Damsel in distress…in the bathroom

The other day, after my class at The Second City, I decided to head straight home instead of sticking around for bonus Second City joy like I had originally planned. We had just gotten a new water heater that afternoon, and I was pretty excited to head home for a warm shower. Also, Brian had just been destroyed by our puppy, and probably needed a bit of a reprieve. Mostly, I had a tasty Blue Apron meal with shrimp and peppers waiting for me to cook up and devour.

Leaving the class, I knew I probably should hit the bathroom before rolling out, but I had parked in a 3-hour spot and was drawing desperately close to overtime. I don’t like getting tickets so I raced my ass to my car. It was only a 45-minute drive; I could make it.  (If you can’t already tell, this story is about poop, so fair warning as you continue on).

As I was nearing my home suburb, I happened upon a sign for the second time in a week that reminded me. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc was on sale super cheap at one of the local-ish liquor stores. I knew I’d never make it back there to buy some if I didn’t stop immediately. So I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed a cart. It’s important to always have a backup supply of wine.

As I filled my cart with liquid gold, the urge to poop began to increase. I’m not the kind of girl who can hold it, and I know that when I gotta go…I GOTTA go. I asked the lady at the checkout counter if they had a bathroom (they didn’t), and so I quickly planned my escape. Step one: Pay for wine. Step two: Decide on emergency bathroom protocol.

My options were limitless, but time was of the essence. Could I make it home? Maybe, but there was a risk in that. Could I make it to my parents’ house halfway between the liquor store and home? Tempting, but I decided to see what other choices I had.

There was a small pizza place by the liquor store. But I didn’t want to walk there and chance no public restroom. I got into the car and thought about McDonald’s/Burger King/Wendy’s locations near me, and I knew there weren’t any super close. And then like clouds parting to let the sun shine down on none other than White Castle.

Now, I have a small neurosis about using public restrooms. And it has nothing to do with pooping in public and everything to do with using a restroom while not patronizing the business. And so I always have to buy something when I use a bathroom. Brian has tried without fail to get me to sneak in, poop, and sneak out without anyone being the wiser for as long as I can remember. I almost always leave with a drink…sometimes a full meal.

I decided as I raced into the bathroom immediately next to the entrance door, that this would be the day I do it. This would be the day I opted out of a guilt purchase. Because I’m doing Weight Watchers. And White Castle just didn’t seem worth it.

I hung my purse on the door and sat down on the toilet. Relief was swift, but it only lasted a moment. Until I reached for the toilet paper. Where toilet paper should have been, an empty roll hung in its place. I assessed the situation. No place for a backup roll in this single-use bathroom. No stalls to hobble to with my pants around my ankles. And I was in White Castle. In the early evening. No one was going to be knock knock knocking on this door for hours. I wished I still carried that travel roll of Charmin I bought for my trip to Europe.

As I prepared to bunker down in the White Castle ladies’ room, I realized that I had a golden ticket! I had a freaking phone. I stood up, waddled over to my purse, and pulled out my phone. I waddled back, sat down, and googled White Castle for the phone number.

In seconds, I would be relieved from my public cell. I just knew it. riiiiiiiiiing riiiiiiiiiing

“Thank you for calling White Castle. No one is available to take your call right now. Please leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I pondered leaving a message, “Hey. In the ladies room. No TP for days. Send help.”

Instead, I hung up and called back. The damn store was open, someone had to be here.

“Thanks for calling White Castle. This is _______, how can I help you?”

“Hi. This is awkward, but I’m in the ladies bathroom, and there’s no toilet paper. Help!”

“Oh. Sure. Be right there.”

Commercial toilet paper roll in the White Castle Bathroom

Thanks, lady.

Two minutes later, a knock at the door had me waddling, penguin-style, again. I hid behind the door as I opened it just enough to allow a massive roll of toilet paper past the threshold. I thanked her, and quickly closed the door.

Bathroom selfie in a skinny mirror

I love me a good skinny mirror!

I cleaned up, took a baño selfie in the skinny mirror, and realized I definitely needed to make a purchase now. There was no escaping the employee who rescued this damsel in distress. I made my way to the front counter, and the employee was washing dishes in the back. I could escape. But I took a look at the menu and realized there were a lot of things I needed to try. You know. For research.

I ahemed a few times until I finally said, “Uhh hi!” Two full minutes after she looked at me and said hi, she set the dishes down and walked up to me, giving me a knowing glance. I should have just left. Why was I so embarrassed? Everybody poops. Right? I ordered and ran the hell out of there so fast.

I survived. And had tots hashbrowns with cheese sauce to assuage my anxieties on the 7-minute drive home.

 

 

 

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Toilet Paper Mind Fuck

There’s  a weird social experiment happening in the ladies’ room at the office. I know what you’re  probably thinking right now.

Chrissy, you sure talk about the bathroom at work a lot these days.

