No Home (Potty) Training

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.

12 replies on “No Home (Potty) Training”

I hate that the size of my office building makes our ladies room fall into the fine line between private and public restrooms. When 5 people share an office bathroom, it stays pretty clean. When 20 people share a bathroom, all hell breaks loose. And I’m one of those people who constantly has to pee, so I’m in there a lot. I don’t want to have to search for an empty toilet or feel like I can’t touch anything. I don’t expect it to be as clean as my house, but jesus. There are seat covers, tampon disposal, lots of paper towels, and a huge trash can. The toilets have a reachable lever and enough flushing power to suck down a small animal. There’s no excuse for the disaster area.

I often see the janitor who cleans our bathroom and I want to give her a hug. I would hate all of humanity if I had her job.

My favorite (and I think someone below mentioned this) lady’s room speciality is the menstrual massacre.

If some guy walked into a stall and found the whole thing splattered with blood, there’d be a call to the police, or at the very least a panicky search for management. In the women’s room? Hah. We’re lucky if it’s cleaned up before the end of the day.

I was an RA for two and a half years on co-ed floors, and while the women’s restrooms were less prone to everyday kinds of gunk (stubble in sinks, gunky mirrors, etc) it was the women’s rooms that would have messes that made them completely unusable. Pads and tampons, used and stuck to walls or shoved into toilet paper dispensers. Or in the sinks. Or an utterly clogged toilet that nobody bothered flushing and then some other drunk person pooped on top of the existing clog until there was a pile of poop nearly to the rim.

More than one weekend went by where there would be no usable stalls by Saturday morning. The men’s rooms would sometimes lose one of their three, but never all of them.

Why people would destroy their only bathrooming space was always beyond me. There was some suspicion in the second hall that it was part of a rivalry thing between a guy’s ex and current girlfriend, but that’s also pretty ridiculous for people who are supposed to be adults.

I finally lived in a hall that had single-stall co-ed bathrooms, and those were the cleanest of all of them. Which is why people who use EITHER set of gendered bathrooms as arguments against the genderless bathrooms idea get the side-eye from me.

It is nasty whenever I go to the women’s restroom and there’s not only urine on the toilet seat, but period blood. I get squatting over the toilet seat as to not touch it, but leaving your bodily fluids there and not wiping up is nasty as hell.

In college, someone couldn’t make it to the toilet and vomited all over the floor, and left it there. A girl posted signs about not leaving vomit there and we had a hall meeting about it.

It always gets me when someone doesn’t flush. Like completely didn’t even try to flush. How does that happen? How does one just walk away because it’s obvious that you’ve been sitting on the toilet for the past 5 minutes so it shouldn’t be a surprise that there is something to flush.

We have a really small office, so there are just a couple of us who end up using the bathroom down the hall. (Fewer now that we’ve actually hired a couple of men and it’s not just women!) We don’t have problems amongst ourselves. BUT. BUT. There are these nurses who work upstairs who like to come down to our bathroom when they need to poop or smoke out the window instead of standing out in the cold. It’s really annoying. Everybody poops. You’re medical professionals. You know this. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Stop messing up our bathroom!

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 about died laughing at this. Ha.

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