The Ladies Room
When women have to visit a public bathroom, we usually find a line of other women. Like the others, we just smile politely and take our place. Once it’s our turn, we check for feet under every stall and every stall is occupied.
Finally, a door opens and we dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won’t latch. It doesn’t matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!
The modern seat cover dispenser is handy, but empty which, no doubt, was probably invented by someone’s mother. You hang your purse on the door hook, if there is one, but there isn’t - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the floor!). You yank down your pants and assume “the stance.” In this position your aging, toneless (God I should have gone to the gym!) thigh muscles begin to shake.
You’d love to sit down, but you certainly had not taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold “the stance,” so, to take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, “Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have known there was no toilet paper!” Your thighs shake more.
You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that’s still in your purse (the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold it up so it doesn’t strangle you at the same time). That will have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail.
Just as you attempt to use it, someone pushes the stall door open because the latch doesn’t work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet.
“Occupied,” you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue into a puddle on the floor. You lose your footing altogether and slide down directly onto the toilet seat and it is wet, of course.
You bolt up, knowing all too well that it’s too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and lifeform on the uncovered seat because you never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.
You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because,
you’re certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, “You just don’t know what kind of diseases you could get.”
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a firehose against the inside of the bowl. The fine mist of water that floats in the air from the forceful stream covers your butt and runs down your legs into your shoes.
The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too. At this point, you give up. You’re soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You’re exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.
figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors so you wash your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them.
A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe (where was that when you needed it?). Yanking the paper from your shoe, you plunk it in the woman’s hand and tell her warmly, “Here, you just might need this.”
As you exit, you spot your husband, who has long since entered, used, and left the men’s restroom. Annoyed, he asks, “What took you so long and why is your purse hanging around your neck?”
This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms (rest? You’ve GOT to be kidding!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It’s so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door!