Public bathrooms are a nightmare, and whether you’d like to admit it or not, you’ve been responsible for someone else’s bad experience more than once. Now that the men have had their say, I finally got to the front of the line to present the other side.
1. You’re giving me advice on how to wash my hands, making a comment on my clothes or trying to build a friendship in any way.
At least once a week, there’s someone in a public restroom telling me that whatever lip gloss I’m wearing isn’t my shade and every week, I inform them that there is nothing I can do about it because this is my goddamn face and not lip gloss, please just stay in your lane and use the hand dryer. As for the friendship, this is merely because I do not want friends. They are time consuming, sometimes try to have sex with you and are extremely dirty.
2. You are on the toilet and on the phone.
Is it ever that urgent? It’s never that urgent. Unless you’re making a prank of it, in which case this method is hilarious and recommended. If you must go to the bathroom in public, please do so in style. Please pretend to call your mother and start talking about how you’re voting Trump. Please pretend to call your ex and cry about that time he forgot what t-shirt size you are at Forever 21. If you can make it fun for me in a public restroom, I will be forever grateful and will slip you one of the ridiculously strong illegal Japanese Midol my mom sends me on my birthday on the way out.
3.You’re hating on the woman who thought to use the empty men’s room while you’re still standing in line.
If you are giving a woman side-eye or an otherwise difficult time for darting into an empty men’s room when the line on the womens’ side is four thousand deep, it’s only because you’re mad for not thinking of it first. The economy of space is just better in there! Were it possible to stand peeing and get peeks at each others’ genitals like the boys do, I would be all for it. And you could always, you know, hop out of line and go to the men’s room, too.
Get woke, in regards to, um, bathrooms.
4. You’re taking forever to wash your hands while I’m politely holding it in.
I don’t know if it’s going to make a noise. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. This, like the time I took a Greyhound to Bonnaroo for the worst four days of my life, is a journey I need to make alone.
5. You’re trying to talk to me…during.
Yes, we shared a polite chuckle regarding what a jackass our boss is on the way to the sweet release of the restroom, but the harsh close of that beige metal door is where the conversation ends. There will be plenty of time to discuss the ins and outs of how vile the people around us are, but saying so while we’re releasing last night’s self-pity wine out is a little unfair.
6. You’re complimenting the art in the bathroom.
This same rule applies to Chipotles, hotel rooms and the living room I have graciously decked out with all the trash artwork of my loser friends (sorry).
“But wouldn’t the artist like that I appreciate their work?” you ask. Again, the answer is no. If my artwork were hanging in a bathroom, and it absolutely has, the last thing I want to be reminded is that my artwork is hanging in a bathroom. Please let me refresh my Twitter notifications and reflect on my failures as the scent of your shit settles on my canvas.
7. You don’t tell me there’s no more toilet paper on your way out.
This is an act of domestic terrorism that requires levels of personal creativity that would cause Pollock to curl up in a ball, piss himself, then quietly wait a half hour for it to dry.
8. You are indulging in bathroom gossip and get really quiet when I emerge from the stall.
If I’m not invited to the parties on the weekend (which, like, I absolutely wouldn’t even consider attending anyway jk please text me), then I feel entitled to know who from the mail room has a crush on who from the third floor and whether they went to see Deadpool last weekend and whether they liked it or not. Pretend I’m not here, babes, I’m just casually hanging on to your every last word.
9. Your bathroom graffiti is uninspired.
If we’re going to be punk rock in the Hall of Waste, that’s one thing. Graffiti is a godsend for women who run out of mobile data at the end of the month and can’t aimlessly scroll through god-awful listicles like the one you are currently reading (Are you peeing? If so, please look up my picture and pretend that I am there with you).
By all means, scrawl the entirety of a Toni Morrison novel on the inside of the stall if the notion strikes you. But if you’re here to scrawl your favorite line from a Hallmark card, an old Springsteen lyric or, worst of all, “YOU ARE BEUATIFUL,” please keep the Sharpie in the back pocket position. I’m not “beuatiful” right now and that’s completely okay. You’re throwing me off my pee game. If I really focus, I can make it sound like a landing helicopter. If I can’t focus, it goes crooked and I disgrace my family.
10. You don’t think I’m in the other stall and you leave without washing your hands.
If a pair of hands goes unwashed in ignorance and only I’m around to hear it, we’re not friends anymore.