Public Restrooms

There is nothing worse than having to use a public restroom.

I know this, because I am someone generally unfazed by the majority of bodily functions.

I enjoy a good burp every now and then, and usually choose to blow them aggressively out of my mouth no matter who is in my immediate vicinity, much to my mother’s chagrin.  Always upwards, mind you, because to blow a burp into someone’s face is the height of impoliteness in my personal opinion, but to not blow a burp out is risking potential stomach discomfort should you accidentally suck that air back into your lungs… I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

I’ve never been one to hide my flatulence when they occur (quite infrequently if I do say so myself), and usually tend to issue a blanket announcement for the more potent ones (Whoops… I farted), and settle for a fit of giggling after the scentless, noisy ones.  I can’t help it… it’s just funny to me.

Let’s also mention that after my first successful potty training session at around 18 months or so, I went on to proudly look down at what I had created and announced “Ooh, juice!”

So basically, if it bothers me, then I know it bothers all of you.

My first issue with using public restrooms is mainly a female issue.  It’s only a male issue when you have to do a #2 (or heaven forbid, a #3) or are just extremely lazy.  The first thing my mother ever told me on my first attempt to use a public restroom was that under no circumstance, should I ever let my bare bottom touch the seat.  She filled my head with visions of bacteria and diseases just itching to infect me, so at a very early age, I became an extremely accomplished “hoverer“.  It was especially easy since I played volleyball and basketball, and could therefore hold a squat longer than a sumo wrestler.  This carried me all the way through middle school.

  The first sign of trouble started when, during a basketball game, I sprained my ankle pretty significantly.  I didn’t use a public restroom during my recovery period, naturally, but when I was healed, something seemed to be wrong with my balance.  It was so unfair because it was such a slight change that it wasn’t noticeable until I was attempting to use a public restroom and realized that I could no longer pee straight down.  I was horrified and sobbingly rushed to my mother after fruitlessly attempting to wipe the urine from where it had trickled down my leg.

It took a few minutes to quell her gales of laughter, but she finally calmed down enough to teach me the second method for using a public restroom, meant for the masses who could no longer hold a balanced squat: Lining the bowl with toilet paper.  This was so juvenile that I was adamant I would get my balance back and refused to use her method, but after several more failed attempts to pee cleanly, I reconciled myself to my new lot in life.

I grumbled to myself all through high school as I painstakingly placed three strips of toilet paper in an open-ended, equilateral triangle on the toilet seat, hoping that no one in the stalls next to me could hear the ripping paper, as it clearly identified me as one of those noobs who couldn’t hover like a normal person.  I hated sitting on the toilet, even with the thin strips of usually recycled paper between me and the cold porcelain, mainly because I have this irrational fear that a hand might come up out of the toilet drain and smack me on the butt if I’m not careful.  It’s just not fair, and I can’t win.

My second issue is also mainly a female issue, since last time I checked, men think pooping noises are funny, and pooping smells are unnoticeable.  We females, on the other hand, don’t like the idea of the person in the stall next to us knowing exactly how much water we drank that day, if we ate asparagus, or if we had perhaps a tad bit too much milk.  It’s just too personal.

We hold our farts in until we hear someone flush and then try and shove them out as quickly as possible, timed perfectly if able.  We attempt to control our bladder muscles in such a way that our urine comes out evenly and silently into the water already populating the toilet bowl, because no one likes splashing noises except at water parks, beaches, and when bathing small children.  We try desperately to never have to poop while in public, but if forced to, one will usually hear a fit of fake coughing to mask the sound, or an excess of flushing in a particular stall to prevent the smell from escaping the crack between our bums and the toilet bowl.

In fact, the only times I can think of a female being completely comfortable to do a #2 in a public restroom is if she’s extremely ill and couldn’t care less, or if she realizes the woman in the stall next to her is also pooping.  On those victorious occasions, we rationalize that the other woman is too preoccupied with her own bodily functions to care, or even notice what we’re doing, or if someone else is in the bathroom with us, we can always pretend she is the smelly, poopy one, and not us.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you have to go, then go, because someone else wants to go too, and they’re just waiting for an opening.  It’s kind of like being the kid in class to ask the dumb question that everyone was curious about, but all were too afraid to ask.  You’re doing the world a favor by pooping, so go ahead, be proud, and let loose…

…but never, ever, let your bare bottom touch that seat.

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