The first problem in many ladies’ restroom designs is the doors. They open inward; that is, you must push the door in toward the john to enter the stall. Then, in order to close the door, you need to straddle said john. Chances are, an inward-opening door has been installed to save space; that means the stall itself is barely deep enough to accommodate the toilet and a person. If you are wearing a skirt, and the toilet is equipped with a sensor which causes it to flush as you move away from it, you’ll need to move out of the way quickly to avoid random spray on your skirt from an enthusiastic flush!
Of course, these tight quarters may be an advantage if the door doesn’t latch, and you have to prop it shut with your head, trying to keep intruders out while you do your business! If, like me, you are too short to be able to hold the door shut with the top of your head and still reach the john with your butt, you will probably need to sing loudly, or shuffle your feet as noisily as possible to let others know the stall is occupied and hope they get the hint. (Be careful with the foot shuffling that your feet stay within the confines of your own stall, lest one of your neighbors misconstrue your intent!).
Once in the stall, there’s the question of what to do with your purse? If you’re lucky, there will be a hook or a shelf for that purpose; otherwise, you have a choice of setting it on the probably germ-infested floor, or even worse, in puddles around the john that have a suspiciously yellowish tinge to them. With no shelf or hook and the floor being an unsatisfactory option, you can loop the strap over your head so it dangles around your neck. If the strap is too short to drape over your head, you may have to grasp it between clenched teeth. (I know I’m having a bad day when I find myself in the restroom stall, bent over trying to hold the door closed with my head, my purse hanging from my teeth, as I'm humming loudly and shuffling my feet, while trying to keep my jeans from coming into contact with that puddle on the floor!)
In addition to the stall not being deep enough, the width can be an issue. I’ve seen times when I’ve had to squeeze myself between the sanitary products disposal box on one side and the toilet tissue dispenser on the other. I was one deep inhale away from having to be extricated from the place by the jaws of life, or at the very least, a can opener.
A day can go from bad to worse if there’s no paper in your stall; I’m not talking about the New York Times, I mean toilet tissue. It might be a good idea to check out the paper situation before committing to a particular stall. If there isn’t any, and you’re already “committed,” you’ll find yourself frantically going through your pockets and your purse for a Kleenex, a paper towel, or maybe a Walmart receipt. If all else fails, you may have to ask the lady in the next stall if she has “a square to spare” and pray you didn’t have the misfortune to park your posterior in the next stall to Elaine Benis!
If there's no paper, and no neighbor in the next cubicle who's willing to share, there's always the last resort, as illustrated below:
Then there's the whole hand washing problem. Some lavatories have faucets that are equipped with sensors that cause them to turn on when your hands are "sensed" in the vacinity of the tap. This eliminates the need to put your hands on the germ infested tap. If you do have to operate the tap, you can be comforted by the fact that you will be scrubbing any germs away while you wash your hands.
Of course, washing hands means you must dry them. If there are paper towels available, once your hands are dry you can also use a towel to open the exit door, thereby avoiding contact with more germs loitering on the door handle. Then you have to wad up the towel and make the equivalent of a 3-point shot from the doorway to dispose of it in the trash bin, so you can exit without touching any more questionable surfaces.
I don’t know about you, but as I’ve aged, I found my capacity to hold my liquor has increased, while my bladder capacity has decreased. This means one should NEVER, EVER allow oneself to reach emergency status when it comes to hitting the restroom. It is impossible to check the stalls for one with toilet tissue and accomplish all the above feats when the dam is about to burst!
Sometimes I think it might just be easier to wear Depends!
pictures from google images
The above post is a repeat from my book "The Best of Wrestling With Retirement." If you enjoyed it, check out my author's page by clicking here.