It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.
Mothers shield their young children’s ears from hearing stories of it.
Still, it happens to the best of us, and it happened to me just this past weekend.
Allow me to start from the beginning. Husband’s family had a Christmas gathering at a local restaurant and the group was leaving. I decided to use the restroom before we left since we planned to do some shopping afterward.
Normally, I wouldn’t give so many details about my toilet habits, but this is an essential part of the story. You see, I really had to pee. After that long and satisfying emptying of my bladder, I reached for the toilet paper and got this:
Both luckily and unluckily for me, I heard someone in the stall next to me. I had a decision to make: to ask for toilet paper or not?
Many thoughts went through my head. She was rustling around and grunting over there. It sounded like things weren’t going in her favor. Do I dare speak up and bother her in the midst of her crisis of the bowels? The other option left me in a
wet sticky bad situation, as well. I decided that I’d better speak up before she left and I missed my opportunity, leaving me with wet pants.
“Um, excuse me. Would whoever is in the stall next to me mind passing me some toilet paper? This stall is out.”
To my surprise, a jolly Latina accented voice replied, “Yes, but wait a minute, please. No problem.”
More grunting and rustling.
“Sorry, it’ll be just a little bit longer,” she said.
“No problem,” I told her. So I waited. More grunting.
Finally, she passed a gargantuan mass of paper under the stall divider.
“Here you go. Is that enough?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Thank you so much.”
I figured when I walked out to wash my hands and saw her at the sink that we would have one of those closed-lipped smiles, share an awkward knowing glance, and she would be on her way. Instead, I made a new lifelong friend.
In broken English, she rattled on something about her son and needing to get back home. I made the expected polite responses, but I seriously have no idea what we actually talked about. I do remember that we talked about how finding no paper in your stall is the absolute worst. I’m also pretty sure that we exchanged cookie recipes and I have a necklace now with “Best” and she has the other half that says “Friends”.
I walked toward the front door of the restaurant and Husband was sitting on a bench.
“What the hell were you doing all this time? Did you fall in or something?”
“Ugh. My stall was out of paper and I had to ask some random lady next to me for some. It was so embarrassing,” I responded.
Husband gave me a stern, questioning look. “Did you sit down on the toilet seat?”
Ok, cue the scratching record sound for a small back story. Husband and I have had this ‘sitting on the toilet seat’ argument more than once. He’s a true germaphobe at times and one time, the fight was so bad that I finally conceded defeat and promised him that I would never again sit on a public toilet seat. I’m serious.
So anyway, I instantly knew that this funny story I was telling him was going to turn down a treacherous path, and quickly. There really was no escaping the interrogation. I’m a terrible liar, so I couldn’t just say no. And if I said yes, he was going to flip.
“Well, I had to. I had no choice. There was no paper and I had to wait for the woman next to me to pass some, and I caught her at a bad time.” The feeble joke clearly made no difference in his mood.
So, a fleetingly short, but still uncomfortable fight ensued. I had to hear for the 27th time about the dangers of public toilet seats, such as herpes, MRSA, AIDS, and Kristin Stewart movies. I had to promise (again, but really really promise, like for real this time) that the toilet seat and my thighs are never, ever, ever, getting back together. Like, ever.