Friday, 9 September 2011

A Girl With Public Restroom Issues...

They did it! They finally installed those fancy toilet seat cover dispenser things at work.
Yeah, laugh if you want. You’ve obviously never seen me stress over how to get in and out of a public restroom without touching anything. It’s an absolutely ridiculous process. I know this.  Problem is, I just can’t stop myself from going through all the silly machinations I’ve created to get in and out of a public restroom without picking up any more foreign bacteria than absolutely necessary.
It would probably help if I didn’t read every single “dirtiest parts of public restrooms” article I come across. You know what I’ve learned from reading those articles in addition to all my self- acquired knowledge? Well, I’m gonna tell ya…
1.       Lady’s restrooms are much dirtier than men’s restrooms. It still baffles me that an adult female can find a way to pee on the BACK of a toilet seat and on the FLOOR! Seriously? How hard is it to aim for the center as you hover over the seat? It’s not like you’re trying to pee through a straw. It’s a big frickin’ hole!
2.       Those air dryer things are NOT more sanitary than good ole’ fashioned paper towels. The air dryer things simply re-circulate bacteria laden air, heat it, and then blow it back onto your hands and in your face.
3.       If you choose to touch the paper towel lever, the counter, the doorknob, or anything else after applying soap to your hands…you’ve completely negated the fact that you just washed your hands. Do you have any idea how many people use a public restroom and then leave without washing their hands at all? I hope you like having germs from their nether regions on your hands. Additionally, I hope you’re not a nail biter, or a thumb sucker, or….Yeah, ick…huh?
4.       For a public restroom with no trashcan by the door, and likewise a door that opens in instead of out – you can expect one of two things from me. I am either going to a) carry the paper towel out of the restroom and try to find another trash can to put it in.  Or, I will b) open the door using my paper towel and attempt to throw said paper towel into the trash can on the other side of the room. If I miss that’s too bad. This is one of my very rare “trashy” behaviors but I will not sacrifice my need for sanitation for your lack of it and it is, generally, something I only do in a restaurant. There’s something disgusting about taking a dirty paper towel back to a table where I’m eating. Agreed?
Flash forward....
I actually started this post on Friday of last week. I didn’t have time to finish it at lunch and just figured it would have to wait until I came back on Tuesday. Well, it’s Friday again and I’m just now finishing it.
Why? Well, because my very worst public restroom nightmare came true on Tuesday. I was sitting at my desk Tuesday morning and was suddenly overwhelmed by nausea. The knot in my belly, the room spinning, and the lump in my throat, all were screaming that the plumbing between my stomach and my esophagus were about to start running in reverse. I tried closing my eyes and breathing deep, all the while reciting to myself that it would go away. I simply was not going to get sick at work.
Suddenly, the amount of saliva I was producing multiplied ten-fold. The metallic taste that always forewarns the calling of Ralph reared its ugly head. I could almost hear the maniacal laughter mocking me from within my little brain.
Oh no! I simply cannot do this! I can’t even pee in a public restroom without a panic attack. How am I going to hover my face over a public toilet to vomit?
 I panicked. I nearly cried. I debated how fast I could get from the fourth floor to the first floor and into the back alley without leaving my breakfast on the floor somewhere in between. I wondered at the probability that I could puke in the trashcan at my desk, in an office cubicle environment, without anyone knowing what I was doing. Then, I ran. I nearly took out a woman coming the opposite way around the corner as I made a mad dash for the women’s restroom while muttering out loud, “Don’t touch anything, don’t touch anything, don’t touch anything.”
I barely had time to close the stall door before losing everything and, when I finally regained my composure, I had no recollection of whether or not I did, indeed, touch anything. As a precautionary measure, I made my way to the sink, took note of the lovely shade of green tint my face had taken on, and proceeded to wash both face and hands. Then, I realized I didn’t even bother to use one of the new fancy toilet seat cover thingies.
I made it home, thanks to my mother, and slept the rest of the day and on to the next morning.
Wednesday morning, I got up, forced myself into clothes, went to work and repeated the entire series of events from Tuesday morning. This time, I drove myself home and stopped once on the side of the interstate. Again, I went home and slept.
By yesterday morning, Thursday, I was so traumatized from the two preceding day’s events, that I just rolled over and went back to sleep after the alarm went off. I was NOT going to put myself through that again.
I guess the bonus is that, twice, I hovered my face over a public toilet to vomit without the benefit of fancy toilet seat cover thingies, and I’m not dead and the world hasn’t ended.
However, that may have something to do with the fact that I choose to remain in complete denial regarding those events.
Please don’t tell me any different.

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