So I’ve got this issue, and I wonder if it’s just a me issue (I tend to have a lot of those), or more widespread.
A couple of times a week, I work at this real fancy office. All high rise, and gold leafing, and Prada shoe stores on the bottom floor. I mean, I had to go shopping for clothes just to feel non-stupid walking into this building. It’s fancy. Midtown New York. Sometimes I even think I see famous people walking the hallways…but I think anyone in a well-pressed suit or 4 inch heels is famous.
Anyway, the fanciness of the building is not my issue. The issue is that in the office where I work, there is only one bathroom. And this bathroom is off a small hallway that is right off of the main receptionist’s (except it’s a guy. Do you call a guy a receptionist?) desk.
Now, I have not been at this place very long, and I’m pretty sure most people still don’t know my name. The point being, it’s not an unfriendly atmosphere, but I’m not exactly walking around in slippers and talking about recent (or non-recent, as is more likely) sexual exploits around the water cooler.
So like, when I have to pee–or, even worse, more than pee–I feel radically uncomfortable and totally talk myself out of using the bathroom until A) I can’t deny my body any longer or B) the day ends and I can rush home and lock the door behind me.
I know it makes no sense for a free-spirited, strong willed, confident feminist like myself to have a total bathroom neurosis, but that’s what I have. A bathroom neurosis. And it blows. Because I drink a lot of water and coffee.
…And sometimes the bakery I pass on my way to work has killer cranberry-bran muffins calling my name from the storefront window.
My rational brain knows this restroom worry makes no sense (when you gotta pee, you gotta fucking pee!), but I’m still totally afraid of being that new girl who everyone can hear peeing or spraying air-freshener after the toilet flushes. I mean, even though a little potpourri can cover up the remnants of a post-bran muffin visit, the next person who walks in there still knows you sprayed Oust in there for a specific reason.
Plus, I feel like being a chick only makes this issue worse. Society is totally okay with dudes pooping. Guys walk freely into dorm bathrooms. whistling and holding newspapers. They make jokes about it afterward. Which they share with you. So a guy walking out of a-just-sprayed-room (but let’s be honest, how many of them would really think to spray?) is totally acceptable, but a girl…?
To a lot of people, the idea that women have bodily functions completely wrecks the balance of life.
So, yes. I have a bathroom neurosis. And it makes me feel all weak and dirty inside, but I can’t seem to fight it. I think maybe what I need is advice. Or other funny bathroom fear stories. Or calm, gentle words to tell me to stop being such a sissy ass.
So let’s hear it!