exited the premises. At ANY time. I, on the other hand, had nowhere to go except where I was, and the situation only got MORE awkward with each passing moment. Ugh.

Bridget said...

I guess what I'm saying is, even though I know I have too MUCH social awkwardness, in this case, the cleaning lady could have used a little MORE social awkwardness.

Crys said...

I hate going to the bathroom anywhere but home, and even then there is really only one bathroom in my house I like using. Why is it that something that every person on the planet has to do, every day, sometimes multiple times is surrounded by so much shame, embarrassment, and disgust. When I got the big P during middle school I was horrified that I could now not make it through a whole day of school without visiting the ladies room. I was just complaining to Dr. J that I was super annoyed because normally I'm as regular as clock work 7am person here, but lately my body was trying to switch me to 9am, which just was not ok because at 9 I'm at the gym and there is no way I'm going to go there! He thinks I'm nuts. He'll go pretty much anywhere. In fact one time he got a good laugh out of telling me how he stunk up an entire floor at his college and then nonchalantly went back to the computer lab. A few minutes later some of his colleagues came in gagging on the stench and he was like, "I know, who could have done that." YUCK! Anyway I agree with you, who waits right outside the door? First off, it's gross! Secondly wouldn't you want to wait a few minutes before you rushed in that stall to clean it out. I mean really. Give it a second to air out ;-) So I commented on your dads blog today. In general I tried to avoid stalking your family members but every year I see those Chex post on the side bar and I have to click on them. For some reason I can't keep myself away from those :)

Jen said...

To further escalate the problem, it wasn't until I flew while pregnant that I visited an airplane lav mid-flight.

I'm an 'At Home' person as well....so much so that I've been known to be the one on looooooooooong road trips to sit in the car while everyone else heads into the rest stop. When I was working FT at the Tanner Building at BYU, I DID have an "emergency bathroom" on the 6th floor that was NEVER used (only faculty offices up there--comprised of almost exclusively men. So when there was an emergency, I could head up there.

Come to think of it, my neuroses/anxiety about *going* in public causes me to recollect SEVERAL "secret" bathrooms on campus that no one else used. I should pass that along to future generations for the Greater Good.

Jeremy Palmer said...

I had a friend who purposely tried to be as noisy as possible doing his business on the potty. I guess he wanted to promote the normality of the situation to help people like us get over the inhibitions.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Oh no, the end of your comment tells me my husband must have raided the shelves at Winco for Chex. I'm out of town, so no checks and balances for him. I'm a champion budget shopper and so don't mind it EXCEPT: to find a place for all the cereal, he moves around my kitchen equipment to the point where I can't find or reach stuff in the cabinets. And stacks them on top of the cabinets which isn't very scenic.

Lisa Lou said...

Bathroom stories always make the best embarrassing moments. Like when I worked for a property management company and was following up on the work done by the housekeeping staff. I knocked (loudly) on the door of the men's bathroom and said (yelled) "Anyone in there?" No one answered, so I went in and started checking the cleanliness of the urinals, etc. Uh, then I spied two brown loafers in the last staff. I was mortified and trying really hard not to burst out laughing. I quietly said "Oh sorry..." and left. Probably WAY more embarrassing for him.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

The big question is why she would even WANT to hang out there when leaving for a moment would have been much more pleasant.

Here's one of Grandma B's stories: she was one of those people who had to go no matter where/when she was out. So one day she was in the bathroom line at KMart and from previous experience knew there were only 2 stalls in there. Perhaps it was holiday time because the line was long and hardly moving. Eventually she got up close enough to see into the bathroom and noticed under one stall door a pair of very heavy work boots. Mmmm, what woman in sunny So. Cal wears heavy work boots? And that stall door never opened, so the place was basically operating with one stall. She inched closer as women exited the one stall and still, the workboot person never budged. She began to feel sorry for that gal who obviously had a major problem. When Mom finally reached the bathroom door, women were whispering about what was going on in that second stall. Then suddenly, the stall door flew open and a man barged out running right past all the women in line. No telling how he ended up in the wrong place; he must have been plotting for 20 minutes how in the heck he was going to escape!

Liz Johnson said...

When I was 11 or 12, I had to pee so badly, but I was desperately embarrassed by the sound of it. I went into a bathroom at the church and tried to pee while the lady in the next stall flushed, but I ran out of time, so I sat there and held it mid-stream while she finished up her business and took her jolly good time getting out of the restroom. I was so embarrassed for her to even know that I was there that I had lifted my feet up off the floor to give the illusion of an empty stall. She sat there trying to figure out if anybody was in the (locked) stall for a good 3-4 minutes, and then turned out the light and left the bathroom. I probably waited an additional minute or so before I allowed myself to finish up. It was highly traumatic, and I don't really know why, other than I was 11 or 12, and everything was traumatic at that age.

All of this to say that - I'M SO SORRY. And seriously, what the heck was she thinking?!

Katie said...

Oh, how horrible. I have always been a advocate for the Muzak (or preferably Music) that plays overhead in stores, restaurants, and any public place to be pumped into bathrooms as well. And loudly. Turn up the volume in the bathroom people because there is nothing worse than a silent bathroom when you have company.

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

I guess I am in the minority, and maybe I have traumatized other people, but I haven't ever understood what the big deal about public restrooms is. I think part of why I never tried to wait until we got home was from hearing about bladder infections being more common for people who tried to hold it in for more than a few hours. There are toilets that are gross and I wait until the next available restroom, but I don't have a system that is regular enough for planning. As I have needed to be on medications, there has been even less ability to plan bathroom trips.

JosephJ said...

And this, Liz, is one of the reasons you and Jen are such a good match as college roommates.

Bridget said...

Liz, that is so traumatic! I feel bad for you AND her!

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