Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Shut Up, Work Bathroom"

If I could write like Sarah Bunting, author of Tomato Nation, I would be much cooler than I am and possibly get dates. I think of this essay every time I use the restroom at work.

The work bathroom is just such an insane, hilarious minefield of neuroses and etiquette mistakes that it's a wonder everyone in a given office doesn't wear adult diapers to work or try to hold it in until they get home. At least, the women's work bathroom is like that. I don't know if men have the same unspoken agreement about pretending that the bathroom is not actually a bathroom that women do, but keep in mind, I come from an "office" in which I don't even close the door when I go. Nor do I have any compunction about marching in there with a couple of magazines, because who cares? But at work, we all have to act like we don't eliminate waste — in a room designed to amplify the sounds of waste elimination times a hundred. So everyone's all, "Dum dee dum, just here to wash my hands, la la," and then the telltale "ker-plip" of a poo hitting the water echoes through the bathroom, or the "fffrrrrrppppt" of an air biscuit ricochets off the walls, and if it's you who committed one of these sins, you sit in your stall, mortified, and then you try to play it off like the toilet paper roll is rattling more than once because you have to blow your nose, yeah, that's it, and then you come out and race through washing your hands, blushing furiously, looking at no one, and fling yourself out of the ladies' without even bothering with the paper towels. (Or you just stay in the stall until the bathroom empties. This could take twenty minutes. Or so I've heard.) If it's someone else, you have to try not to laugh, which is hard, because you might not even think it's all that funny, but if you think about maybe thinking it's funny, then you'll just get the church giggles and spend another five minutes in your own stall, trying to compose yourself before going out to the sinks because what if the anonymous plopper or pooter is out there and you start guffawing and she's embarrassed and you look like an immature jackass? Which you totally are? But hee, farts?
It's called resonance people! To read the whole thing, including the dissection of Poo Stall anxieties, go here.

5 comments:

Hybrid Fat-n-Sassy said...

Why do you think I am so anxious to work from home, people?

Lollie said...

We have a three stall Ladies and a women's singleton Handicrapper. I choose according to job needing to be done. Some don't choose. Yesterday, a "lady" dropped a bomb in the three stall that was so bad she volunteered to prop the door open with the garbage can. Thanks kind lady...now the hall stinks too.

Night Editor said...

Ha! And I work in a musuem so sometimes we staffers seek anonymity by trotting over to the long 10-staller and because the demographics of our visitors range from 4 to 84, we hear everything from "Listen, she's got to poop, too, Mommy" (from the alert four-year-old) to "Sorry, sorry, sorry" (from the still-shy and embarassed 84-year-old).

Elbee said...

I know those museum bathrooms! I hope you're not referring to my 4-year-old, who is particularly candid in the public loo.

When she was potty training, Lily would wait until she came home from child care to go poo. She was on to something, eh?

Sassmaster said...

Did she get that from you elbee?

I choose according to the job, too, Lollie. I follow the rules.

NE, imagine apologizing! And at 84!! As the kids book says: Everybody Poops. Own it!