Potty Talk

Can we talk about public bathrooms?


Image from Google

Yeah, the stalls, the smells, the sounds. ACK! I feel such a sense of relief when I open the door, peek under the stalls, and know – no one else is there but me. Ahhh!

This week, I ended up at the bathroom door the same time as another person from the office down the hall. I was polite. Said hello. We had a little small talk conversation, until we both took our places. Honestly, I was speechless after the sounds from that stall, but still…we had greeted each other.

I felt sorta weird leaving, like I should have said, “Bye!” or “Have a good night!” Maybe even, “Don’t forget to wash your hands.” No that’s too mom-ish. I just left, and thankfully made a run for caught the elevator quick.

I mean, really? Is there potty talk etiquette? If there is, I’d like to hear it. I am all about manners. I don’t like being rude. Can we write to Dear Abby?

My first little encounter of the can kind was nothing compared to the second. The NEXT night. I kid you not. I hit the ladies room before hitting the road. Everyone from my office had gone home. I’m the last straggler. I have a sixteen mile or so commute. I like to “go” just in case. I heave open the potty door. It’s heavy and LOUD. People know you enter. It’s got this automatic crank for handicap entry, so it opens with a woosh, and mechanical ticking noises.

Well, I’m a little surprised when someone hollers out from inside their stall, “Hello!” Again, if there is book or something I can pick up on how to deal with the colloquial stall dwellers? Ahem.

So of course I say, “Hi!” As I enter my Sanctum of John. I thought surely that will be the end of that.

She immediately exclaims, “OH!!! I’m sowry! I thought you were somebody I worked with. We are all working overtime tonight. You know if they offer overtime you have to take it.”

I am feeling a little uncomfortable here, as I really have to go, and do I answer her, or do I let it flow? I mean these are some serious things to consider but HEY we are in a BATHroom.

So I go.

And I talk.

“Oh yeeaaah, you gotta take overtime if you can get it. Sure. Especially in this economy.” Speaking louder as the waterworks begin.

I couldn’t really hear her answer over the drone of my Niagara Falls, something about some people didn’t take the overtime, but I did catch the end….”I didn’t know your office stayed open that late.”

As I am finishing and zipping up. What the heck is taking HER so long?? I really HAVE to get out of here. I say, “Yeah, I’m the last one. Worked a little late tonight.” The commode flush deafens the sound of my flee, as I hurriedly fling open the stall door, and run to the sink, washing up in three seconds or less, AND using the antibacterial gel for good measure. I hit the door crank, crank, crank, errrrr -whoosh, “Have a nice night!”

I hear a muffled, “Good night!”

I fly down the hall to the elevator thinking to myself – did that really just happen? I just had an entire conversation with a stranger whose sweet cheeks were gracing a porcelain throne, as they conversed through the stall walls?

Now, there are some conversations………going right down the toilet.

This post was brought to you by –

Mama's Losin' It

I chose the prompt People would be surprised to learn that… I have a potty mouth.

64 thoughts on “Potty Talk

  1. At least you were not in some out-of-the-way gas station, where you have to ask someone for one of those big honking wooden key rings that has LADIES burned into it with a woodburing tool, then you have to go outside around back and it is hotter than blazes and the door handle is greasy, and you get in and someone has just taken a humongadump and the smell makes you gag, and the toilet paper roll is sitting ON THE FLOOR, and there is no soap.

    How’s that for a run-on sentence? I always take flushable baby wipes when we travel. I’m no fool.

    I never talk to people in restrooms. I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.

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    1. LOL – Judie – What an image. 😛 I guess an office building floor bathroom is much, much better. I don’t even mind the chats. Heck I was thinking of throwing a pizza floor party, then we can get to know our fellow stallers and really catch up on breaks. 🙂

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  2. I read your post 3 times and even then it has left me dumbfounded! Potty Talk, an interesting post will have to think about it when I am in the bathroom!

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  3. Hahaha, I laughed out loud when I read this! Something of this kind happened to me too; someone I don’t know & didn’t even see the face of talked to me in the bathroom at work! Like you, I politely replied and…fled, lol!

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    1. Patissone – Oh MY GOSH! Thank you! I was really thinking it was just me…….. 😀 Yeah, this was a stranger from another office and I had NO idea who she was or what she looked like. LOL!

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  4. HA! Your ending line! You potty mouth, You.

    I am not so amazed by the chatting in the bathroom with people that are IN the bathroom. What floors me is the people that are on their CELLS phones while going to the bathroom.

    I worked at a company in an office that had about 400 people so there were times and certain people that I only saw in the bathroom. So sometimes we would chat. If shoes were recognized sometimes people would strike up a conversation from a stall. “Sally, is that you? I recognized your bright pink shoes! . . . . . ”

    From your story, I kind of gather that your office is in a multi office type of bulding so you are running into people from different offices so that is what is making it odd, yes?

    So, cell phone use in the bathroom. That is what throws me. Once I was somewhere where I went into the restroom to use the phone ‘cuz it was quieter and no one was in there and I wasn’t using the restroom. But I really trip out when I walk in and someone is in the stall talking. I mean for ONE thing, I don’t want to touch stuff in a public restroom and touch my phone.

