Monday, February 4, 2013

Crowdsourcing Bathroom Etiquette


Imagine you enter a public restroom. There are three stalls. The one furthest to the left is a handicapped stall. The center and right stalls are regular stalls. However the far right stall is occupied.

Which stall do you choose?

Some of you will say, "Choose the furthest stall to the left because sitting right next to someone in another stall when there is another stall open is freaky and weird."

Others of you will be quick to point out: "Taking a handicapped stall when there is an open stall is rude!"

Hence we are left with two undesirable outcomes. You are either freakish or rude. You're either creepin' in on someone's personal space or you hate handicapped people.

Don't even try to tell me the answer is simple. It is not. Oh trust, me I have done the research. I have inquired into it many times, over many seasons of my life, and the answer is ever changing, ever divisive — a veritable moving target of manners. There is no one right answer. It's chicken-or-the-egg in its elusiveness.

But I'm asking you now. Just between us. Which one would you choose? Do not answer lightly. You will be judged. You will be summed up and categorized. Your fellow commenters will narrow their eyes and look at you differently after this. That's not even including the silent hundreds who will look on without comment ... oh but you can rest assured they will look on with judgment. Hot, angry judgement. If they could strike at you with Heaven's thunderbolts, they would, dear stall-chooser, they would indeed.

I can't believe you chose that stall.


So which one is it? I need to know.


56 comments:

  1. If I'm going to be in there 30 seconds or less, I say take the handicapped stall. If someone is coming who needs to use it, you'll be out before they get there. Otherwise, you've got to leave it free. (P.S. See? It's simple.)

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  2. I go .center because Iim a do unto orhers. ii dont care if someone freaky goes in ne,t to me. I asumr tne same anout themiy a pu lic rear room ans understoodotherez my be near risky the chance oc unpleasantnessof sounds nd smell. sienfeld dealt with this.

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  3. I'm going handicap all the way, unless I have to poop, and I never poop in public restrooms. I'd rather die. Ah, and this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgedBRXw7fY

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  4. If this were a mens' room, this would be further complicated because to the left would be a couple of urinals. If you sat down in the left stall, you'd be in there while potentially several people come and go (so to speak) to them. The whole thing is just unpleasant!

    Relevant laughs: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/games/urinal

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  5. You don't go with either. You go wash your hands as quickly as you can, before the person in the right stall comes out and sees you, so then you seem legit. Then you either wait for the person to come out of the bathroom before trying again, or just wait until your bladder is going to burst and pray the same scenario isn't going to waiting for you in a half an hour.

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  6. I'd go Center, because I know I wouldn't be there long, and I'd be standing up. :)

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  7. As a fellow amazon, (six feet tall) am I allowed to consider I'm "handicapped" enough for that damn taller toilet?? The few times I find myself in a 'regular' stall, my knees are all up around my ears and I find myself wishing I were double jointed....

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  8. I'm always aware of the people on my floor, or at the movie theater. If there's a male with a wheelchair on the floor I'll avoid the handicapped stall (a.k.a. world's most comfortable VIP stall). Not because I'm a good guy but because I don't want the embarrassment of being caught coming out of it.

    Unless it's a fairly busy washroom in which case I'll take it and if caught by a guy in a wheelchair I'll lie to him: "sorry buddy - the rest of the stalls were taken when I came in here".

    Else: I'll just use it.

    (Not sure what "shame" means - may have to look that one up)

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  9. I'd pick the cleanest.

    Yeah, I really don't put more thought into it.

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  10. I will use the handicap stall. But our work bathrooms are private. Outside of work? Never use the handicap.

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  11. Use the handicap. It is a toilet, for crying out loud. On leaving it is available for the next person. I do believe handicapped can go to the head of the line, which is expedited enough.

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  12. I wrack my brain, trying to remember if I've seen someone with a wheelchair or walker, and decide that I'll be out really quick and rationalize this decision by thinking that if I hear someone roll or click in, I'll stop midstream to get out before they get there. PS, No one ever comes in, except the occasional able-bodied judgemental type, glaring at my rudeness.

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  13. Without even thinking twice, I use the handicapped stall. If, in the unlikely event that an actual handicapped person comes in, they can wait a moment or two until you're done. (Assuming you're being brisk and not "nesting" in there.)

    And like Chantel says, I appreciate the extra height, so I'm not eating my knees.

    But if I have to drop a deuce, I do what Padded Cell Princess says and come back later. I will never do that kind of business with someone else in the room, unless I'm on the verge of losing containment.

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  14. I would never think twice about using the handicapped stall. A toilet's a toilet and as long as it doesn't have explosive butt paint all over the place, I'll take it.

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    Replies
    1. "Explosive butt paint."

      My god, you can sure paint a picture with words, woman.

      Delete
  15. I go in, realize my dilemma, grab some tissue from the handicapped stall and pretend to blow my nose. Hightail it outta there and down a handful of cranberry pills in a futile attempt to circumvent the inevitable UTI.

    I've got problems.

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    Replies
    1. And yet you can crap in the woods.

