Are you all as paranoid in public restrooms as I am?
I’m not so sure this applies to men. Men are usually pretty proud of whatever heinous acts have been committed during their bathroom stays and so I imagine there isn’t much to be anxious over.
But I gotta tell ya – I’m anxious. I worry a lot. I don’t typically like to use a public restroom to do the dirty deed, but when you have to go, you simply have no choice.
While I’m in there, I like to be quick about it. I wait until the absolute last minute until what I dub The Decision Hour, which means I have to either decide to use a public restroom to poo, or I have to poo on myself. There will be poo either way.
I almost always opt for the first.
But I really hate it when people know that I’ve been in there. Like if it smells. I hate that. I’ve considered carrying a personal anti-poo perfume just so that I can eliminate all evidence that I’ve been in the bathroom. And it doesn’t just stop there – I don’t like to be spotted. Which means that I will sit in the stall as long as I have to in order to exit the restroom without anyone witnessing my being there. In large restrooms ( a la truck stops, rest areas, mega malls) this is of no concern. No one can possibly trace a smell in there and there’s too much traffic to be able to pin it to one individual with any degree of certainty.
It’s those intimate bathrooms that are tough – like one with just 2 or 3 stalls. Or worse – one with just one regular stall and one handicapped stall. If the regular stall is taken and I’m in The Decision Hour, I’ve gotta go to the handicapped stall. And once I’m in there, I feel an intense amount of pressure to hurry in the event that someone disabled comes in. They’ll be waiting on me and will be incredibly focused on my every sound and movement.
I can’t poo under that kind of pressure.
Far more intense is a situation in which I’ve been found out. If I enter the restroom needing to poo and am followed directly by someone I know and recognizes me, I will quickly shuffle into the restroom, pee, and leave. I will then reenter as soon as possible after they’ve cleared the area to do the actual business I arrived for the first time.
There was a time when I thought that I was the only one with this hang up. And you know what? It could be the bathroom conspiracy theorist in me (see The Underground Bathroom Society post) but I seriously think I’ve spotted this same pattern of behavior in others before. Perhaps they’ll stick to their guns if they’re spotted by a friend instead of attempting reentry, but I’m fairly certain that women have lingered in the stall for me to clear the area before showing their faces by the sinks.
Maybe, just maybe… I’m not alone. ♣