When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it’s your turn, you check  for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. 

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.  You get in to find the door won’t latch. It doesn’t matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants! 

The dispenser for the modern ‘seat covers’ (invented by someone’s Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn’t – so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would  turn over in her grave if you put it on the floor!), yank down your pants, and assume ‘The Stance.’

In this position your toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You’d love to sit  down, but you certainly hadn’t taken time to wipe the seat or lay  toilet paper on it, so you hold ‘The Stance.’

To take your  mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be  the empty toilet paper dispenser.
In your mind, you can hear your mother’s voice  saying, “Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have known there was no toilet paper!”  Your thighs shake  more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday – the one that’s still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible.  It’s still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn’t work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. “Occupied!” you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the toilet seat.  It is wet of course.

You bolt up, knowing  all too well that it’s too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper – not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you’re certain her bare bottom never touched a public  toilet seat because, frankly, dear, “You just don’t know what kind of diseases you could get.

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it  flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At  this point, you give up. You’re soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You’re exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can’t figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and  walk past the line of women still waiting.

You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you needed it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman’s hand and tell her warmly, “Here, you just might need this.”

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men’s restroom.

Annoyed, he asks, “What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?”

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms (rest? you’ve got to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. 
It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It’s so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door.
And of course our restrooms aren’t nearly as interesting as some men’s rooms are:

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  1. I couldn't stop laughing!!! I think it has happened to everyone atleast once in their lifetime, maybe not exactly through all those steps but some parts definetly!!

  2. I sure wish I couldn't relate but I can! I hate public washrooms, I now carry a little extra kleenex and hand sanitizer in my purse at all times. Well written, I could feel my thighs shaking just reading this Lol!

  3. Very very funny and sadly so true. I never would have thought about the purse around my neck thanks.

  4. You know I read an article some time ago about the skin on your butt being extra hick so you are not at all likely to get a disease from a public restroom, yet, I still, like you, put myself through the agonizing stance.

    Very funny post!

  5. the worst thing in the world is to get up from a toilet seat and you are wet! my son used to be notorious about not lifting the seat. in the middle of the night i would go and 9 times out of 10 it would be wet. barely being awake, i would never remember to wipe the seat first. i told him next time i sat in his piss i was going to wipe my butt on him. how disgusting!

    have a great day…hugz!

  6. That bathroom story is all too true. The photo is really funny, could it be true too?


  7. OMG this was absolutely hysterical! Definitely the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Public restrooms are just awful, even if you "have a hose," but having to deal with all of these additional issues…a nightmare!

  8. This is one of the best stories I have ever read. I am going to send this link to every woman I know!!! This had me laughing and guffawing out loud all the way through it. Thank you for the laugh, and for the amazing writing.

  9. yet one more reason i am thankful this season for my chromosomes…lol. have a great weekend stacy!

  10. I hate public restrooms. If there is no seat cover I wait. If there is a seat cover and no TP I use a seat cover to wipe. I actually read a very interesting article that said that actually sitting on a unprotected seat is safer than the germs you will get by putting your down wherever you are! I always have my antibacterial in my purse. At my age I pee often so I am better off staying home and shopping on line.

  11. O.M.G. I can't laugh because it's just so true…especially the purse around the neck thing. Dang.

    I love it. 🙂

  12. I was laughing INSIDE until the comment about the hubby asking why the purse was around her neck…then i laughed on the outside! to funny

  13. This made me laugh! I think every woman has been through this. I hate hate hate public restrooms!

  14. The worst of it is that the older I get, the weaker my legs are. I need to spend extra time on the elliptical just to support my weight 😉

  15. OMG, this was hysterical! But save yourself all that time and worry and just sit on the damn thing!

    Justine 😮 )

  16. Please tell me that wasn't real. Please tell me that wasn't real.


    Today I am thankful for making it to the church bathroom in time, right before my IBS unleashed a nuclear explosion.

    I am also thankful, that in a church of nearly 2000, I was the only one in there.

    And, about 850 or so women, I would say, should be thankful too.

  17. Giggle*

    Yes I'd done the bag over neck!

    And I've even pee with my child in my arms. I refused to put her or the bag on the floor! It was a story!!!!

  18. i remember reading this a year or so ago in one of those viral emails. it prompted me to write about our experience using squatty potties in turkey. so funny! and oh so true!

  19. OMG!!! I could not stop laughing or reading. You just put every thing down that goes through our mind every time we see a public bathroom! Worst of all we have all experienced it!

  20. This is so funny! I can relate to so many of the things you mentioned. In fact, my daughter and I were just talking tonight about the "stance."

    I have been reading bits and pieces to my husband as I read your post. Good one!

  21. Do you know that I have recurring nightmares about having to use public restrooms? It's torture sometimes.

  22. Hilarious! I hate public restrooms for that exact reason. Plus, I never want to potty train my kids since I don't want them using disgusting bathrooms when we're out in public.

    That mens room picture is too much.

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