Today my post is about public potties, like the porcelain kind, and the stalls that house them. Perhaps I’m not alone in my observations that women’s restrooms and their furnishings present certain challenges that we of the female species have to face every time we need to relieve ourselves. Perhaps you’ve noticed or experienced some of these things, too.
For example, are bathroom stalls getting smaller? I know there’s always fussing about people’s weight and how large we are becoming as a society, but I’m not talking about width here. I’m talking about length. In one stall, I swear my knees hit the door when I sat down. In another, I barely had room to turn around once I stepped inside before I bumped into the toilet and nearly fell backward. If making toilet stalls smaller is some architect’s way of sending the message that womankind is getting too large, it’s a futile effort. I can control the size of my ass, but the size of my femurs is pretty much out of my control.
Also, are bathroom stall acoustics getting louder? I’ve noticed this in mostly newer buildings. I’ll flush the toilet and the resulting roar is enough to shatter the windows. I find myself finishing my business, getting my clothes all in order, flushing, and then bolting out of the stall like a crazy woman. This is usually not a problem unless someone else is in the bathroom and sees my mad dash to the sink to wash my hands. I just pretend personal hygiene is my top priority and smile like a maniac while I lather soap all the way up my forearms.
I’ve also noticed that toilets don’t use as much water as they used to, which is good for the environment. However, this lack of flushing power makes me paranoid. I don’t really want to leave behind any messy proof of my activities for the next resident to judge or be amused by, so if the swirl sounds like it might be a little weak, I stand there and watch to make sure everything disappears as it should. Of course, this presents a challenge if I’m in one of those stalls where the noise upon flushing is so bone-shattering that I have to make a run for it. When this happens, I have to rush out of the stall then turn around after the vibrations fade and peek in to make sure I’ve left nothing behind that might frighten the next person.
Then there’s the toilets themselves and their foibles, like their sticking levers and their floating toilet seats. I love the floating toilet seats—they're just like amusement rides. You know these seats. They’re the kind where when you sit down the seat sails all the way to the left or right until it comes to a jarring halt just before it smashes into the side of the stall and nearly throws you to the ground. Weeee!