The Ladies’ Room, Emergency Situations, and What to Do About Them

Hmmm.  I’m starting to sound slightly obsessed about bathroom stuff, aren’t I?  I know I said I would wait a week or two before posting on this.  I lied.

Sooo, the Ladies’ Room.  Yah.  I have a thing about that, too.

I have told only the people very close to me (and now, I’m sharing with you.,,.don’t you feel blessed?) that, I would rather run to my car and poo my pants than be forced to have an ‘emergency’ situation in a public (particularly a work-related) Ladies’ Room.  (catchy opening, eh?)

I am gently referring to these as ‘emergency’ situations, because there is absolutely no reason, whatsoever, that anyone should be taking a leisurely poop in a public/work related restroom.  None.

The thing is, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that no one cares if you have an ‘emergency’ situation in the bathroom, it is universally untrue, and we all know it.  I’m sure that any number of you can recall whispered conversations about what the hell was going on with Mary who was in there for 20 minutes after lunchtime and left a cloud of green gases hovering in the air for much of the day after her departure.  Or the time you saw what suspiciously looked like your coworker Dan with his pants down and a newspaper and cup of coffee on the floor in his stall.  Or the time you could swear it was Carla’s shoes you could see in the handicapped stall (preferred location of all ‘emergency situations’… I guess people like to spread out and make it into a little vacation in there) when the toilet flushed approximately 4 times while you were in there doing specifically and emphatically non-emergency things.

Now, if you are concerned about the potential for an emergency situation and are unsure about the possbility of making it to your car, you could try to avoid the embarrassment in advance by prepping your coworkers or friends.  You could remove your makeup (or, if Male, put some on?), walk around holding your stomach, and woefully, yet subtly, indicate to others that you think you may have food poisoning.  You could also (sorry Men, get your own thing here) blame your montly visitor.  That usually has a high empathy factor.

You could employ a good friend to be your wing man and either deflect potential bathroom users with a gossipy conversation about Steve in Accounting, or alternatively, stand at the sink whilst using 3 faucets on full speed, and carry on a very loud and distracting conversation with you in order to minimize the truth of what is really going on in your stall.

This is, of course, supposing that you have actual friends to assist you in your time of need.  I’m sorry to say that, friends or not, I’m choosing the pants pooping in the car.  I’ll use my friend to explain to others that I may be late returning from lunch because I broke my heel or my cat needs surgery or something of that nature.

Another alternative is to always have a supply of what my friend J and I affectionately refer to as ‘pink pills’, which are basically the store brand version of chewable Pepto Bismol tablets.  They are miracle workers, my friends, I highly suggest you try them.  Best to be used if you’re feeling a little concerned and want to take a proactive approach.

If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation of having no friends, no pink pills, no car, or if you work over 20 miles from your home, I’ve really got nothing for you.  I might suggest trying to find an alternative location, like, a McDonald’s bathroom, which is probably really gross, but at least no one will recognize you there.  If it really IS an emergency, where you had no warning and it’s either poop at your desk or make a clenched run for your nearest bathroom, all I can say is, while you have my greatest sympathies, don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that no one cares.  They do.  And they will talk about it.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and there will be no one in there during your time of woe, or, if someone (or, God forbid, multiple people) happens to walk in, you can get your business done quickly and wrinkle your nose dramatically and roll your eyes while leaving your stall and pretend that it was the person next to you.  You can even try crying and/or pretend disgust at how awful the bathroom smelled when you went in.  Certainly all valiant attempts, but in the end, the fact of the matter is: EVERYONE KNOWS.

Now that you know the truth of the matter, buy a car, get a friend, or move your job closer to your home. Until then, your best hope is that Mary or Dan will have similarly timed bad days, and can trump your situation with grander, more flagrant (fragrant?), emergency situations.  Barring that, you are SOL.  Ha.

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