Friday, October 28, 2005

Potty Talk: another pet peeve

One thing is for sure: Women's restrooms were designed by men.

And probably not by normal-sized adults for that matter. I'm certain that there are engineering planning committees made up of male dwarves. If public restrooms are designed by full-sized adults, then they are warped individuals who take glee in maniacally placing stools and doors and tissue dispensers so that women who are not limber or three feet tall can't possibly use the facility without being contortionists.

Today I attended a planning meeting for our local writers group and we held it at a nearby restaurant for lunch. My friend, Chris and I used the restroom afterward, commenting as soon as we opened the stall doors that this was going to be interesting. I'm not a tiny person, but I'm not that big either. I can't help but wonder how on earth an overweight person maneuvers one of those stalls without wetting her pants.

I managed to hang my purse on the back of the door by standing beside the stool, and then in a movement not unlike something you might have seen Jim Carey perform, I managed to lower my jeans and, leaning back, sidle to the right so I could perch.

Meanwhile, Chris, who IS a small--ish person--is lamenting from the stall beside me that she has her head cocked sideways so she can sit down without knocking herself out on the door.

BY this time I'm looking for one of those alarm buttons like you see in hospital bathrooms. Push it and someone comes in with a jar of petroleum jelly to get you back out of the stall. Or looking for--at the least--a hidden camera, because surely this is Candid Camera. I quickly check to make sure I have on a good pair of underwear.

At least this particular restroom wasn't one of those where the toilet tissue holders were installed on the wall beside you at about mid-calf, so that when you need to roll off some tissue, you have to stand on your head. And then, you get two one-ply sheets because the paper-miser feature prevents the roll from actually rolling. Back to the head-stand.

I mean seriously, people, could the architects please figure in a few more feet in their designs? Realistically, Americans are getting larger every year.

And bathrooms ain't.


  1. LOL! I totally agree, Cheryl. And for these reason I hate to use a public bathroom. I wonder if they're designed by the same people who design bathrooms in Hawaii. On Oahu, no kidding, the shower head in a shower stall is about 5 feet high. I had to bend down *hard on the knees* to take a shower and the toilets are so low you feel like you're sitting on the floor! I also don't like when the seat cover holder is empty and I have to reach way behind me to get paper that won't roll out because it's packed in so tightly. So, whom can we complain too? The bathroom conundrum....*G*

  2. Our family went on a hike once in a state park. The bathroom had all the problems you listed and add to that the fact that it was actually an outhouse so the awful smell and the amazing amount of flies really added to the experience.

  3. I agree with you too Cheryl! I never use public restrooms unless it is an absolute emergency. I hate going into them. One time I did use one and not only was it extra small (making me fear that I'd get stuck), but it also had one of those automatic flushing systems (which I didn't realize). When I stood up and tried to manuever my pants up, the toilet flushed scaring me half to death!

  4. Boy, do I agree with you that Americans are getting larger. Hubby and I recently took a vacation and toured a number of Texas towns and I have never seen so many terribly-overweight and tall individuals in my life! I kept thinking "She could play basketball." And the same about the fellows. We ate at a wonderful buffet restaurant and I kept seeing one overweight person after another enter and told my husband, "It looks like these folks eat here everyday." If being overweight is a serious threat to one's health, a host of Americans are in deep trouble.

  5. Since I am on your newsletter list, I thought you have my email address. In case you don'e, it's Hope this doesn't attract any spam, for I get too much of that already.

  6. Hi Cheryl,

    One more thought on the potty problem...

    I hate it when those automatic toilets flush. They are so LOUD they make my ears hurt! I try to cover my ears before it turns on, and that would be while I'm trying to hold the door closed because it doesn't quite close and lock because it needs adjusted.

  7. oh, yeah. The old hold-the-door-closed-with-your-head-or-your-foot trick. LOL

    And you reminded me of a story my family loves: My brother, husband, and I were on a car trip to an aunt's funeral, and we stopped to use one of the new rest areas with a lobby, etc.. As I finished my business and went to stand up, my watch slipped off my wrist.

    It was one of my favorite pieces of jewelry, three strands of pearls and a large gold square-face. It had been my late mother-in-law's and I wore it often.

    My first thought was, "Surely it's just on the floor and not in the toilet, but I looked and, alas, there it was in the water.

    Knowing I could wash my hands and that the watch might be saved, I made an instant decision. I could do it. Fish it out and dry it off--then wash my hands. What's the big deal right?

    I leaned forward to retrieve the watch and the sensor caught my movement. I watched in horror as my watch went down into the septic abyss. I must have come out of the restroom with a stunned expression, because both men waiting in the lobby immediately asked, "What's wrong?"

    My birthday was only a few weeks later. My brother gave me a watch with the comment, "It was cheap. You can flush it."

    I still miss that watch.