I know, guys. I know. But that’s where I do some of my best thinking. And you have to admit, the April Fool’s Nic Pic prank was pretty hysterical…and everyone needs solid tips for keeping a clean ladies room. Also, who doesn’t love getting paid to poop?

Back to the social experiment at hand. There have always been a few problems in the ladies room on my floor, but for some reason, the toilet paper situation has been escalated by the maintenance staff.

There's a social experiment happening at my office, and they're messing with the toilet paper.

The original toilet paper problem

The building has decent toilet paper, it’s not Charmin or anything, but it is a little more plush than your average run-of-the-mill cheap TP. At first, the biggest problem was the sheer amount of toilet paper that was accumulating on the floor and in the toilets. The maintenance crew heads into the bathroom on my floor twice a day. During their midday sweep, they would replace all toilet paper rolls with fresh, full-size rolls, and place the older, half rolls on top of the TP holder. You can see the problem with this already, can’t you?

No one wanted to use the loose roll of toilet paper, because that shit was always falling on the floor, getting picked up, and put back in its place of honor. You couldn’t vouch for the cleanliness of the loose TP rolls. So people used up the other stuff, and the loose canons rolled around the floor or sat above their cleaner, safer counterparts.

I didn't have any pictures of two good TP rolls with the "spare roll" but everyone knows this roll is the dangerous one.

I didn’t have any pictures of two good TP rolls with the “spare roll” but everyone knows this roll is the dangerous one.

The new toilet paper social experiment

Well, sometime in the last few weeks, the staff has started doing something a little rash. They’ve replaced half of the TP rolls with the worst toilet paper ever. It’s bigger than the normal toilet paper, thinner, and scratchier.

Not all toilet paper is created equally.

Not all toilet paper is created equally.

I don’t want to wipe my ass with cheap tissue paper, you guys, and you know that’s what that “big” roll of  TP is. No one wants that.

The real kicker is that they’re absolutely doing it on purpose. It’s not even like they’re discouraging office pooping. They’re discouraging wasteful TP usage. No longer do you see squandered rolls of toilet paper scattered on the floor between stalls. Not one square of the good TP is wasted in the office bathroom. By the end of the day, though, it’s scratch paper or bust for my colleagues and me.

When the good toilet paper runs out, you may want to avoid pooping at the office.

When the good toilet paper runs out, you may want to avoid pooping at the office.

After several weeks of this nonsense, I’m of the firm belief that someone is documenting how the residents of our office are handling this shenanigans. The answer? Not well. I mean, if they were concerned before about overuse and crap on the floor, they should be even more concerned now. I’ve seen more than my fair share of over-stuffed toilets (no picture because I care about your eyes). And let’s be completely honest here. Bitches are going to find other things to throw on the floor anyways.

Toilet seat covers do not belong on the floor.

Toilet seat covers do not belong on the floor.

You should never have to wipe your butt with crappy, scratchy TP. Click To Tweet

Hopefully, this situation resolves itself and the shitty toilet paper is removed from the bathroom. Of course, they may be getting us acclimated to the new paper before they run out of the decent stuff.

What weird social experiments do you notice happening in your office? What are your thoughts on the varying degrees of toilet paper quality?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Ladies, Here’s Some Advice for Using the Bathroom in 7 Easy Steps

This post is part of a sponsored post series about bathroom habits. This campaign is sponsored by Cottonelle. All opinions are totally my own. 

Let me start by saying that women, as a whole are pretty gross…at least when it comes to the bathroom…at least when it comes to public bathrooms. Having worked in restaurants and bars where part of my job is keeping tabs on the ladies’ (and sometimes the men’s) bathrooms, I know a thing or two about public restrooms. That being said, I also know that there are times when I’d much rather pee in the men’s room than the ladies.

I’ve developed a system for you to follow to smoothly go from urgency to relief without leaving the toilet stall like a tornado went through it.

Step 1: Enter stall or single-person bathroom

(I could have started with get up from your desk or wherever you were, but I figured that was a no-brainer…) When you enter the stall or bathroom, take a mental note of what it looks like when you enter, particularly if it was recently cleaned (or LOOKS like it was recently cleaned.) When you leave, it should look EXACTLY the same.

Step 2: Prepare the toilet

Now, if you’re like me, this step includes checking to make sure some nasty chick hasn’t gone all TP crazy and tried to flush a little too much down. Or worse, has tried to flush paper towels down the toilet. Or even worse left a giant pile of underwater poop sitting there waiting for you. Your job? Avoid being that chick.

Then I would sit down on the toilet seat.

Other ladies may have more of a routine. Set up one of those fancy toilet liners. Or coat the toilet seat with TP to protect your bum from the herp. (Right. That. Facepalm) Or get into your squatting posish.

Step 3: Do your business

Whether it takes you 20 seconds or 15 minutes. Do what you gotta do. It’s what comes next that really matters.

