Where I work, the women’s bathroom has three stalls. As I enter the bathroom, the question always arises — which stall shall I choose? I could take the oversized handicapped stall,Â which gets marksÂ for its thoughtful leg room and comfy arm rests. Or, shall I beÂ considerate andÂ opt for the smaller stall on the right? I can’t help but think that the middle stall (also smallish) is the way to go, for its seat sees only a modicum of assage. I say this, because I have spent an embarassing amount of time logicizing it. I deduce that the middle stall would be the cleanest, for no one wouldÂ use it, unless the others were full. Taking it would mean that at any given time, you could sitting mere inches away from someone else with their pants at their ankles. It would be akin to entering an elevator and standing right next to one other person in there.
I wonder if everyone else goes through this littany of questions as they enter the bathroom. I have issues with public bathrooms — I have had them since childhood. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, untitledmother takes great pleasure in recounting the time when I held my poop for five days when I was a kid,Â because IÂ didn’t want toÂ unload in someone else’s toilet while we were on vacation.
As I’ve grown older, I have become accustomed to pooping in public restrooms. But you can be damn well sure that I have the common decency to hold it until no one else is in the room. I don’t care if my brow is sweating and my o-ring is quivering like a whore in church. I simply do not poop in the company of others. I mean, what if I happen to unleash holy hell from my nether regions, andÂ the soundÂ of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” comes chortling out of my blowhole? You just know thatÂ my stallmates would look under the dividers, compelled by that same shameful curiousity that keepsÂ one watching the horseplay addicts on HBO’s “Real Sex” series, and see my shoes there. Oh, the horror.
Thank god not everyoneÂ is like this. Take untitledbrother-in-law, for example. He would gladly drive 20 milesÂ out of hisÂ way just toÂ poop in our toilet. And if he’s able to clog it or god forbid, leave behind some racing stripes, well then, all the better. I’m not sure if this is an exercise inÂ demarkation, or ifÂ there is some strange magnetic force surrounding our home thatÂ pushes the poop out of him like a sausage press. I just find it odd that whenever he is here, it happens. He probably has no idea that I’m taking mental notes. But given my history with toilets, I notice these things. Does this make me strange? Probably no stranger than untitledhusband, who gets hard from the mere smell of electronics and the sensation of the Tivo remote in his hand.