Karma, Thy Name Is Toilet Paper

, , , , , | Friendly | August 1, 2018

(My family and I are eating out for lunch. I excuse myself to the restroom, and have to wait for a stall. A young woman enters and stands quietly behind me. Then, another woman enters and gets in line, talking loudly on her phone.)

Woman On The Phone: “…and he said I couldn’t go to the party! Can you believe it?!”

(She’s not very far behind me and almost shouting, so I’m more than uncomfortable. The woman continues complaining to whomever is on the other end of the call, and I wait uneasily until a stall opens. Unfortunately, it’s after I latch the door and prepare to do my business that I realize there’s no toilet paper left. I put myself back together and leave the stall. The young woman who was waiting in line behind me starts to walk into the stall I just left.)

Me: “Excuse me, but there’s no toilet paper left in there.”

Young Woman: *steps back* “Oh, thank you! I—”

Woman On The Phone: “So I said…” *brushes past us into the stall, still chattering away*

Me: “Ma’am, wait! There’s—”

(The woman slammed the door. Cue the other young woman and me making eye contact, trying not to laugh. I guess karma exists after all!)

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There Are Gaps In This Story

, , , , | Friendly | February 12, 2018

(There’s a random difference between American public restrooms and restrooms in a lot of other countries. In America, 90% of the time there’s a large gap of space under the walls and doors of toilet stalls. Sometimes there are even gaps in the door jams that you can see through. I am around 13 years old. I am shopping with my mom, and I decide to stop in the restroom before we leave the store. We’ve also just gotten pedicures, and my brightly colored toenails are visible through my sandal straps. I sit down in one of the stalls, minding my own business. A lady bustles into the stall next to me. I hear lots of rustling from shopping bags behind hung on the hook behind the door.)

Random Lady: “Oh, dear! That’s not good!”

(I am a shy kid, so I don’t say anything, hoping she is talking to herself.)

Random Lady: *knocks on the wall between us* “Excuse me? Excuse me? Could you please pass me some toilet paper? I don’t have any in here!”

(I quickly gather what I hope is enough, and pass it under the wall.)

Me: “Here you go.”

Random Lady: “Oh, thank you, dear!” *chuckles* “Us girls have to stick together!”

(I mumble something noncommittal and quickly get myself ready to exit the stall.)

Random Lady: “Wow!” *her hand appears again under the wall* “I love your toes!”

Me: *trying to get my own bag off the stall door and keep an eye on her hand at the same time* “Um… Thanks.”

Random Lady: “They’re just so pretty! Let me see!”

(She LUNGES against the stall wall — the plastic actually groans from the impact — and tries to TOUCH my big toe.)

Me: *practically shouting the first thing I can think of* “BYE!”

(I throw the stall door open and hightail it out of the bathroom, without even remembering to wash my hands. I reach my mom and grab the bottle of hand sanitizer she keeps in her purse.)

Mom: *watching me vigorously sanitize my hands* “Are you okay, [My Name]?”

Me: “Yep. Let’s go.”

(Later, I tell her about the odd encounter I had in the bathroom. She is kind of upset that I didn’t tell her sooner, but we reason that the lady was probably just overly friendly, as opposed to dangerous. After that, though, I am nervous to use public restrooms for months. It isn’t until I have the opportunity to travel outside the country that I realize there are bathrooms that don’t have huge gaps people can see or reach through.)

Me: *calling my mom while on a trip for work, I tell her about my discovery* “Not even a sliver of a gap! I guarantee you no one will be able to touch my foot in one of these bathrooms.”

Mom: “[My Name], that was over ten years ago.”

Me: “But still…”

Mom: *sigh* “Tell me about something besides the glory of public bathrooms without gaps!”

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