Unbelievably, I’ve heard more than one man wonder, almost wistfully, what the inside of the ladies’ room is like. There must be a reason we all tromp there in packs, right? Surely the line is always as long as the men’s because it’s just so awesome in there. They seem to think it’s all fainting couches and warm rose-scented towels, whereas their experience mostly runs (to paraphrase Dane Cook, of all people) to racist epithets carved onto the walls and stall doors that look like they were kicked in by Jean Claude Van Damme.
I hate to disillusion half of the species (okay, no I don’t), but using the women’s restroom is no holiday. Sure, I’ve seen a few chaise lounges in the restroom of a higher-end department store, and even some nice scented body splash in a fancy restaurant loo. But for the most part? The ladies’ room can be just as nasty as the men’s. Nastier, I’d wager, if only because there’s probably more stuff in the ladies’ room to defile. I have seen my share of wall carvings and mysteriously kicked-in doors, though I have to admit that was mostly in high school.
The worst offenders I’ve encountered (since high school, anyway) are a group of women who are also tenants in the building where I work. Of course, all of them aren’t wrecking the bathroom (I hope), but the steady downslide started soon after they moved into the building, so “¦ even I can do that math.
There are five stalls, and at any given time at least three of them are not fit to use. It’s like a scatological edition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: this stall is too covered in urine, this stall looks like a crime scene, this stall doesn’t have any toilet paper, this stall is juu – oh wait, someone didn’t flush. One of the stalls is always out of service because the lock is broken, and has been for quite some time. Now, that one is on the management company, but I would dearly love to know how it happened in the first place.
These are all able-bodied adult women we’re talking about. Able-bodied adult women who’ve managed to secure jobs, yet can’t grasp basic 21st century concepts. Like, oh, not leaving peas and carrots behind in the sink when you’re done washing out your Tupperware. Like, if the trash can is full, you can’t just keep “¦ throwing things in it, or trying to, to be more accurate. If your trash bounces off the trash heap and lands on the floor, I don’t think that round of Throwing Things Away can be counted as a success.
I don’t know what it is. Are they this nasty at home? If I asked any of them to use the powder room, I doubt I’d find piss all over the toilet seat and used sanitary items on the floor. (Pro tip: if you’ve used them? They’re no longer sanitary.) And yet. And yet. Something about the shared privacy of a public restroom turns some women into little more than shit-flinging trolls, makes them forget any kind of home training they might have once received. And that’s fine, I’ve accepted that there’s really nothing I can do about it. I’m not anybody’s mother. I’m not going to scold them for being pigs, as much as I’d like to do so. I just wish they’d stop giving me the side-eye when I use a paper towel to open the bathroom door.