I visit public restrooms more often than I’d prefer.
My preference would be zero times per lifetime, of course, but as I drink 100+ ounces of water a day, that’s just not going to happen, unless I go all Boo Radley on you and never leave the house.
And if I did that my blog would flounder and die and I’d finally leave the house out of desperation to find anything to write about and I’d end up in a public restroom writing this post.
So why fight the pull. I go to a lot of public restrooms.
But every time I’m in one, I leave with SO MANY QUESTIONS.
1. Why do auto-flush toilets have to exist? Just to scare children out of their minds? To turn every bathroom visit into a sobfest? To make mothers have to play Twister to cover the sensor while holding their children onto the commode?
I get the idea – to cut down on the spread of germs – but I guarantee that I acquire more germs from the intricate balancing act I have to do to help my kid on the toilet while covering the sensor and keeping my toddler from licking the floor than I would if I just had to flush the dang toilet.
(For the record I have started making Ali go in a stall alone and get over herself about automatically flushing toilets. If they suck her down she won’t go far and I promise to come get her when I finish hoisting her brother onto the evil toilet next door.)
2. Why do automatic soap, sinks, and paper towel dispensers never sense me? I wave and I wave and I wave. I yell and I dance and I command them to put forth their product.
Yet I am completely invisible to them.
Then another woman walks up and they spit out soap before her hands even reach the spigot and she’s welcomed by pre-warmed flowing water at the sink. The paper towel dispensers bow before her, giving her a double portion of their papery goodness.
It’s as if they all know that I’m a middle child or something.
3. Speaking of paper towels, why do their dispensers have to come in so many forms? It’s like they can’t make up their mind what they want from me.
Wave in front of me!
Wave below me!
Push my button!
Pull my lever!
Use my crank on the side!
Desperately try to yank the sixteenth of an inch of paper towel shooting out the bottom because I refuse to work any other way!
…I spend 40% of my total time in public restrooms trying to figure out what parlor trick the paper towel dispenser requires of me.
4. Do the auto-deodorizers of the world have weekly planning meetings to strategize on how best to be aware of my presence so they can squirt directly above my head as I walk into a stall? Must I always smell like Kiwi-Coconut-Hell after leaving the restroom?
5. WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE OF EARTH NOT FLUSH THE TOILET.
6. Is there a rule stating that restroom trash cans must be impossible to access without receiving more germs? I do NOT WANT to stick my hand down into your encrusted flappers in order to deposit my used paper towel that I so desperately fought to have.
7. Why can’t we scramble cell phone signals in public restrooms? I despise nothing more than having pee over my stall-neighbor’s mushy conversation with her boyfriend. If we can make a law against texting and driving, then surely we can make a law against calling and urinating. Call while you drive, text while you pee. Everyone’s happy.
8. Why is it always the nicest bathrooms that don’t have purse hooks? I appreciate your spacious 800 square foot stalls, thought-provoking artwork, and the potted plant watching me pee, but having a fern in the room cannot possibly make your floors clean enough for my purse butt to rest upon.
9. Why do automatic paper towel dispensers vary so vastly in the length of product they will supply? I punish short-changers by making them give me triple towel. I’m all for saving the ecosystem but I want to do it with dry hands.
10. And finally, the most puzzling public restroom question of all time. What kind of person uses the hand dryer when there are plenty of paper towels to be had?!
Psychopaths. That’s who.