No, really. It came to my attention that they are really awkward (the stalls, I mean, not the people of size). While helping my buddy build his deck I hurt my quad. (Yes, I mentioned a deck-building accident last week. No, this is not the same accident, it’s a new one. And no, I’m not normally this clumsy, his deck has been cursed by the angry gods of home improvement.) So mobility is a little sub-par this week.
Hobbling and unable to contort myself into a pretzel, I found it stupidly awkward to get into a public restroom stall and close the door. WTF? I realized that I normally open the door, step into the stall, and start closing it, while standing in a space that sort of the the side and front of the toilet. This gives me just enough clearance to close the door with me standing there, if I let the door scrape against my chest and sort of squeeze me against the wall.
Now that I’m paying attention to that process, I’m thinking: “That’s really weird. How the hell do larger people get in there?” I’m not a bean pole, but I’m a slender guy, and I’ve got to squeeze around the door. What’s a pregant woman supposed to do?
Half-open (so parallel to the stall’s sidewalls), the edge of the door is about 4" from the toilet. My calves wouldn’t fit there, so if I had to change technique, I would not be able to stand in front of the toilet and close the door.
Bathroom stalls suck if you’re even just a few pounds overweight. When you’re “larger” – well, you pretty much avoid them like the plague. When I was still SMO, I would use the handicapped stall as often as possible. It allows more room to actually get in, do your business and get out without having to kill yourself. When no handicapped stall was available, and I couldn’t hold it until I got home, I would squeeze in and out as carefully as I could. There are so many more reasons that being heavy sucks than just “no cute clothes.”
Some bathroom stalls suck for normal-size people. The one at work closest to my desk is so narrow that I have to go in sideways to enter. My shoulders are too wide for the door. I mean, I’ve added muscle at the gym, but not that much!
And I’m sure I’ve been in stalls where there was no room to stand when the door was swinging closed without straddling the toilet.
I can’t imagine what big people do.
The standard “handicapped” stall is actually a good size: it has plenty of room and accommodates people with bags or luggage. More stalls should be like that, especially in airports and other transportation facilities, where, you know, people might actually have suitcases and bags with them.
… Wow, I’m glad I’ve never seen the bathroom stalls you folks have. I’m frikkin’ huge (overweight by several hundred pounds, and though I’m only slightly above average height, most of it’s in my legs), and I’ve never encountered a washroom stall small enough to give me issues. I’ve encountered a few washrooms that did (in homes, cabins and cottages), but never a public washroom stall.
I think if I did, I’d just call myself justified in using the handicapped stall.
I can’t rightly claim 4 Xs, but I’m a well endowed XXL girl, and, yeah, I head for the handicapped stall if it’s open. I’ve never not been able to fit in a regular stall, but sometimes I’m straddling the toilet more than standing in front of it to close the door.
Really, the solution is even more simple than enlarging the stalls: how about switching the hinges so the doors open outwards? Duh.
I hate not only stalls that are too narrow, but ones that are so short that when I’m enthroned, my knees hit the door. It’s completely ridiculous. And then trying to get out of the silly thing is even worse, especially since, as WhyNot points out, the doors open in.
Of course, I can see why they don’t want the doors opening out in public places. After all, someone might <gasp> bump into the opening door, thereby causing permanent mental trauma and stress, not to mention a $400 million lawsuit. :rolleyes:
Then what are you supposed to do if the lock is busted? At least with them opening in you can hold it closed with your hand, almost, and then when you’re pulling your pants up you can hold it closed with the top of your head.
I’m a 3X, and I’ve never not been able to use a bathroom cubicle. There are some that are so narrow that trying to squeeze myself around the toilet paper thingie and still manage to shut the door gets a little uncomfortable, but it’s manageable. I don’t like using the handicapped stalls, even though it’s a lot larger, because I’m short and my feet barely touch the floor when I’m using a higher toilet.
At my heaviest I was about 303 lbs (I say about because my scale only goes to 300 and said ERROR every time I stepped on it after the 300 lb mark so I have no idea what my exact weight was) but I have never been unable to get into a bathroom stall. I have lost 60 lbs since then and though it is certianly easier to fit inside of one now I never had a problem fitting inside and I try to avoid the handicapped stalls unless I am at work where I know no one is handicapped or something. If necessary I would stand straddling the toilet to get the door closed but most of the time I could just kind of step to the side and not have a problem. Maybe I just have access to better public bathrooms?
This is a (not really) scale diagram of me (little red man) in any non-handicap stall in my office building and previous office building. It demonstrates, in plan, the toilet stall difficulties faced.
You will note in example one, marked by an X for “unsuxessful entry”. You can see that I have damaged my shoulder and crushed my face, completely scraping of my nose, digging into my skull with the door exiting through my ear.
In example two, marked with a V for “very squished”. I am able to just barely maneuver around the door, although I have sustained some squishage in the frontal region.
I’m pretty darn fat, and also over six feet tall. While I’ve occasionally had to squish some, it’s never been anywhere close to impossible to do. And those stalls where I’ve had to squish were generally small enough that even tiny people would feel slightly clausterphobic.
Let’s not talk about some of the tiny toilet seats in those stalls, though. Unnn-comfortable.