I recently at a crowded upscale pizza restaurant in a trendy area of New York with my sister Lauren. We both had to use the bathroom, so Lauren and I took turns guarding our spot at the bar while the other used the single, stall-less ladies’ room. When she returned to our bar stools, I headed to the back where the bathroom was located. Someone had occupied the restroom in the meantime, so I waited patiently until the door opened and a 20-something-year-old blond woman in a white romper exited. When I entered, I was disgusted to find a seat sprayed with urine plus a sizable yellow puddle next to the base of the toilet.
I returned to our seats and asked Lauren if the bathroom had been a mess when she used it; she replied that it had been fine.
“Gross, then a girl in a romper was the one who peed all over the place,” I said. Lauren’s eyes widened.
“Oh man, I bet she totally just pulled to the side.”
As soon as she said those words, I knew she was right. While I don’t blame the woman for not wanting to have to pretty much get naked by taking off her one-piece romper to pee in a public restroom, I totally hold her responsible for the ugly aftermath of her choices, both in attire and hygiene.
I’m a woman myself; I know what it’s like to have to deal with the annoying business of a small bladder combined with an impressive drinking habit. I’ve found myself in situations where I’m drinking in the woods with friends, stumbling away from the firepit to pop a squat and then getting hit with the sinking realization that I’m wearing a pullover fleece on top of overalls (this was the late 90’s; I’m just lucky that I didn’t have the triple whammy of a bodysuit with crotch snaps on as well). I’ve navigated outdoor fest porta-potties that would make the toilet from Trainspotting look like a day spa cleaned by angels. When I’m at a nice restaurant before a lovely night of theater, I expect to not have to clean up a stranger’s watersports before I pee out my $8/bottle imported Italian beer.
And this was not an isolated incident, but something I encounter all the time: at stores, bars, office buildings, you name it. I don’t know what crazy superbugs these women are convinced they will catch if they let their bare bums touch public porcelain, but I am pretty certain nobody has ever died from using a communal bathroom. (Also, there’s more germs on your cell phone which goes next your face). So why so much squatting? And if this isn’t germophobia but rather some sort of new workout for rock-hard thighs, why are we not cleaning up after ourselves?? There is a roll of paper RIGHT THERE.
I get that toilets are gross, especially ones used by dozens of strangers on a daily basis. But let’s be part of the solution, not the problem. If you choose to squat, let’s take the 3 seconds needed to grab a wad of toilet paper, wipe, and flush. Let’s love our fellow women, especially the one squirming just outside the stall door who’s been holding it since the Belmont stop on her morning commute. Let’s do it to be better people. Let’s do it for sisterhood. Let’s do it for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I don’t care; let’s just do it.