Thursday, March 12, 2009

Restrooms

I have to say, I LOVE womens restrooms. My two favorites are the one's in the JFSB on BYU campus, and the ones at my office.
No one ever sees a line of men standing outside the restroom hoping to get in and out before class. The womens will be ten out the door and all the women are willing to wait.
What is funny about the womens bathroom is that few people are actually worried about the toilet. It is the most minor part of the restroom experience. You go in, you get out, hoping to let in the next person who may not be able to hold it in.
What is the best is that there are as many women in the stalls, as there are women outside of the stalls. I watch them, as I stand in line waiting for my turn. There is the girl in her pajamas, brushing her teeth at 2:00 in the afternoon. The one in sports dress is putting on mascara. The girl in the white dress and killer heels is trying to get her curls to turn back the right way after the wind has blown them wrong.
I quickly take my turn at the sink running water over my hands before it has had time to get hot. There is a pregnant woman next to me, using paper towel in hopes to get a stain off her shirt. I look at my face in the mirror and avoid it: no make-up and florescence are not a combination that is pleasing to the eye. Women are washing hands, checking make-up, teeth, clothes in the long mirror. They are convincing themselves, bolstering themselves, tearing themselves down.
There are so many people that many girls have to do without washing their hands and use the hand-sanitizer outside the door. I wonder if whoever put that there was a woman, or just a very well informed man.
Almost as exciting as the girls in front of the mirror, are the bags and purses and coats that line the doorways. What is interesting is that I doubt other women are thinking about stealing them, but as they walk past they are thinking, “I wonder where she got that...” “How much did that one cost?” “She could fit a closet in there!” “That would match my new shoes....”
My work restroom, though never as busy, is just as interesting. One woman will walk into a stall in jeans and come out in heels and nylons. There is someone in the stall next to me and I can hear her crying, but all I can see is her shoes, and she waits until I leave to leave her stall. There is a woman sitting on the counter, talking on her cell phone. There is another woman curling her hair, a third, a pregnant woman who after checking her make-up leans against the counter and looks at the ceiling taking deep breaths.
No one is in a rush to leave this bathroom, no one is excited to get out. Its as if in the little stall, and momentary claiming of the sink you are alone. You can let your guard down, you can feel relaxed, and relieved. There is something so taboo about the bathroom in society, but when you are inside of it you are freed from that and many others.
Three girls come in while I check out my outfit in the long mirror. One enters a stall and the other two lean against the counter and there is never a break in their conversation. It reminds me of the TV show Scrubs, where Elliot calls herself a “nervous poo-er” and has a rule that no one is allowed to talk to her while she is on the toilet. She exclaims, “No one is above the rule!” How does she handle the public restroom?
When you are running from a date, you are going to the bathroom. When you are skipping class, you hide in the bathroom. When you need to have a secret conversation, you head to the bathroom. The best thoughts, the most revealing talks always happen at the sink. Our closet, our make-up table, our respite, our confessional, the woman's restroom.

4 comments:

  1. You are definitely a writer... never have I put so much thought into public restrooms but now that I think about it you are right! haha I love reading your blog... you're so poetic.

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  2. sarah i miss reading your writing! It's great to have it back

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  3. you are fantastic. :) I love reading your writing!

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  4. Amen to the above comments! I love reading your writing-you are so talented. It reminds me of WHY I became an English major-and probably why we get along so well.

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