    I see people do it all the time. The will hold their phone when the come out of the stall then put it at their should while they wash their hands then grab the phone again. After having a conversation with someone while going to the restroom. So odd to me.

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    1. Terre – Yeah, it’s a multi-office building. There are two other companies on the same floor with us. We all share a bathroom. I don’t mind talking to my co-workers if the need arises, but I have never seen or talked to these other people in my life. I mean, I’m a friendly gal and all…….just like to keep my potty time to myself. HA.

      I haven’t had any cell phone experience there, but you just gave me a great idea. What if we marketed and sold antibacterial phone screen wipes? They could have a touch of anti-static for the screen. That could be a big hit! $$$

      🙂

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  5. Ha! I visited with a friend I hadn’t seen since highschool yesterday and we stopped to use the ‘facilities’ before leaving the beach. Maybe it was because we had close to thirty years of catching up to do and only a few hours to do it, but the conversation just carried on… in the stalls, at the sink, out the door… and all the way home. Guess the key to avoiding restroom distress is to be overly engrossed in something else. 🙂

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  6. Too weird! Though I have to admit I once burst out laughing in the Library restroom stall when I read a sign that said “Stop stealing the toilet paper, I know who you are!” and then I had to explain to my daughter in the next stall and heard the giggles going down the line.

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    1. Motpg – If I heard hysterical laughing coming from potty stall near me. I’d be afraid….very, very afraid. LOL!
      Glad you explained yourself. Gee! I would have been looking for a camera!

      😀

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  7. The worst thing I think is when someone calls you when they are in the bathroom – listening to someone going to the toilet, the flushing and trying all the while to maintain a conversation is quite beyond me yet I had several work colleagues who would do that and my old boss used to call me when he was in his bath – but then he is Swedish and they operate to a totally different code 🙂

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    1. Aging Mommy – People just don’t have enough time these days! LOL. I really, really don’t do that…unless it’s my mom, and I HAVE to, because, believe me, she can talk for hours and it’s an emergency potty for me! LOL!

      At least it was your boss’s bath and not from the bidet. HA.

      🙂

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  8. This is hilarious. When I worked in an office I HATED the awkward bathroom encounters. I have no desire to carry on a conversation with someone while we’re both sitting in the stall.

    The worst is I have major pee anxiety and I can’t pee if it is super quiet in the bathroom & I know someone else is in there so I usually just end up sitting there and waiting it out.

    ugggh.

    stopping by from mama kat’s!

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    1. Joanna – Thanks!! Yes awkward is an excellent word. 🙂 I am so sorry for your pee anxiety! I can’t imagine. I happened upon a running faucet in the movie theatre bathroom and I wondered if it was left on for someone that needed a little help. Haha. I turned it off. Oops.

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  9. NO, NO, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I never ever want to talk to anyone while I’m in the bathroom. Because my bathroom noises are NOT NICE (though I can’t imagine anyone’s are). Seriously though, small talk from ppl you hardly know? That would drive me batty.

    You know, on a related note, sometimes my husband will call me from a bathroom. And i can always tell because it’s all echo-ey. And I always have to ask, IS ANYONE ELSE IN THERE? Because, if so, I’m pretty sure they don’t want an audience to their symphony… and I don’t want to hear it. Geeeeez… men!

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  10. I think guys never get tired of bathroom humor in whatever shape or form. (Sorry couldn’t help myself) Funny stuff!

    Several comments. My six year old daughter has this bathroom fetish. Anytime we’re out she says she has to use the bathroom. Of course what she doesn’t realize is when she’s with me she has to go to the men’s room. And men don’t have any consideration for anyone sitting. Meaning the toilet seats are so nasty. It takes me about five minutes just to clean it properly for her. Ugh!!

    I think bathroom talk is off limits period. What’s weirder is someone talking on their cell phone in there. I mean, really. I think texting is probably fine, unless you drop your phone in the toilet.

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    1. One of the Guys – Ha! Bathroom humor, you guys wrote the book. We girls just go – ewwww! HA HA.

      I agree with the 6yr old, that’s nasty dad.

      I *did* drop my phone in the toilet (my precious iphooonnnne), but that’s a whole nother’ post. 🙂

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  11. I’m gonna go with no on this one. I don’t talk to anyone whose face I can’t see. Creeps me out a bit to think I;m having a conversation with someone who has their pants down. Blech.

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  12. I can’t even think of a good comeback… everyone else has used them up! ROTFL! Wait… get up off the floor… ewwwww, no rolling on the floor to laugh, you don’t know what’s been there. Feel like I oughta be rolling in anti-bacterial soap now.

    Oh! I’m sorry… you asked do we talk to people in the bathroom.

    Ummmmm… hmmmmm… nope, just myself.

    *snicker*

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  13. I also thought this was going to be about the girls!

    Okay hold that thought while I make a potty run….

    Phew, thanks for the silence.

    Now what were we talking about?

