This is REALLY how it is when I travel abroad...
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 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 were 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 aging, 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.
That would have to do.
You crumple it in the puffiest way possible.
It is still smaller than your thumbnail.
Someone pushes open your stall door 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 that somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.
At that point, you give up.
You’re soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat.
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 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 restroom (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 question 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!!!!!