Whether on an airplane, in your office, or a at a restaurant, a “rest”room should be just that – a place to take a breather, escape the crazies, and have peace and quiet for two minutes. Yet these days, more and more of the outside world is encroaching on our 120 seconds of peace. Other than soap and silence, very few things belong in a public restroom including, but not limited to:
Your Phone: A new sound is generating from every occupied stall in public bathrooms across America – the tap tap tap of the email or text or yellow bird ejecting from its slingshot or (but I hope not) Foursquare update coming from the Android that couldn’t be left outside the splash zone.
Small Talk: The restroom is like a bar after three glasses of wine – deep conversations and salacious gossip is welcome, but it’s a strict no-chat zone. Chatting makes for an uncomfortable lounge-to-stall transition and what’s the exit strategy? “Good luck in there, see ya later!” Let us not put each other in such a predicament.
Your Food: The other day I stumbled upon a banana peel in the office bathroom garbage. Empty box of Junior Mints in the movie theater bathroom? Sure. Pop Tart wrapper in your bathroom at home? Probably. But banana at the office? I’m just going to assume it was a stand in air freshener.
One-Sided Conversations: Since I’m not privy to the inner workings of the so-called Gentleman’s Quarters, an informal poll has revealed that along with a lack of hand washing and awkward-no-eye-contact-urinal-chat, unnecessary phone usage also plagues the boy’s room. I asked my friend Eric to share an example: “The most mortifying public bathroom event, is the gentleman (term used loosely) who insists on debating with his wife on what new car to get while he’s mid ‘movement.’ I’m fairly certain the Toyota Camry with the V6 engine can wait a few more minutes until after he’s relieved himself and washed up. This witnessed conversation makes me wonder how many of my friends and family were pantless on the throne while I talk to them about life, love and chocolate ice cream.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him where I was when we had our last conversation.
Guess the Shoes Game: It’s one thing to peek under the stall to make sure Michael Meyers is not laying in wait at a rest stop past midnight, but let the nice people linger in the stall as long as they need to without seeing your hair sweep the floor in front of them.
I’ll admit that I happily squeeze the toothpaste from the center, manically straighten my towels a la Sleeping with the Enemy, and refuse to live in a world where the toilet paper flaps from the underside of the roll, but at least I keep my odd habits in my own bathroom. Feel free to do the same.