Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Primer on Bathroom Etiquette: Privacy

I hate public restrooms.

It's a widely known fact that I will avoid them at all possible costs.

I'm pretty sure I went through the entirety of high school only using the school restrooms twice.

If you can get yourself past the germs, sitting where other people's bare asses have been, the smells, the general horror of the whole experience... you still have to face the people problem.

I'm mildly more accepting of public restrooms that only accommodate one person at a time.

I have time to cover every square inch of the toilet seat in toilet paper. I can wash and re-wash my hands until I feel clean again. The door is usually close enough to a trash can that I can open it with a paper towel and not worry about touching the filthy thing with my virginal, unprotected hands.

Public restrooms with stalls are on the same level of torture and acts against humanity as the Holocaust.

Tell me you haven't seen anything more terrifying.
I was at the university. Working on a group project. Minding my own business.

Suddenly, my breakfast of Diet Coke and cigarettes hit me in the face, er, um, bladder? like a 90 lb bowling ball.

I had to pee.

I crept my way to the public restrooms on the main floor, hoping to a god I don't believe in that it would be empty.

Surely, I thought, the bathroom will be empty. It's summer. Who uses the library in the summer? Especially the first floor. All the books are on the second and third floors.

I hesitated as I opened the bathroom door, being absolutely sure to use my elbow to gently push it open rather than risking getting germs on my beloved hands.

As I walked into the bathroom, my spy-like senses of perception kicked into high gear and I begun a survey of the surroundings that would make the military proud.

I slyly cocked my head to the side and almost imperceptibly loosened my knees to lower myself a mere two inches closer to the ground.

As I walked like a stroke victim down the line of stalls, I peered through the cracks between the doors and the stall walls like the ultimate creep of Creeptown and, to my surprise and utter joy, found the bathroom entirely unoccupied.

I made my way to an inconspicuous stall near the middle of the line.

I walked in, lowered my skirt, and then all hell broke loose.

The door opened.

Footsteps becoming successively louder with each tap-tap-tap on the tiled floor.

A stall door creaking open.  

The stall door right to the left of me.

Are you fucking kidding me?! It's bad enough that I had the luck to find a public restroom that was completely empty and you had to ruin it by walking in right as I was sitting down to pee a stream of pure Diet Coke. But no. You don't stop there, do you, DAY RUINER.

It's not enough that you have to spoil my empty bathroom with your presence, is it?!


You, DAY RUINER, you have to take it a step further and occupy the stall DIRECTLY NEXT TO ME.


Bad question. It's obvious that whoever raised spawn like you had questionable child-rearing methods.

Am I the only one that knows the rules of public restroom etiquette?

1. You don't occupy a stall next to someone unless the entire restroom is at capacity.

2. You don't have a bowel movement unless you're on an extended road-trip and you might risk having an intestinal blockage if you don't have a bowel movement immediately or you're on laxatives and it will make it's way out regardless of if you take yourself to a restroom.

3. You wash your hands after toileting. No exceptions.

4. You politely ignore anyone who is changing clothes, re-applying make up, brushing their teeth, or performing any number of "Day After One-Night-Stand"/Homeless Person activities. Perhaps they are keen on oral hygiene and brush their teeth valiantly after each meal. Perhaps they bought a new outfit at the mall and have a date in 15 minutes and didn't have time to return home to change. Perhaps they were running late for work and didn't have time to do their hair and make-up until they received their first bathroom break of the day. The point is, we all find ourselves doing something strange in public restrooms from time to time, and I certainly do not appreciate awkward stares from other bathroom users as I brush my teeth at the Walmart that's located right next door to my orthodontist's office. Because, HELLO, my orthodontist's office is a town over and that requires highway driving, which means cigarette smoking, and I, for one, do not want to be the girl at the orthodontist's office whose breath reeks of stale cigarettes. Thankyouverymuch, fat bitch in the Walmart bathroom who's giving me a stare-down like I'm some random hobo.

Most importantly, though, is Rule Number 1. There's a reason why it tops the list.

You do not, I repeat, DO NOT, occupy the stall directly next to another occupied stall unless the bathroom is full and you have no other choice.

