Public washroom use as a woman

A somewhat definitive list of things I worry about, as a woman, while using a public washroom.

  • Am I going to pee myself before I get to the front of the line? Just breathe. Just keep breathing.
  • Wait, when was the last time this thing was cleaned?
  • I think I saw a silverfish.
  • While I salute your tenacity, you freak me out silverfish. You move like centipedes.
  • OK, now I feel creeped out because I remembered how centipedes move and that triggers the fear in my lizard brain.
  • When was the last time this toilet was cleaned?
  • I hope that’s just splashed up clean water on the toilet seat, not urine.
  • Is that a stranger’s pubic hair?
  • Yes. Yes it is.
  • How do I remove this stranger’s pubic hair without touching it?
  • Let’s try blowing at it, so it will float away.
  • Great, I just inhaled a bunch of bathroom poop air.
  • Whoever was in here before me really should have flushed twice.
  • Oh lord, what did that person have to eat? I think I’m going to pass out.
  • Try not to vomit.
  • Wait, is that drunk girl vomit on the seat?
  • Did this stall’s lock actually lock? I can’t tell, it’s so fidgety. Better do the rest of my business with one hand pushed up against the door so it won’t swing open at the most inopportune time.
  • How cold is the seat?
  • Way too cold. It’s like the arctic is cradling my behind.
  • I am now fully awake.
  • OK, but apparently after all this I don’t have to pee anymore?
  • I should probably be doing more kegel exercises as I grow older.
  • How much is too much when it comes to kegel exercises? Can you over kegel?
  • Welp. That was louder than I had hoped for.
  • How many people heard that? Is that my boss in the next stall?
  • From how things are going so far, I may have to finally admit that my body is getting too old to handle certain foods. Tragic moment. Shed a tear.
  • Crap, did my period start? Time to check for leaks on to clothing.
  • Remember that episode of Oprah where if you leave your purse or bag on the hook on the door, some thief will reach over and grab it?
  • Or is that if it’s sitting on the ground? I can’t remember. Now I’m having anxiety. Thanks Oprah.
  • Have we run out of milk and bread? Do I need to make a grocery store run later?
  • OK, but if you bring your bag into the washroom stall with you, that means you have to pick it up and bring it out before you wash your hands, so doesn’t that make your bag now gross and tainted? Doesn’t that also make your pants tainted too, since you had to pull them up before washing your hands? EVERYTHING IS TAINTED AND GROSS AND IT’S ALL SO GROSS AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE OF THE PLAGUE.
  • Wait. Is there toilet paper? What if there isn’t? Oh sure, there was the line-up and everyone was around for the extreme noises I made earlier, but now when I might actually need someone, they’re all gone.
  • I’m so alone.
  • So alone in this world.
  • Why have I wasted my life?
  • Oh thank God. There’s an extra roll tucked away in the corner.
  • NO LINDA, THIS IS NOT YOUR FRIEND SUSAN IN THIS STALL. GO AWAY. GOSH.
  • Is the toilet paper any good, or will it be like sandpaper against my delicate behind?
  • Definitely sandpaper.
  • Really thin sandpaper that keeps breaking apart at the slightest of touch.
  • I have to keep using more and more of this one-ply travesty of a toilet paper to get things cleaned up, but at what point will it clog up the toilet? If that happens do I fess up or slink away in shame?
  • How do I flush this thing? Oh. It’s an automatic flusher, and I wasn’t ready yet and it flushed. There’s water everywhere. It sprayed everywhere. It went places. Places it had no business going.
  • OK, but now I want it to flush, and it isn’t automatically flushing?
  • What about the germs on the button and handle?
  • Let’s see if I can flush it with my foot.
  • This is how I trip and fall and break my head open on a toilet, isn’t it? This is where I’m going to be found dead, bleeding out on to the floor, with that #%*@ing silverfish bathing triumphantly in my blood.
  • I hope I managed to erase all traces of me being in that stall, so whoever comes next isn’t disgusted.
  • How does this soap dispenser work? There doesn’t seem to be any soap. We are out of soap. OH GOD THERE’S SOAP EVERYWHERE IT JUST KEEPS COMING AND WON’T STOP.
  • How does this tap work? OH GOD IT’S TOO HOT IT BURNS. OH GOD IT’S TOO COLD I HAVE HYPOTHERMIA WAIT NO, NOW IT’S TOO HOT AGAIN WHEN WILL THIS AGONY EVER END?
  • I hope I’m washing my hands long enough so that other people don’t think I’m a horrible human being.
  • I keep pulling on the paper towels but they aren’t detaching from each other and it’s just like one never-ending paper towel equivalent of the Human Centipede. This is so wasteful and I’m the cause of all deforestation, climate change and the end of humanity.
  • Wait, did Susan leave without washing her hands? DAMN YOU SUSAN I HATE YOU SUSAN YOU ARE SO GROSS.

Notably absent from the list: Transgender people.

(In other words take your transphobic fear-mongering and stuff it)

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