They used to have doorless stalls at the roller rink. God, how we hated that. You had to take a friend in to stand in front of you.
I always use the first stall because they say it’s the cleanest. You know how at work you kind of end up getting “your” stall, the one you use all the time? I recently found out that “my” stall is considered several other people’s stall, and I was a little miffed about it. (This is a public restroom in a public library. A homeless woman once had a baby in it, and I’m worried about other librarians in my stall? Why, yes.)
My one bathroom phobia comes from reading The Shining far too young. When I’m at somebody’s house and they have, you know, the bathroom with the toilet and the tub/shower, and the shower curtain is closed? I have to open the shower curtain before I lock the door just in case there’s a dead woman in there. You never know.
I don’t really have any BR phobias, but I am a bit of a public bathroom, um, aficionado, for lack of a better term. There’s something oddly fascinating to me about comparing the layout/decor/cleanliness/upkeep of public bathrooms. For instance I always go into the bathroom of a restaurant, bar, airport or other public establishment even if I don’t have to go, just to check it out and compare to other places. I note unique or rare features like floor-to-ceiling stalls(no gap at top and bottom), interesting fixtures(the “waterfall” urinal trough), urinal heights(I’ve only encountered a single place with urinals at 3 different heights), etc. I’m seriously considering writing a book about it…
It makes me irrationally (?) unhappy to enter an empty restroom to have BM and have someone else immediately come in before I get started. I can’t quite figure out why it upsets me, since it doesn’t upset me if the bathroom already had people in it when I arrive, but…
And just yesterday I had another silly reaction to a bathroom. I stayed an hour late at work and decided that I should pee before I left. Since I had all my stuff with me, and only a couple of other people were still in the building, I went into the roomier handicap stall knowing no one else would need to use. And there was a chair in there at the far end of the stall, for no apparent reason. I almost dumped my messenger bag onto it, but stopped, suddenly worried that someone might have sat there, naked. Why would someone have sat bare-assed in the chair? I don’t know. I don’t know why anyone would have been sitting in a chair there at all, though. In the end I hung my bag on the back of the door instead.
I have to agree with Drain Bead, the cell phone commenter was just rude. It’s a bathroom, people sometimes make bodily noises in there. What’s worse to me is that someone is using their cell phone and broadcasting your noises to other people, not to mention how germy is that phone if she can’t even put it down to use the restroom? And frankly, I’d be a little annoyed if I were chatting with someone on the phone while they were relieving themselves. Sure I can’t see anything but I can hear and it seems a little insulting, “I can’t be bothered to call you back later so I’m just going to keep yacking while I pee and poop.”
I watched “Witness” when I was around eight-years-old. You know that scene in the beginning, where the cop gets his throat slit in the restroom while the little Amish kid looks through the crack in the stall? I used to plan escape scenarios whenever I was in the restroom by myself. These passed after a year or so, but there’s still one local restaurant with a restroom that gives me the creeps. The restaurant is dimly lit and kind of noisy, and the restroom, in contrast, has bright fluorescent lights and is silent except from the humming of an unseen fan. It’s just such a jarring contrast, and it feels isolated enough that no one would hear my screams while I’m being leisurely murdered.
When it comes to taking a leak, I follow the buffer rule with the urinals. For #2, my phobia is public restrooms period. Unless it’s an emergency, I’m not sitting down on a public toilet. I’ll wait 'til I get home, TYVM.
I noticed that 3 or 4 Papa Gino’s in my area had urinals that provided a view of the gap between a stall enclosure and the wall (due to an ‘L’ bathroom configuration). That just seems wrong to be able to take a leak and stare at someone doing their business in their closed stall.
I spent a summer inspecting septic systems and still never got to the familiarity that a plumber showed when he sat on the edge of a sewer manhole, used sanitizer on his hands, then ate his lunch. That was freak’n disgusting.
Anyway, back on topic… I don’t know of any friends with restroom phobias. But I think it is universal that people would rather do their business in a closed, totally personal room than just a toilet with no dividers.
I cannot imagine caring one whit what others are doing, or thinking for a moment about what they’re thinking of me.
I agree I’d rather the place not stink,whether that’s from somebody who just left or somebody who’s still there. But other than that, if you’re having all the self-conscious thoughts outlined above, you’re waaay overthinking this.
As a graduate of the then all-male military, I can tell you that a field shitter out in the open in the middle of camp is a wonderful experience. The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, the breeze is blowing the stench away and there you sit out in the open next to 5 other guys takin’ dumps with another 500 guys wandering around washing up & getting breakfast. “G’mornin, G’ mornin, hey Bob, how’d you sleep last night”, etc." Builds comaradarie it does.
Eating, breathing, and shitting are part of being alive. No more, no less.
Well, I don’t stand up all the way. I’m still in a crouch, and I can reach around and pry apart the old cheeks for a thorough wiping. If I’m dumping, I can’t just reach down between my legs while sitting on the can and wipe.
Who are all you socially stunted weirdos who are willing to drop a deuce in public bathrooms? I mean, sure, if it’s an emergency, do what you need to do. But you can’t go for an eight-hour workday or go out drinking without needing to take a crap? You’re stinking up the place and making everyone else uncomfortable. And if you absolutely must, do what you can to find a quiet bathroom and wait until it’s empty.
Also, when I was in college, there were plenty of people who’d wander into the communal bathroom (shared by 8-10 girls) in bare feet. Or just in socks. The very thought of it makes me cringe. Same for locker rooms, of course, but also hotel rooms.