OK.. I admit it, I have bathroom issues. I used to think it was just about certain family members who don’t change the empty toilet paper roll. But after going out to dinner and to the movies this weekend, I realized my bathroom issues are far more complicated and might possibly warrant a Toilet Intervention.
In my defense, who among us hasn’t fumed about such things as the inequality of public bathroom ratios? How many of us waiting on line for the women’s room haven’t crossed over to the dark side in desperation and used the empty men’s room instead? Come on, admit it. You know who you are.
This is especially true in movie theaters. I never understood how a theater could sell you a soda the size of a fire hydrant, have you sit in a movie for two hours and then only have two bathrooms for a hundred bladder-bursting women.
While we’re on the subject of public bathrooms, I also have a problem with the concept of bathroom attendants. I have been pumping my own hand soap and taking my own paper towel for about forty-five years. I really don’t need someone to perform this task for me and, personally, I have a much higher regard for a restaurant if they have good food rather than a good bathroom attendant. You also have to wonder, how much does paper towel distribution go for these days? Fifty cents? A dollar? And now that my hands are nice and clean, do I really want to be touching all that dirty money? It’s a dilemma.
Then there are those automatic toilet flushers. I know they’re supposed to be more hygienic than the standard kind, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve happened to blink while I sat, and ended up with an unwanted bidet experience.
Why do restaurants put cutesy signs on the restroom doors such as weird pictures or the word for “women” in foreign languages. One night it took me a full five minutes to figure out that the picture of a cactus in a Mexican restaurant was the ladies room. A cactus? For women? That didn’t gel with my Freudian interpretation of symbols. Maybe they used a cactus because women retain more water than men. Or maybe it’s because we get more prickly when we can’t figure out which is the ladies room!
Whose bright idea was it to come up with faucets that you have to hold down to get the water to come out? I understand water bills can be high, and nobody wants to waste our natural resources, but it’s pretty impossible to wash your hands with only one hand. One time I encountered this problem, I actually held the handle down with my foot while I washed both hands. Fortunately, I’m pretty flexible. However, next time I’ll try to remember not to do this when I’m wearing a dress and the possibility exists that someone else might come in the bathroom while I’m in this position.
One more thing. I hate those dysfunctional toilet paper dispensers that don’t roll so when you pull on it, only one square rips off at a time. You spend more time manually rolling out the toilet paper than you do doing what you went into the bathroom to do in the first place. This can take so long that if you go in during appetizers, you’re lucky if you make it back to your table in time for dessert. And when you do get to the table, you get pitying looks because everyone assumes you’ve had some kind of major gastrointestinal episode.
Still, there are times when beggars can’t be choosers and you just have to accept what’s available. One day on a long road trip, my then six year-old daughter announced that she absolutely, positively, could not wait until the rest stop. So we took the next exit, pulled into the nearest gas station and made a beeline for the unisex bathroom. My daughter opened the door, looked around inside and then turned to me in disgust.
“I CANNOT use this bathroom,” she stated adamantly with her little hands on her hips. “This floor is atrocious.”
I nodded. Clearly bathroom issues are hereditary.