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.