Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Public Restrooms

A bear may sh*t in the woods, but this is one woman who won't.  I also won't use outhouses, rarely use Port-A-Potties, and am very selective as to what public restrooms I use.  I became overly familiar with a wide variety of public facilities when my oldest was a child. She would RUN to the restroom whenever we walked in the door of a place--even if she just went before we left the house three minutes earlier.  There wasn't a restroom/facility that we didn't go into in the three-county area--for some reason she had a fascination for them.  Anyway, I saw more than my share and I certainly know which ones to avoid and which ones are fine for me to use.

***To completely get away from the point of this post, I MUST mention this.  There now is an app for your mobile phone that lets you find people who will allow you to use their bathrooms for a fee.  This is for those people who don't want to use public restrooms--and for people who are so desperate for money that they will let strangers come into their houses and use their most private rooms to do God knows what in them.  I CANNOT comprehend this, as I wish I had a second bathroom in this house just so I wouldn't have to share with my husband!  There ain't no way on God's green earth that I will let total strangers come into my house to use my 'throne!'  I. Don't. Get. It.  If you must read more, you can go here and here.  I get a great amount of pleasure in reporting that I couldn't find one person who thought this was a good idea--and most find this creepy and very, very dangerous.***

Now that we have traveled a bit, I have a greater variety of restrooms to like or dislike.  For the most part, McDonald's aren't too bad--but I usually go there in the morning or around lunchtime.  I don't have a clue as to how bad they may be in the evening.  Barnes & Noble facilities are more than adequate and decently clean.  I am very impressed with the restroom at the World Market store that we frequent--they even have taken a stab at decorating with some of the stuff from the store.  I have never seen it in a shambles and it comes the closet as any restroom to my bathroom in terms of cleanliness.  I'm very impressed with casino restrooms--both in Vegas and locally.  (Although, I DID get lost in a restroom in the Venetian casino in Vegas--I got turned around and had to ask directions to get out again.  Yes, I have problems.)  And, for the most part, I haven't been in a Sam's Club restroom that isn't taken care of very, very well.

The Sam's Club we usually go to just did a major re-model of the restrooms a year ago.  They put all new stalls and sinks, floors, counter tops, toilets, etc, etc.  The only thing I have a problem with is the fact that they used stainless steel for the stall walls--TRY and keep those looking good without spending hours a day cleaning them.  But they did a great job and everything works well.  I'm real pleased with the self-flushing toilets, but am less so with the automatic faucets--for some reason or other, I can't get those to work for me any more frequently than 50% of the time.  However, I am ECSTATIC over the Dyson hand dryers.

If you have never seen/used one of these, you have no idea what you are missing.  First, you place your hands straight down into this dryer.  Then the air comes on and blows your hands dry.  But, the WAY the air blows on your hands is a lot of fun.  While it doesn't FEEL as if it is strong, when you look at your hands, the skin looks just like those pictures of astronauts' faces when they are getting belted by strong g-force.  It's as if your skin is almost liquid itself, the way the air manipulates it.  I usually use this restroom JUST so I can wash my hands and use the dryer.  (Yes, I know that is off the wall, but these dryers are FUN!  :D)  I'd have one in my own home but 1) I don't know if they sell them for home usage and 2) I probably couldn't afford one even if they WOULD sell one to me.

Whenever I use a public restroom, I will use the handicapped/family stall if available and there aren't a lot of people needing to use the facilities.  I find it so much easier to have the space and the toilets are higher up, which is so much easier on my knees.  (I'm getting old and experiencing the family 'knee trouble.')  If you don't go into the family stalls, you might not have seen the 'seats' that are on the walls for babies.

These are where you strap your child in so that you can 'go' without worry.  While I'm sure busy mothers love these, I find them a bit creepy.  The seats are much too far away from the toilets, so that if the baby isn't strapped in perfectly, a person couldn't just reach over if s/he starts to slip.  And it looks too much like you're hanging your kid on the wall.  I just get creeped out by these things.

I have spent much too much time lately thinking about public facilities, but with our impending trip to the Renaissance Fair, I know I will have to use a Port-A-Potty if needed.    I just hope that if I really have to use one, I don't need it more than once.  I think I'm having a panic attack already.


meleah rebeccah said...


"There now is an app for your mobile phone that lets you find people who will allow you to use their bathrooms for a fee."


cmk said...

Is that not the stupidest/craziest/weirdest thing you've ever heard?

Anonymous said...

I'm obsessed with bathrooms too, and there are places where I'd rather run the risk of messing my car running home than using their bathrooms. I avoid public restrooms whenever I can, but once a few years back I really, really had to go in Target and was impressed. There's a department store we go to-likes to think of itself as upscale, and has a card on the back of the entry door for the cleaners to mark, but I'm not impressed and almost every time I wash my hands, the automatic paper towel dispenser does NOT work, and they don't have air dryers. Now, that Dyson thing-do you have to stick your hands in the top?? that looks like a narrow gap and some people don't use soap when they wash their hands. If you put your hands at the sides, that would make me happier.

I'd say I can't believe that part about an app for private bathrooms, but not much surprises me these days. What does surprise me is there are people who offer their homes to strangers, and that there are people willing to enter a stranger's home for the bathroom. How much more risky does life have to be for some people?

cmk said...

The gap on the dryer really isn't that narrow. And for it to work, you have to move your hands up and down until the dryer senses you are dry. SUPPOSEDLY, this is a more sanitary way to dry the hands than the 'regular' air dryers. I really don't know, but I'm absolutely fascinated with it. ;D

The first time we went to Florida, I stepped off of the plane and into a car in Charleston, South Carolina. Somewhere in Georgia, I HAD to go and K and his friend drove past A LOT of places because they wouldn't let me go in and use the facilities. Finally, they stopped at a Stuckey's for me and I went in. It turns out it was the guy's private bathroom and I pretty much closed my eyes the entire time. There were bugs in the bathtub and after that I refused to 'see' anything else, as I had to go so bad. I really think I would have had better luck in an outhouse that day.

I guess the app is legitimate. Some of the articles had the same disbelief as you, but after investigating, they found out it is real. And I agree, I can't imagine anyone wanting to risk their lives like this--on either side of this situation.

kristi noser said...

The Dyson hand dryers are the bomb. They put one in at the library, and I love it. Warning: If someone has an autistic child, it will be too loud for them. I think it is too loud, but the fact that it's so fun outweighs the loudness.

Anonymous said...

I have been in some classy Port-
A-Potties...seriously. Very nice. Couldn't wait to go again.

cmk said...

kristi: I never would have thought of the noise bothering an autistic child--but I'm not with our grandson often enough to really know what does and what doesn't bother him. I just love to watch what the air does to the skin on my hands--they really are fun! :)

leazwell: I have seen pictures of some of the high-class Potties, but I'm afraid I don't go to the high class events where they are used. ;) They certainly do make portables that put MY bathroom to shame.