Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Desperate Bathroom Times Call for Desperate Measures


I was taught to behave like a lady; when it calls for it, I usually do.
This would include saying “Thank you” and not burping or passing gas in public unless it was absolutely necessary.                   

Ridiculously, I stand in line patiently waiting with hundreds of other women to use a 2-seater bathroom.  After 15 minutes, and not wearing Depends, one has to say, “This is stupid.”

I would have to surmise that most architects are men and they pay no attention to the number of women that must wait for the facilities, nor the time allotted to perform the same tasks a man would.  If the architect was astute, he would allocate triple the number of women’s stalls than men’s.

I attended a writer’s conference in Raleigh.  Most of the day was unmemorable, but the bathroom incident was not.

The line out the door was 20 women deep.  One woman behind me said, “I’m going to use the men’s room.”  She cautiously opens the door, “Anyone in here?”  There was no answer and she triumphantly held open the door saying, “If anyone would like to join me, I’ll watch the door.    

I imagined that she had been to numerous concerts and used the men’s room often.  I was so gullible, taken in with her commanding performance, so against my lady-like upbringing, I went in. 

“I’ll watch the door for you,” she said.

I go into the only one-person stall, shut the door and felt immediate relief.  Little did I know that she left the bathroom without telling me.

I came out of the stall to wash my hands and a man was standing at a urinal.  He turns to look at me and I think I’m going to die.  I immediately go back into the stall and brace the door.  I wait.  Poor man, he probably burst his bladder peeing so fast.

Then he leaves before washing his hands.  Even worse, lunch is in 45 minutes!

Imagine the scuttlebutt in the hallway and the man identifying me to others, branded for the life of the workshop.

I come out of the stall and the strange woman re-enters. “He had to go, so I left.”

“I guess I should watch for you,” I said.  Five seconds later, I left.  Turn about and all that…



May all your conferences be filled with adequate toilets.  Email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com.

Have a great day.

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