mental health

Got a Case of the Monday Blahs: Whatever is a Restroom For?

Have you ever rushed to the restroom at work to only forget to use it? Yes? No? Weird? Why yes, it is weird. But such is my life.

I tend to wear high heels, with about 30 under my office desk, and I have a bit of a heavy foot. All that to say that people can hear me coming a mile away. As such, I have been followed to the bathroom by my boss and by employees trying to get me to answer a question or two or five. As I go to grab the restroom’s doorknob, I am often stopped cold by the insanely tortured shrieks of employees trying to get my attention. Through the shrieks and whining I think I can make out the question “do you have a minute?’ At which point I have to make a strategic decision. Do I stop and address the current question or do I use the restroom even though there are these loud sounds of desperate pleas for answers. More often than not I stop, listen and answer. Then I shake my head. I grab at the doorknob and the restroom is locked. That’s a no-go. Sigh. Back to the office.  This cannot be good for my state of mind, right?

Home life is no different though. Once you have a kid you never have a peaceful moment in the bathroom. The child will follow you in and give you the third degree as to what it is that you are doing and how you are doing it. Makes sense, they are learning about the world. But they also follow you to give you the latest Spongebob or Teenage Mutant Ninja plot updates. Even when you lock the door, their little hands will search you out from under the door.

So, the office restroom and the home bathroom offer no sanctuary. Is it possible to find a restroom that is actually meant for resting?

Whenever I use a restaurant restroom the first thing I do is check the waste basket and floor. Is it overflowing with garbage or is the floor sticky? Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential noted that a restroom will tell you lots about the restaurant itself. So I tend to spend my restroom time figuring the restaurant out.  If the restroom is gross, the kitchen is likely to follow suit.  Run as fast as you can out the restaurant if you see unspecified icky things in the restroom floor or wall. So, if it is not one thing, it is another. Other times, in crowded restaurants there are some women who will continue to tell you their latest nightclub escapade while you are in the stall. Really.  Or they will tell you about their boss, their husband, or their kids’ latest adventures and tribulations. From under the stall, a woman once tried to pass me the latest photo of her kid.  Is this not something she could have shown me say –anywhere but there? A male friend of mine once came up to me and said he wanted to ask me a question about women’s bathroom use. Weird, but that’s ok considering I am myself very weird.  I entertained his question. He went on to tell me that another female friend of his mentioned that the second another woman comes into the restroom, women tend to flush the toilet and leave. I looked at him and said “yup, it is true. That happens all the time.”  It is some kind of weird code women have.  As such women are a tad bit jittery in the restroom.  Another woman walking into the bathroom interrupts our respite. It would be odd to just stay seated at the toilet and just contemplate. At some point, someone may very well ask “are you ok?”  It is better to just get up and leave.


Why in the world is it called a restroom again?


Back to the workplace. I got in at 9am. Had one meeting after another. It was noon and my arm, back and legs ached. Hunger pangs were coming on as well. A meeting at 1230. I could quickly run and get lunch. First, a pit stop at the restroom. Clink, clink, stomp stomp my heels raced to the restroom. Turned the knob. Sigh. Busy. Ok. Food. Ran out and got a salad. No fear my dear friends. It was a salad chock full of non-rabbit food. 1230 came and I ate and talked. Crisis after crisis hit. By 3pm, I was not very coherent. I ran back to the restroom and it was busy yet again. Sigh. Another meeting. Before I knew it, 4:30pm was brightly lit up on my outlook calendar. My last meeting of the day. First, a bathroom break. Yes, it was available.  I went in, locked the door behind me, and sat. No one had called out for me. How wondrous! Oh, it was 4:35 and I was going to be late. I got up, washed my hands and ran out. I got back to my office and my next appointment was there. I joked right away, letting them know that I am usually not very coherent past 2pm. I paused and looked around. Oh my. I realized that I had forgotten to actually use the restroom. I had gone in and just rested for a few minutes.


How literal of me.

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