      Woods, desert, whatever. You get my point.

      Delete
  16. Probably the handicapped. Unless you were at some kind of wheelchair convention, where you had a good sense that someone who actually needed that stall would be entering soon.

    A handicapped stall isn't like a handicapped parking space, where it's reserved for a person with a disability ONLY. It's more like, available for anyone to use, including a person w a disability.

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  17. It depends on how "occupied" the other one is.

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  18. I agree with a lot of folks here. If I didn't see any handicapped people around, I'd use the handicap stall.

    I usually try to avoid that stall in general, but only because the toilets are way too high for my short little body. So ironically, the ADA compliant toilets don't work for me because I'm height impaired.

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  19. I'm with Erin. I'm not a public pooper, so I know I could get in and out of the handicapped fast, making it better for the person in the far right stall and better for the wheelchair peeps. That Larry David clip was hilarious, btw.

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  20. If the only one available is the handicapped stall , I will take it. The truth is , the handicap stalls are made to accommodate wheel chairs etc, not be open and available at all times. What if 2 handicapped people came in, one would have to wait.
    So use it and be done and forget about it. If the builders of buildings with bathrooms had any sense at all, they would know that mens rooms need 2 stalls and a bunch of wall thingees and women need a dozen stalls and bigger mirrors.
    love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Wall thingies."

      Hee.

      Whenever I accidentally walk into a men's room (Hey, it happens!) I'm always momentarily confused by the wall thingies. It's like my brain can't process what they are or what alternate universe I've slipped into.

      Delete
  21. The law is that they have to have a stall for them. Not that they don't have to wait for it. Besides, I've been known to pee my pants. I'm taking it.

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  22. Since I'm so big, I only fit in the handicapped stall, so I have to use it every time.

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  23. I would use the handicapped stall because I pee like the wind (what?!) and will be out and washing up before anyone needing the extra-big stall can complain.

    Unless I actually see someone coming down the hall in a wheelchair or looking like they might need the big stall.

    Then I will use the stall next to the stall, rudeness be damned.

    :-)

    Pearl

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    Replies
    1. That's just good common sense, right there!

      Delete
  24. Having been temporarily handicapped and wheelchair bound, the correct answer is middle stall. You never know when a handicapped person may need the stall, getting situated is much more challenging with limited mobility.

    Of course all bets are off if you are having a GI crisis.

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  25. I hate to admit it, but I always use the handicap stall... it is the stall less used... which makes me feel better.

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    Replies
    1. This makes perfect sense to me.

      I once read that the very first stall is the stall that is the least used because everyone assumes it's the most used. So now I use it. But what if everyone read that article too? Oh dear.

      Delete
  26. I would leave altogether. I have a shy bladder.

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  27. Ugh, I just want to put this blog behind me, Mandy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haaaaaaaa.

      I've missed your wit, La Piazza Gancio.

      Delete
    2. Such as it is.

      Hey--you ever going to post that work blog?

      Delete
  28. Mandy, dear beautiful Mandy:

    You think too much.

    Just go in and shit.

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  29. I use the handicapped stall because I have a muscle disease and it's very important that I keep my muscles as strong as possible so they don't atrophy. That's why I balance on the parallel bars so I can hover over the commode in the handicapped stall. Two bitchin' birds, one badass stone.

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  30. Do I have my kid with me? Of course I do. Can we both fit in the non handicap or is it a mini bathroom? As a mom who will spend the entire time in the stall having a conversation with a 3 year old, that other person doesn't mean a damn thing for me anymore more. And I'm a shy pee-er. Here's what matters; can we both fit? Like even if it's tight, is it possible because more important; can I reach the door from the toilet when my 3 year old tries to make her escape because she's done so who gives a fuck what mom's up to? Nudity is FINE. In public even. Grow up mom.

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  31. I would use the handicrap stall. Pun intended on this one.

    Judge me if you will, but it is closest to the door and when you gotta go, you gotta go.

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  32. If I'm alone and it's clean, I use the regular one. I don't mind neighbors. One of us may have to "spare a square." However, if I'm with my kids, we use the handicapped. One, my son in a stroller needs to join us. Two, my 4 year old daughter has a sensitive soul, which requires that we always have ample space, repeat behaviors, and piss as far away from the noisy hand dryers as possible. It's going to be a long but fun 14 years.

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  33. I almost always go with the handicapped stall, especially if it is the furthest from the other person. I mean, really, how often have you seen a handicapped person actually in a handicapped stall? In all my life I have only one time ever seen a handicapped person exiting the handicapped stall and that was only because he worked in the office right next to mine, so the odds were pretty high. Other than him, though, not once have I been sitting there in luxurious handicapped spaceousness only to have someone in a wheelchair roll up and knock on the door. Not once. Not ever.

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. handicapped, and be quick about it!

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  36. Handicapped. I could care less what other would say about it. My comfort comes first, my release second, other's opinion, last.

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  37. Go outside and look for a forest to poop in. That way you'll be doing the trees some good.

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