Tuesday, October 20, 2009

52 54: Putting the "Rest" in Restroom

The other day we were at CV (I have taken to employing the Cale-method of time reference, so the other day can refer to yesterday or two months ago or just about any day that is other than today). It's a little bar/restaurant thing situated at the bottom of the five-story building that happens to house the US embassy on the top floor.

CV does not have a restroom. However, there is one on the bottom floor of the "high"rise building and the doors are left open into the night for the public. It is understood that the women's restroom never has toilet paper. I know this. I resign myself to this every time I pee there. Sometimes I have a napkin from a food order or that they tried to set my drink on (but I secreted away before they could ruin the napkin with my damp drink). These days are lucky days.

On this same day, not many hours after I peed at CV (with no napkin) we stopped at McDonald's and I peed again. I remember distinctly the thought I had when I entered the McDonald's restroom

"Ah. A restroom where I can both use toilet paper and sit down to pee."

For me, that is exciting.

In the States, in general, I was a public restroom hoverer. I would sit on my own toilet at home and on the toilets of my friends and family. In general, I would sit to pee at work. But other than that, I would hover.

Being here has dramatically changed my standards of where I am willing and unwilling to sit down.

The outhouse behind the car rental place on Savaii with crumpled newspapers on either side as toilet paper (arranged in such a manner that it was hard to determine which side was the used side), not a sit down place.

The public restroom in Aggie Grey's hotel, which in retrospect was no nicer than your average gas station restroom in the States (places I did not sit to pee), is a sit down place.

I sit at On the Rocks, but not at Italiano's. I sit at Giordano's, but not at school.

I never sat in the training village.

I can easily tell walking in whether a restroom is sit acceptable. It has something to do with the amount of discoloration on the toilet seat, the size of the gaps between the floor and the walls, how "outside" or out in the open I feel while in the restroom, etc. It is a delicate balance and a restroom may be a sit down place one day and a hover place the next.

Anyway, just another sign of how less uptight I am than I was before.

— Sara


Barb Carusillo said...

I just goes to show how badly I failed in teaching the social graces here....at least in the terminology used. Truly, when she was a child, I tried to teach her to say "Please excuse me" , or, "I need to visit the restroom" and NOT the "I gotta go pee!" that was ubiquitis for her age group. Still not using genteel terminology I see! Miss Manners would be having the vapors in regards to this post.

Teresa said...

I am definitely a hoverer. There are a select few toilets in this world that I actually sit on....even then they normally have a barrier of toilet paper between the seat and me! I'm not sure if I'm really worried about germs/disease... it's mostly because you will inevitably sit in someone else's droplets on the seat! and that is GROSS!

Barb Carusillo said...

You guys are hopeless! Does the world really need to know all the details of your bathroom preferences? As you would say, TMI.