    I also never know what to say to folks who insist on trying to engage convorsation while doing their business, very awkward! I can be rude and avoid eye contact and act like I can’t hear them! Hurry and get out as fast as possible!

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  14. Yesterday I was in the little cubicle, just minding my own business, when someone slams into the next one along (when there are a dozen others free) swearing and muttering to herself. And it’s like every movement she makes, she’s deliberately trying to break something – even something as simple as tearing the toilet paper turns into a series of bangs and more curses. I was ready to leave but I really, really didn’t want to run into the mad-woman by the baisins, so I just waited until she’d finished and slammed her way out of the room again!

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  15. In college, the bathroom in my dorm had no stalls. The toilets were all set on a small platform side by side in full view of anyone who came in even to wash their hands. For a whole year, we dorm mates had the most scintillating conversations, day in and out, while we were doing our stuff. All self-consciousness had melted away, and talking under those circumstances seemed like the most natural thing to do.

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    1. nothingprofound- It’s amazing what situations challenge us to change and from to our circumstances.

      This reminded me of a dream I had where all the toilets at the airport were half stalls in the middle of the walking aisles. Very strange dream!

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  16. I’m not much of a multi-tasker so carrying on a conversation and well,…..it just doesn’t work for me. Don’t you love it when someone from another stall doesn’t have any paper and asks you for some of yours?!
    I’m from the ‘don’t sit down’ generation so I’m trying to balance and carry on at the same time. And now I’ve used all my paper to cover the seat, so NO I don’t have any I can send over to you.
    I’ve never even liked for anyone to try to talk to me through the bathroom door at home.
    Great job, Angelia.

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    1. Weezer – Thanks! I can’t imagine balancing and trying to underhand paper and not crashing into the wall, all at the same time! LOL! I won’t be trying that anytime soon.

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  17. I’ve been married for 9 years and still turn on the water in sink so that my hubs won’t hear me pee. So I have a strict no chatting while on the john rule … unless I’m on the phone with my mom and in the middle of a good conversation. Somehow that situation seems to break my rule everytime.

    Happy Sharefest.

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    1. Kate – I have to “go” all the time when on the phone with my mom. She doesn’t seem to understand I gotta hang up now, because there is always another story or thing to tell me. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! Too funny about the water running. You should get a little waterfall fountain for your bathroom. HA!

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  18. Oh, this one cracked me up. I was recently in an Apple Peddler’s restaurant and felt the urge (which means it was practically an emergency because I loathe public restrooms) so I headed towards the Women’s. As I entered the tiny bathroom I was greeted by the hairnet-wearing, tattoo-sporting, black leather boot-kickin’ cook I had observed behind the little prep window at the kitchen. “Hey!” he said. “Um…hi?” I answered. “Just cleaning up…you on vacation?” Now, normally I would have no problem conversing with this man but I am standing in the middle of a women’s restroom, doing the potty dance, alone. I was sure someone was going to walk in at any time and witness what they were sure to believe was a little cook/customer rendezvous. After what seemed a lifetime he finally wished me well and I was on my way. Thank God. Hugely embarassing but almost catastrophic. 🙂
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

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    1. Mindy – Okay….this is more on the creep factor. What was he doing in the ladies room??? Yikes! Maybe HE was a SHE? 😀
      That is quite the story! I can totally see you doing the potty dance. Glad you made it. LOL!

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  19. Angelia, the last time I had pizza in the back hall was when I lived in Chicago and the tornado siren went off. We grabbed our dinner and fled to the back hall and sat on the floor. I told the kids it was a picnic. They all gave me “the look” so I confessed that we might all die if a tornado hit the house, so they could consider this “the last supper.”

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  20. LMAO! Who yells hello while in the stall? too funny. What i hate is when I am the only one in a stall and a person comes into the stall RIGHT NEXT TO ME!

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  21. That was me in the other stall.

    Not really. I find it very hard to hear with the water and other sounds.

    I suppose in an office people feel more of a oneness. I’m not used to anyone saying anything.

    Wow you have a lot of comments.

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  22. @jean-I really just responded to her. I tried not to encourage. LOL!

    @judie- the last supper. HA! I bet they ate good that night. 😀 And glad you all survived. Tornados are no fun!

    @alicia-Yeah, LOL, she thought I was a fellow co-worker. HA. That never fails with me either. It’s like they are lonely and sense a neighbor. 😀

    @jingle- you are the sweetest award giver in the world! THANK YOU!! Thank you most for being my friend.

    @purplume- That was YOU? LOL! Guess overtime brings out the chattiness in peeps. I don’t mind talking to my co-workers, if need be, but random people from the same floor that work for a different company. That’s a little odd. 🙂

    @missy- HA HA! Maybe I should, it would be my claim to fame, THEN, I really would be a potty mouth! LOL!!!

    Is anyone else disturbed by the related post at the top, generated by wordpress, being IKEA: Swedish meatballs, enough said? Ummm, geee wonder……what THAT is about? LOL. I am just not brave enough to click. HA.

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  23. I don’t comment too often, but that was too hilarious! I grew up with three sisters, so often talked in the potty – but strangers… that is another story. HAHA

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