Of course DAY RUINER was not the only one to ruin my previously fantastic bathroom experience.

As soon as her stall door closed, the same tell-tale noise was heard.

The bathroom door opened.

More pitter-pattering footsteps making their way down the glossy, reflective floors of the hallway of a bathroom.

A stall door opening and closing.

DAY RUINER chose the stall to the left of me.

BRINGER OF ABSOLUTE EVIL chose the stall to the right of me.

I was surrounded, and mid-Diet Coke expulsion.

This series of events led me to legitimately fear that a third person would walk in and stand directly in front of my stall door, blocking me in.

I half-expected DAY RUINER and BRINGER OF ABSOLUTE EVIL to stand on their toilets, pop their heads over the stall walls, and point guns in my face and tell me that the Russian boyfriend was part of an international conspiracy and I was to be taken hostage until they could get more information out of him.

Finish peeing, and then YOU'RE COMING WITH US.
I would have been less angry if it was some espionage plot to reveal the boyfriend's secret Soviet spy identity.

It would have been understandable that they would have surrounded me in an empty bathroom when I was at my most vulnerable.

But no.

Instead, I finished ridding my bladder of Diet Coke and washed my hands. And DAY RUINER followed shortly. I dried my hands and left the bathroom as BRINGER OF EVIL finished her business.

They were just assholes that don't know proper public restroom etiquette.

What fucking dicks.

Where do you find these people?

I was surprised at DAY RUINER.

Doubly surprised at BRINGER OF EVIL.


Surrounding some innocent bathroom-er?

I take it back.

Public restrooms with stalls are worse than the Holocaust.

A bientôt, lovelies.



  1. Oh, public restrooms. I am that person who squats rather than let the nastiness touch my bare skin, turns the faucet off with a paper towel, and kicks open the door to avoid touching the handle.

  2. I also avoid public restrooms. I avoided peeing in the bathrooms at school pretty much all my life. I used the restrooms for texting purposes (you weren't allowed to have a cell phone with you ever in school, so I hid it in my backpack and would text at lunch)and most of the toilet stalls either didn't have toilet paper, didn't close/latch/lock, or the person before didn't flush/it was clogged. There were like 2 stalls that were ok to use and they were not next to each other. And I try to avoid door handles and such too (I mean i had JUST washed my hands).

  3. urgh i absolutely HATE it when someone goes into the stall next to me! I feel like it's just the same as if we had been guys and someone had used the urinal right next to yours!

  4. I just laughed my ass off at the this whole post. Probably the first time in a while that I've legit laughed out loud at a blog. Thanks for the smile. :)

    Oh, and you're totally right. Who does that?!

  5. totally with you!
    and glad that someone else doesn't touch door handles! :')

  6. OMG I fully agree with you.

    I never had the chance to become fastidious about public loos, though. Our toilet at Toko Mouth was a bucket with a wooden loo seat over top. Not even a bloody long-drop! Yeah, joyful -.-

    Lol, no crepes but I had gummi bears. There is something really satisfying about being able to bite the head off things on a bad day! (Especially when shanking the cretins concerned would really fuck my chances at Uni!)

    Love you <3

  7. Haha, another awesome post from you.
    I laughed out loud.
    But seriously, I hate public restrooms.
    They are like the most disgusting things ever.
    They need to die.
    Either that, or people need to learn to be more polite.
    Shame that neither of those things is going to happen anytime soon!
    Oh, and reading your blogs, I have come to the conclusion that if you lived anywhere near me, we would hit it off quite nicely.
    You have a sense of humor and mannerisms almost identical to mine.
    Cheers to that!
    I love all the music clips on the side, too; some of my favorite songs! :D
    I hope you have a wonderful day!
    Stay positive, stay beautiful! <3

  8. ew ,public bathrooms say no more, i totally get what you mean about people staring at u when your changing or doing make-up or something its so rude!!!i can't stand it! i feel so self concious , hope the rest of your day went well!!! xoxo

  9. I totally agree with rule #1. That's happened to me several times and it alwasy confuses/angers me!!