Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Potty business, David Sedaris, and adulthood

Pfffftttttttt. Uuuuuugh. Grrrr. Wait a minute, Grrrrr? That is NOT a noise that should be coming from the public restroom stall next to me. I couldn't help but giggle a little bit. Clearly the person next to me was trying really hard to do their potty business as quietly as possible, and not being super successful. Another woman two stalls down asked: Are you ok? The answer, a frustrated yeah, echoed through the whole bathroom.

It got me to wondering where did this habit of being super quiet in a bathroom came from. We ALL know what we are going to do in there, putting lipstick on and smoothing your skirt is just bonus. Right? As I flushed the toilet and giggled again at the predicament of the person next to me (namely because we have all been there), I thought about a story that David Sedaris shared on one of his live readings. I am a huge David Sedaris fan, by the way, HUGE but I digress.... In his story, David Sedaris shared that while on one of his book signing tours, he started to ask people about how they handle their potty business as a way to make the long hours of signing books move a bit faster. Having been on the receiving end of one his questions, let me tell you, you have to be honest. Brutally honest. Anyway, he asked the people in line and the answers he got were off the wall. He started to wonder about this whole "need" to be super quiet in a bathroom, even though we are doing things that will naturally produce some kind of noise. Some people told him they place some toilet paper in the toilet and thus, make no noise when using the toilet. Others told him about how hey timed their bodily functions to the time when people flushed or used the sink. The funniest response was the person who told him that they would sneeze, cough, or blow their nose to cover up the sounds because it embarrassed them, nevermind the people in the other stalls! Interesting, huh? 

When does this phenomena to be quiet in the bathroom start? Clearly, when we are kids, we could care less about what noises we make. We feel like champs just because we used the potty. Sometimes, with the door open, even! That takes some mad skills. No, it can't be when we are kids. How about teenage years? I suppose it could happen then, I mean, we are all so worried about what others think of us that we constantly metamorphose into something else. There could be something to that. But, why adulthood? We've already surpassed our most embarrassing moments, right? So, why do we feel that the bathroom, potty, is really a RESTroom? Last thing I do in there is rest. HAHA!

I am from the school that you do what you have to do in the bathroom and you're done. Easy. Get in and get out. I don't have time to worry about what the people in the other stalls are thinking, I am a mother. My brain is wired to think about other things. I am worried that the toddler in the stall with me isn't trying to start a conversation with person in the other stall. I am worried that the pacifier that was just dropped on the floor doesn't go back in that child's mouth. Sigh! Yes, all of these have happened to me and then some.  

I was brought back to the present, as I washed my hands. The person in the other stall was definitely dawdling in the stall so she wouldn't have to see any of the other ladies that were in the bathroom at the same time. As I was drying my hands, she finally emerged from her stall. She really did look embarrassed at herself. She gave me a look in the mirror and made a face, as if to say "what are you going to do?". I just smiled at her but any response I might have given her was lost forever in that bathroom, as a little girl (followed by her Mama) runs in and pronounces as loud as she can: "Mama, I really have to poop right now and if you don't help me, I am going to have an accident." We all connected over that and started to laugh. We've all been there, I guess we just have to be the right age to cop to it. Maybe Sedaris was on to something when he asked that question. 

         Just take a minute and laugh at this post. :) Ok, now tell us... is this behavior an adult thing?