A Primer on Bathroom Courtesy

In most conventional public restrooms, there are a series of stalls. Normally, there are several smaller stalls and one larger stall. This magical larger stall even comes with hand rails! I call it magical, because I’m assuming that’s what most people think. People also must think that that is where you go when you just want to stretch your legs a little more. Afterall, it is called a RESTroom, is it not? It must also commonly be thought of as the place where people go to do their dirty number 2’s, to keep them separate from where they like to do their number 1’s.  Why do I think this??  Because people always use it!

People. It is called the HANDICAPPED stall. Or, for those who prefer more PC-type statements, it is the stall for people who deal with mobility issues. (My big sister in my sorority once told me that she went to a seminar where they instructed that you put the person before the disability. So it’s not “blind person” but “person with vision impairment”. Every time I try to be PC, I think of her. Hi big sis!) So, I guess I’m not a “paralyzed person” but a “person with dead legs.” But I digress…

The handicapped stall is for people who NEED more space. Someone like me. Someone who has a circumference of like 5 feet who does not fit in a traditional stall. Or someone who needs handrails to sit down or stand up. Women with strollers, I’ll let you into our handicapped stall club. You’re welcome. But everyone else: STAY OUT!!!

I’m talking specifically, but not only, to the woman (or women) in my office building who EVERY SINGLE DAY do their number 2’s in the handicapped stall. How do I know it’s every day? Because there are skid marks (BARF!!!) and toilet paper left in the bowl. The toilet in that stall doesn’t flush so well. It’s probably because it’s the most commonly used one, apparently.

Here’s the problem- you have choices. You have several other stalls which you can use. You could mix it up. Monday’s the first stall. Tuesday’s the second. Wednesday’s the third. Thursday, to keep things fun, you could pick a number randomly. Friday could be on a rotating schedule. Or maybe the first choice is out of toilet paper or someone left a nasty present, you have others to which you can go. The point: You Have Choices! I have no choices. I have one stall to use. If it’s out of TP or plugged, I’m screwed. I can’t even fit in the other stalls enough to grab TP. So when you able bodied people use all the supplies in my stall, that leaves me in a terrible predicament. If it weren’t weird and/or illegal, I’d do a To Catch A Predator type sting in my work bathroom to find out who the disgusting Skid Mark woman in my building is and embarrass the crap out of her. Pun intended.

Here’s another problem- paralyzed folks like myself, or even others with mobility issues, often have bladder issues too. Bladder nerves are in the spine. When there’s a nerve injury, it effects everything in that area. Luckily, I no longer have any issues. But, I once did. At one point, I had a retention timeframe of like 45 nanoseconds. It was a “I think I have to go…uh oh!! Out of my way!!” So, now imagine that I get to the public restroom and there’s an able bodied person just stretching out in my stall for the hell of it. I’m making light of it, but it’s actually a serious issue. I didn’t eat in public, or do anything that would take longer than like an hour, for the first 8 months of my recovery because I didn’t want to stray too far from a bathroom I knew I could use.

So, please. People who do not need the handicapped stall. I urge you. I implore you. I beg of you. Do your 1’s and 2’s in the regular size stalls and leave the bigger ones alone!

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