dog-line-at-tree-250x300When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you wait and smile politely and take your place. Once it’s your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won’t latch. It doesn’t matter: you’ve been waiting so long you’re about to wet your pants. The dispenser for the “modern seat covers” (invented by someone’s mom, no doubt) is handy but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook if there was one, but there isn’t, so you carefully, but gently, drape it around your neck (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), 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 hadn’t taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold “The Stance.”

To take your mind off it, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind you can hear your mother saying, “Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper. Your thighs shake a little more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday that’s still in your purse. (Yes, the purse that’s still around your neck.) It would have to do. You crumble it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes open your stall door because the latch doesn’t work and you and your purse topple back against the tank of the toilet.”Occupied!” you scream as you reach out for the door, dropping your crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor and falling backward, directly onto the toilet seat. You get up quickly, but it’s too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with all the germs and life forms on the bare, wet seat because you never laid down toilet paper, not that there was any, even if you had enough time to. And your mother would be utterly ashamed of you if she knew, because her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, “You don’t know what kind of diseases you could get.”

And by this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, sending up a stream of water akin to a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist on your bare bottom that runs down your legs and into your shoes. And then it suddenly sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged to China.

At that point, you give up. You’re soaked by the splashing water.

You’re exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket, then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can’t figure out how to operate the sinks with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with a bit of saliva and a dry paper towel and walk past a line of women, still waiting, cross-legged and unable to smile politely at this point.

One kind soul at the very end of the line points out that you are trailing a piece of toilet paper on your shoe as long as the Mississippi River! (Where was THAT when you needed it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it the woman’s hand and say warmly, “Here. You might need this.”

At this time, you see your man, who has entered, used and exited his bathroom and read a copy of War and Peace while waiting for you. “What took you so long?” he asks. “And why is your purse hanging around your neck?” This is when you kick him sharply in the shin and go home.

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!

What Took You So Long In The Bathroom? was last modified: by

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