Psst. Over here. Yeah, I’m talking to you.
Got a second? I’ve got to tell you something personal that’s been weighing on my mind. Okay, here’s the thing and don’t freak out. I’ve got two words for you:
If you ask me, there are two kinds of people in the world.
1) Those who don’t mind talking to others while doing their business in a public restroom.
2) And those who do.
Know what I’m talking about? Well, consider me among the latter. In other words, to me, using the restroom is such a private matter that I’d rather not talk to you or anyone. It’s nothing personal. If I enter the restroom, and you’re already there, perhaps washing your hands (thank goodness!) and about to leave, no need to say “hi.” I know you’re there. I see you. I just would rather pretend I don’t.
For, when I enter the bathroom, all I want to do is make a beeline into the first available stall and do my business. I like thinking I’m alone and not in a crowded room. Even if there’s a line for the toilets, in my head, I don’t see anyone. It’s just me and the rest of you are all a blur.
So, please don’t even try to speak to me after I’ve closed the door to the stall. I’m not trying to be rude or anything. Suffice it to say, I won’t even talk to my daughter once inside. Frankly, now’s not a good time to talk about what happened last night at the party you were at, or whether the rain is going to interfere with my plans for the weekend. I don’t need any distractions or awkward conversations. Maybe I’m peculiar in this way, but it’s just the way I am.
Because if you ask me, if we were meant to talk about what-not when doing our business, then the walls of the stalls would be made of clear glass. Or, maybe there wouldn’t be any stalls at all, except one large room with a bunch of toilets. And maybe, to encourage conversation, the toilets would be in a circle, so we could all face each other and chat to our heart’s content. Maybe there’d even be electrical outlets so we could charge our cell phones while we gab away with friends we haven’t spoken to since who knows when. But if that were the case, I’d start relying on Depends or looking for the nearest bush.
This is not a party, after all. You’re going to the bathroom for one reason and one reason only, and you know to what I am referring. We’re not dining out at a restaurant, not dishing at the laundromat. And, this certainly isn’t a coffee shop, though it was probably going to a coffee shop, and having that super large latte, that brought you here in the first place.
Frankly, I don’t know why some people like talking to each other through the stalls during what should be the most private of moments. There are folks who are quiet all day long, but go in the bathroom and, Lord help us. They’re shouting from the rafters, asking you for your recipe for chocolate chip banana bread, and peeking under the stall to get a better look at your new shoes, as they try to guess where you bought them. (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating.)
So, now you know. This is my bathroom protocol in a nutshell: Save us a lot of pain and leave me be.
I am happy to talk to you when we’re back on the outside, away from the sound of flushing toilets, knowing that our hands have been washed, our teeth have been checked for specks of lettuce from the salad we ate at lunch, and a fresh coat of lipstick has been applied. We are ready to go back into the world again. Five minutes of peace, that’s all I ask. Maybe 10, depending.
Respect the space, follow the ettiquette. And, when we’re finished, talk all you want. I’m all yours.