Thursday, September 17, 2015

#privacy, please

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

I think bathroom stalls are weird. I find it awkward to go into the bathroom while I'm at work and recognize people's shoes. I once worked at a place where people used the whole space, if you know what I mean. It didn't matter that there were 5 stalls, if they were busy, it was known. And revolting. So, my strategy has been to check the vacancy of the WC before committing. Even if it's to wash my hands. Even if it's to adjust my chonies. Even if it's to see if my eyeliner has melted and now is making it's way to my chin. Even THEN!! I prefer to use the facility in complete and utter privacy.

I like it when the big stall is open and I can use the safety handles like a big ballet bar. Take that, Madame Romanoskovichalinski! I still plie! Even if my quads and hamstrings are burning because my trainer is sick and twisted and loves to cause me pain!! Yes! Plie! Second position! I will! But only in the private, clean-like air environment. I know, it's weird. Plie in the loo? I won't even get into doing funky yoga in my office, in a dress, behind closed doors when I'm in between conference calls. Weird is my norm. I'm wired for weird. REGARDLESS! The point is that the space can be helpful to my peace of mind in other ways than merely evacuative. But hasn't there always been a thing with girls and bathrooms? I think there was a time when I would only visit the comfort station while in a posse, but back then I was still using aqua net and turquoise mascara. Now, I prefer to go solo. You know, big girl pants and everything.

Once upon a time, while I was in undergrad, the student union thought it was a brilliant idea to post wellness newletters on the inside of the stalls...but it was a strange (even for me) intrusion (probably because it was riddled with spelling and grammar errors). While I may use a stall as my own private Idaho and pretend I'm Mary Katherine Gallagher, it was a bizarre happening to guffaw in a stall and then proceed to have a conversation with a colleague in the next stall about the irony of posting a bomb like that in the toilet. I decided that I really don't like to carry on a discussion while I'm conducting THEN, there was a time when a co-worker decided to always use the SAME stall, but wouldn't check to make sure that all of the bits were entirely disposed of. Perhaps she was trying to get the love out of there so that she wouldn't be implicated by the evidence...too late. But that's a risky talk to have, "hey, so, ummm, you didn't flush everything down AGAIN, and it's, quite frankly, repellent. Sooo, yeah, do you think you could do the rest of us a favor by flushing 2 or 3 or 4 or however many times it takes? That would be greaaat." Instead, people started posting flyers inside the stall. "Please be courteous to others and flush thoroughly." It had a cute-like, friendly toilet graphic. The kind you would use as reward coupons for a potty-training toddler. I gather it wasn't effective, because weeks later ANOTHER flyer was posted underneath the original that provided further instructions: "Please flush 4 times if necessary! AND SPRAY!!" Wow. This is when I'm thinking the co-worker should perhaps see the on-site physician. And, we may need to get a super-uber-industrial-olympic-strength-grade-version-thing Toilet.

Once upon another time, while I was a student at college, I stumbled upon a bathroom in the Administrative building that had a separated lounge room. This powder room wasn't usually frequented by students unless they held a position that supported the president of the college or his cronies. I think if more students knew there was a mauve leather mid-century modern chaise in that room, it probably would have had J+B initials carved into it. It looked like a perfect fainting fact, given that the college was built in the 50's, it wouldn't at all surprise me to learn that the piece was an original. NEVERTHELESS, it was a monumental that I had to share by smuggling one of my friends in to see it. She didn't believe me that it existed and when she saw it we were both fascinated and grossed out. There's something about a piece of furniture in a bathroom. I dunno, it doesn't do it for me. It's like carpet in a potty, too. Gross.

Anyway, Life, the moral is that one must flush properly, never over decorate, pretend not to recognize shoes (even if they're super cute and you REALLY want to know where they got them, but shouldn't have that question asked in such a private place), and, when possible, dance shamelessly when making a scheduled or unscheduled visit to the lavatory (without hurting yourself or others).

The End.

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