Step 4: Wipe your bum

I’m just trying to get all the facts straight here, kids. Trust me. I’ve got a point. Oh, and you could always use a few of your Cottonelle wipes for a shiny clean bottom. That’s what I do anyways.

Step 5: Take care of your mess

This isn’t the Ritz Carlton. And even if it was…you should still clean up your mess. Your lady week paraphernalia should go in the appropriate bin. It should not hang over the seat, looming, as if the toilet is certain death. It should definitely not go on the floor. And according to the signs in the bathroom, it shouldn’t really go into the toilet either. No one should be seeing red in the ladies room (pun intended.)

For the love of all things good in this world, PLEASE flush the toilet. Common sense y’all.

Most importantly, this one goes out to you squatters out there. If you feel that your ass is too precious to grace the toilet seat with direct contact, I applaud your contortionist skills. I can even respect you. UNTIL you become the reason that ladies squat. Wrap your hand up in some TP and wipe the seat down, so that when my bootie DOES come in contact with the cold, hard toilet seat, it’s not also covered in your pee.

If you sprinkle when you tinkle

Step 6: Wash your hands

For the record, if you leave the bathroom without washing your hands and ANYONE sees you, you will be judged for. life. I don’t care if you washed your hands in the handicap stall’s special little handwashing station or you’re going to wash your hands somewhere else…Make sure the people of the world know that you’re washing your damn hands.

Step 7: Make your exit

If you’re a smidge OCD like I am, you may want to try this little trick to avoid getting other people’s nasty unwashed poop hands’ germs. Make sure to have easy access to paper towels before washing, then use them to turn off the sink and open any doors. Works like a charm.

Welp! That’s it. If you’ve followed all of my directions to a tee, you shouldn’t have any problems making friends outside the bathroom stall. And you’ll set the bar for what the other ladies are doing. Because we really need to work together to stop being so damn disgusting.

Blog friends, any other tips you may want to give the ladies of the world when it comes to bathroom usage?

This post was sponsored by the fine people at Cottonelle. Because your bum is totally worth it. And so is mine.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Top 5: My Public Bathroom Wishlist

This post is part of a sponsored campaign to promote clean bums and bathroom ettiquette. Thanks to the fine people at Cottonelle, you get to read more about my bum.

I think about this a lot. In fact, I’ve had this post written in my mind 27 different ways a hundred different times. Luckily, I managed to keep it in my mind, because working with Cottonelle has offered the perfect opportunity to talk about baños and pooping and such.

I thought it would be fun to cue you in on the top 5 things I wish I saw more often (or didn’t see at all) in public bathrooms. Because when you’ve gotta poop, you’ve gotta poop.

5. High Quality Toilet Paper

I mean, you knew I was going to go here…I remember when Katie and I went to London…and we were TERRIFIED of the toilet paper situation. So much so that we brought our own. But we rarely think to bring our own around here…and sometimes that TP hurts my ass more than anything. So if I were to be granted a wish (or 5), please let there be soft TP and maybe even a fresh wipe or two for me to use on my one and only bum.

4. Taller Toilets

Have you ever tried to poop with your knees up to your eyeballs? Or even worse pee? At that angle you may end up spraying yourself! I’m sorry for all the shorties out there, but who wants to squat down farther than you did in gym class just to relieve yourself? That’s right. No one.

3. A Happy Smell

Have you ever been inside of a Target bathroom? They have that fresh fruity smell, almost like Trix or Fruity Pebbles (But definitely not Fruit Loops. Those are gross. Maybe one day I’ll tell you THAT story.) Anyways, so every Target has this delicious fruity smell and it’s not crappy or bathroom-y or anything. All bathrooms should smell like that. Always.

2. Wider Stalls

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down on the toilet only to rub my naked ass/hip up against the toilet paper holder. Gross. But it’s because someone thought it would be a good idea to squeeze one extra stall in there. Or even worse, when the geniuses who designed the place thought it would be a good idea to put the toilet about 4 inches closer to the side that the TP is on, instead of giving us that extra space! And screw the ladies over for life. Have you ever gotten poked by the corner of the TP holder? It hurts!

1. Automatic Everything or Nothing—You Can’t Have it Both Ways

I thought about asking for someone to wipe my ass for me, but then I realized that I’m a little OCD, and they probably wouldn’t do it right anyways. So then runner up in this competition is for a public bathroom to make the decision whether to have automatic sinks, soap and dryers or not. Because when you’ve got the automatic soap dispenser without the automatic sink….WHAT’S THE FREAKIN’ POINT? Seriously. Why. And really, I’d much rather have paper towels than the hand dryer. Automatic paper towels please. And a door that opens without having to touch the handle. Or at least a garbage can near the door. I guess that’s like 17 wishes rolled into one, but I’m serious on this one guys. It’s ridiculous.

Blog Friends, what’s on your public bathroom wishlist?

This post is brought to you by the fine people at Cottonelle. If you’d like to continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook, check out the hashtag #LetsTalkBums!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!