Women’s Room or Men’s Room? That is the question…


In the summertime and even on weekends, I indulge myself and go to the bathroom whenever I need to. I know. It’s crazy, right? At any rate, I know where the bathrooms are around town. The library and Lowes have especially nice ones, but somehow when I’m running errands, I always need to use the bathroom at the grocery store. It’s adequate but not particularly inviting. There’s a doorway that opens into a short, narrow corridor with a men’s room to the right and a women’s room at the end. Invariably, I am not the only one who needs to use “the facilities”, as my Dad calls them, and there is often a short line. This may shock you, but the line is always to the women’s room. And another potential shocker: When I’m desperate, I tend to slip into the men’s room rather than wait.

Recently, after parking my loaded grocery cart off to the side, I headed into that familiar corridor. No line! I reached for the door handle and turned, but it didn’t budge. Locked, darn it. Oh, well, I wasn’t in dire straits. I’d just have to wait a little bit. After about a minute, a woman opened the door to the corridor behind me and got into line.

“There’s always a line here, ” she said, smiling.

“I know,” I said, commiserating. “Sometimes I just use the men’s room.”

“Me, too,” she said.

We continued to wait, awkwardly lined up in the corridor. Another minute or so passed.  I looked consideringly at the men’s room door. This was taking longer than expected.

“Maybe I should use the men’s room today, ” I said, breaking the silence. Then suddenly, we heard the muted but telltale sounds of a toilet flushing. “Oh, wait! That sounds promising.”

More rustling sounds emerged from the bathroom and then the hand dryer blasted.

Still we waited. We looked at each other and shrugged. I gave the men’s room door another wistful glance.

Finally, we heard the jiggle of the handle and the door started opening. Perking up, we moved to the side to make room for the person exiting. Bit by bit, the door swung slowly open, until, much to our mutual surprise…an elderly man emerged! My fellow wait-er and I made eye contact, our eyes wide. In contrast, the man assiduously avoided our eyes, moved rapidly down the hallway and quickly exited through the door. As soon as he was gone, we turned to each other and burst out laughing.

“Well, that was unexpected!” she said.



18 thoughts on “Women’s Room or Men’s Room? That is the question…

  1. rosecappelli says:

    A perfect slice of life! You built the tension bit by bit with just the right amount of humor, also leaving us with something to wonder about. I love how you referred to going to the bathroom when you need to as an indulgence! Teachers get that. Thanks for starting my day with a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adrienne says:

    I think every women has had a similar experience. I loved the laughter ant the end. A little moment of laughter with a stranger makes for a true Slice of Life story. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. vanessaw2007 says:

    “I gave the men’s room door another wistful glance.” I love this line for some reason. There is so much about this slice that I can relate to. I enjoyed it very much! I always wondered why people called the bathroom…. “the facilities.” This slice made me chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cvarsalona says:

    This slice made me smile this morning after a rather solemn day of 9/11 remembrances. I have never seen a man exit the ladies room-a reverse perspective on life moving on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It didn’t see that coming. Well-played.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JoCSin603 says:

    Perfect slice of life that I for one can totally relate to! I could totally picture the entire scene. Thanks for the laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jcareyreads says:

    I loved how you shared a laugh with a stranger.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Madison says:

    The ending was surely unexpected! I most definitely did NOT see that one coming haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. arjeha says:

    I have been to events where they put a “Women’s Room” sign over the “Men’s Room” sign giving women more stalls and making us poor men walk a mile to the nearest men’s room. Oh, woe is me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa Corbett says:

    When they are small rooms with just a single toilet I don’t know why it matters to designate! My kids are of an age when we just go in whichever is available first.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lindabaie says:

    Oh my, this was written to be published somewhere, Molly. You led us down the garden path for sure! I had an uncle (long time ago) enter the women’s room in a restaurant once, and was so embarrassed he insisted we leave. How nice that times have changed, or is it a mistake? My groceries have bathrooms with multi-stalls, seems reasonable for such a large group.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cindaroo42 says:

    You used some great details to build suspense and the relationship of the other woman waiting with you! Don’t you love how situations can make great conversations with strangers!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. margaretsmn says:

    This is hilarious! You had me going right along with you. Once I was in a restaurant bathroom. As I sat down, I looked at the feet in the stall next to me. They were facing the opposite direction. Sure enough a man emerged. He was so embarrassed and I think a little inebriated.

    Liked by 1 person

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