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Oct. 27, 2008

Life and the Ladies Room

Ladies Rooms are anything but ladylike.  Women can be some of the nastiest people, leaving absolute filth in their wake. Any woman reading this piece, whoís used a public rest room knows exactly what Iím talking about.  When I think back over my life and the women Iíve known, Iíd like to think none of them were capable of such disgusting personal conduct in a public facility, but the odds say some of them might have been Bathroom Befoulers, hard as that is to process. 


Those women who have nothing better to do than make life nasty for the next girl. Was it as bad when I was a girl? Iíve been trying to remember, without spouting off the old standards about life being better back then.  I remember awful graffiti and nasty writing in the bathrooms at the five and dime.  It was back near the lunch counter where my grandmother used to take me for a grilled cheese sandwich and pop.  She hated sitting at the end of the counter where the bathrooms were and I remember her complaining regularly about the state of them. So I guess this is a timeless thing.  I wonder if back in Rome, when the public toilets were a gathering place for socializing, were there nasty befoulers?  Imagine talking politics and gossip, while taking your morning constitutional.  Oh what an appealing thoughtÖcommunity crapping.


I think most of the women readers can honestly say this with me -  that I have never, for the record, left a sanitary product out instead of properly disposed, nor have I ever left a toilet unflushed unless I unknowingly used a faulty toilet.  I have never spread any bodily anything on any wall at any time, nor have I left nail polish messages or gum that has hardened to sticky nasty scratchy garbage. Iíve never left nasty toilet paper trailed on the side of the seat, for the woman behind me in line, nor have I ever peed on the seat.


These things are all things Iíve seen in public womenís rooms and friends say Iím not alone in this. Gees, we thought the guys were nasty.  I hear itís not so bad in the menís room.  Maybe itís bad, I donít know.  Iíve only ever used one menís room in my whole life.  That was at a McCartney and Wings concert about fifteen years ago.  The womenís room line was ridiculous and I could not wait.  The menís room wasnít occupied.  I slipped into a stall and it was fairly clean.  Maybe I was just lucky.


It is horrible to think that something as basic and simple as seeing to our eliminatory needs has to be befouled by those who just canít leave something alone; by those who feel the need to leave their mark, so to speak.


Even in the nicest offices, buildings and public areas, bathrooms can be a foray into  others odors, private conversations, personal sounds and so on.  Itís an interesting notion that humans have run the gamut from outdoor and communal ďgoingĒ  to the near-Victorian idea of privacy.


No wonder my grandmother always insisted we have a dime for the stalls.  Those that you had to pay a dime for were always cleaner than the free ones.  A very odd notion to think back on, but it makes sense. An elitist notion, pay stalls for a basic human function.


Elitist toileting.  Iíll go ponder that a while.  Excuse meÖ.



©  2008 JLD



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