Thursday, November 18, 2010

What the Poop?

Since I started this blog, I haven't really put myself out there, been honest, or self-deprecating - NOT! So let's continue on this journey while I share some of my bathroom neuroses and (as I believe to be) their root cause.

When I was in kindergarten, I pooped in a urinal. Here's how it all went down. Nature called, I got excused from class, after a good 10-15 minutes of trying to remember my teacher's name. Not sure why I couldn't just pull on her pant leg and ask to go. I guess when I was 5 I had more than a modicum of manners that required me to address a teacher by name when requesting leave of the classroom. So I entered the co-ed bathroom with 3 stalls, picked the one farthest from the entrance and discovered this newfangled big-girl toilet. It wasn't the kind of urinal that went all the way to the ground with a big trough or anything. It was a pretty little white wall unit that sat about 2 feet from the floor. I didn't really have time to marvel at the contraption, so I quickly dropped trou' and fit my tiny bottom on the ledge and did what I had to do. Just realized that I used the words "my" "tiny" and "bottom" all together in the same sentence referring to myself - I guess there's a first time for everything! Sorry, back to the business. . . I have no recollection as to whether there was toilet paper in the stall or whether I used it. All I remember is looking down at what I had produced thinking, how it that going to flush properly with all that screening underneath it? Oh well. Not sure how it all went down (no pun intended) I'm guessing it never did - so sorry Mr. Taylor (Ursuline's Janitor at the time). I never copped to it, and no one ever asked me about it. I think I realized I had messed up because I never, ever went back in to that particular stall the rest of the school year.

Funny story, OK. But I think it has traumatized me for life. I have recurring nightmares about using the bathroom. The troublesome themes include lack of privacy, lack of seating and overflowing toilets. Most times, I have to go and enter a public bathroom that looks more like a ladies locker room, with about 20 "toilets" built into wooden frames (think a super-tiny hot tub big enough to just fit your bum). So all the toilets are out in the open. All of them are filled with water, pretty much to the top, and they don't really have seats. So you have to straddle this wooden box and do your business in front of everyone. I never end up actually "going" in my dreams. I just keep looking around for the normal looking toilet with a door, and everyone is looking at me like I'm nuts.

While we're on the issue of privacy why is it that I cannot go #2 in a public bathroom unless the entire bathroom is empty? Please tell me that other women have this same issue. I've talked to my husband about it, and he thinks I'm crazy. He does whatever he needs to do in public bathrooms no matter who's listening or what sounds he's emitting - and he doesn't give it a second thought. When I'm at work and have to go and there's someone in there, I either wait for them to leave and pray no one else enters in the meantime, or I go to another floor that has an empty bathroom. I sometimes try the "go-when-someone-else-is-flushing" method, but the damn commodes at work have a really fast flush. The "go-when-someone's washing their hands" is sometimes adequate. I've even gone so far in a crowded bathroom, where no one's flushing or washing their hands, to create a toilet paper "nest" placed ever-so gently on the top of the water to essentially "catch" my product so as not to make a splash. You have to be careful collecting the toilet paper and if you have one of those squeaky dispensers, or the ones where you can only break off like half a square per tug, it becomes problematic. The ultimate goal is to not only conceal the poop, but conceal the act of concealing the poop.

I'm a professional poop concealer. If you shit in a urinal, you would be too!

P.S. The irony of all this is that in front of my husband or kids - I can do anything and everything on the toilet - no closed doors, sound camouflaging or t.p. nests. They're so lucky aren't they? I do request sometimes to be left alone, but it's really just because it's nice to be able to tell your kids to get away from you without having to feel guilty about it.

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