The Awkward Bathroom Encounter

The Awkward Bathroom Encounter

Yesterday, I was at church for a meeting. I was participating and laughing – oh, the laughing – when suddenly I realized I had to… you know. 

I had no choice. It was time for The Awkward Bathroom Encounter.

Women, you have all endured this. You find the bathroom and realize with some horror that it is for one person at a time only. And the door is shut. And as hard as you try to see if the light is on under the door or listen for any sounds while also keeping an eye on the hallway because if your pastor sees you crouching by a bathroom door he will report you and then you won’t be able to go back to your meeting, you just can’t tell for sure. So what can you do but knock?

But this isn’t just any knock. This is the most stressful knock in the history of time. What if someone is already in there?

For me, that’s the worst feeling. I don’t want anyone to think I am rushing them, like WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE BATHROOM FOR THREE MINUTES DO YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR WHAT. I am merely gathering information – if someone is in this bathroom, I will move on to the next one. All women learn this around the same time they master the art of the ninja kick in order to flush the toilet. And yet I think all women also fear hearing a voice from the other side of the door, saying the dreaded words we hate: “Someone’s in here right now.

ABORT, ABORT. MISSION FAILURE.

It’s not easy being a girl. All men have to do is walk into the restroom and give a manly nod because no man’s bathroom is for only one person at a time, and if it is it will be available in .23 seconds since that is all the time they need. Men. 

In case you are not as familiar with this process, I have broken it down for you, step by step, in the list below. Enjoy:

The Plucky Procrastinator’s Guide to The Awkward Bathroom Encounter:

1) Realize you have to make a sacrifice to the porcelain throne soon. Ignore it because you don’t have to go that bad and you can wait.

2) 30 seconds later, realize you cannot wait one more millisecond or this will be first grade in Mrs. Bishop’s class all over again.

3) Locate nearest bathroom. If in school, you’re in luck! Most of those are multiple stalls. If you’re at church or K-Mart, prepare yourself. 

4) Investigate thoroughly. Is the door shut because someone is on the other side or because the door is heavy and always swings shut?

5) It’s because someone is on the other side. Duh. 

6) Stand straight, take a deep breath, and knock a solid three times. No more, no less. 

7) If no one answers, hooray! Open the door slowly, like you might if you were diffusing a door bomb while on roller skates. 

8) If “someone’s in here,” proceed to verbally vomit all over them with your apologies and explanations. 

9) Run away to the next bathroom, praying the first person didn’t recognize your voice, doesn’t have a child in your class, and is not leaving the bathroom any time soon.

10) Blog about it. 

Awkward Encounter-ers, form a line to the left. 

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