Do you really need that in here?*


*Written under the influence of cold meds.

Can we please draw the line when it comes to talking on cell phones in public restrooms?  Why do people feel the need to have conversations in there?  If the call is so important, shouldn’t your focus be on that rather than your bladder?  Or if you have to pee that badly, can’t you call the person back?  I get it when you are at home, in your own bathroom, in your own space.  Sometimes you are in the middle of a riveting call with a close friend or family member and you don’t want to hang up and call them back.  Totally fair.  But in the Starbucks bathroom?  Do you know what happens in there?  Do you want those germs all over your phone?  There is more traffic to that bathroom than a sample sale at Lulu Lemon.  It is probably the same demographic as well.  Or maybe Chico’s.  Also, it is a little disconcerting to be in one of the other stalls and to have someone next to you talking at the top of their lungs.  I don’t need to know that you are stopping at the grocery store before picking up the dog from the groomer and then making your way home.  I really hope you didn’t bring your latte in there with you too.  Who doesn’t love coffee with a side of staph infection? I know the bathroom is cleaned regularly but it is still a public restroom.  When all is said and done, it is gross.

As I have mentioned before, I am not always full of the milk of human kindness.  I am a nice person but I don’t suffer fools gladly and I have heard so many cringeworthy conversations while peeing.  Some are in English and some aren’t.  I prefer the ones that aren’t in English so I don’t have to hear the details.  It is like being on an airplane, sitting next to a stranger and they use it as a therapy session.  You are a captive audience and can’t get away.  That is how I feel in the Starbucks bathroom.  I just want to pee in peace.  Don’t you?  God forbid something unexpected happens and the person on the phone hears it…even if it wasn’t you.  You have no control over what the person in the next stall is doing.

When I was a kid I went through two phases.  The first was to check out every bathroom in every public place we ever went to.  I have no idea why.  Somehow in my head I decided it was new and exciting uncharted territory.  Who knows what I thought I would discover.  My parents would make jokes about how I knew what every bathroom in Honolulu looked like and that I could probably provide a review if asked.  In middle school and high school I became one of those kids who would only go to the bathroom at home unless it was an extreme need.  I don’t think it was because of my germaphobia.  That hit later in life.  I think it was the self-consciousness that most adolescents feel about having no control over their body and doing something embarassing.  When I started watching Ally McBeal and saw the unisex bathroom I couldn’t imagine anything worse.  What if your crush was in there with you?!?  Mortifying.

So now that I am an adult, I don’t have a weird attraction to public restrooms any more  and I am also no longer terrified of them.  They serve a purpose and while at times they are disgusting and should be avoided, they are never the place for a phone call.  Yep, you heard me.  I am standing strong on that.  Be careful the next time you are on the phone and I am in the stall next to you…  You have been warned.





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