Say you’re at work, and the restroom there has a total of four stalls. They’re all along the same wall, three regular stalls in a row and one handicapped stall in the corner. In case TV, the Internet, and your iPhone have rotted your imagination, I made a diagram:
Standard bathroom etiquette dictates that if you enter the unoccupied restroom alone, you choose the stall with the least amount of shared wall space with the other stalls (Stall A). If you enter the unoccupied restroom with another person, one person chooses the stall with the least amount of etc. (again, Stall A), and the other person chooses the stall that is at least one whole stall away from the first person (Stall C). Or you go into a stall together if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you go into an already occupied bathroom, the one-stall buffer rule should remain in effect when applicable. The handicapped stall (Stall D) should only be used in cases of emergency or wardrobe changes, because if you’re a regular person without a disability and you use it became it’s roomy, you’re just being a dick (or you’re the director of my old department, who, incidentally, is a total dick).
Being an occasionally shy pee-er, I am FINE with the rules of bathroom etiquette. I find that I’m much more relaxed when I can keep a stall’s width between myself and someone else. It’s not that I’m scared to pee or that I’m embarrassed to be doing exactly what I’m supposed to do in there, it’s just…I don’t know. Go find your own space. Stop looking at my feet! LEAVE ME ALONE!
Unfortunately for me, I have noticed a few habitual violators of bathroom etiquette. These people always choose Stall B, no matter if they’re in there alone or if I’m the sole occupant and in Stall A. It’s like they think the middle stall protects them from earthquakes or something, and choosing another stall would mean certain death, which, come to think of it, is pretty bad because it would be humiliating to die with your pants down and a tampon string hanging out. But of course this is unlikely, so the habitual violators are annoying instead of fearful for their lives.
There’s this one woman. She is the hardest pee-er I have ever heard. Every time I’m in the bathroom with her, she’s in the stall next to me. Stall B, nothing else. I can’t even imagine that she has the time to pull down her pants, let alone undo the layers of business casual wear and sit down like a lady. The door slams, there’s a loud plunk! and she’s assaulting the toilet bowl like it called her fat. Judging by the sound, the water in the bowl is being displaced at great speed by a lot of force. I can’t believe her urethra muscles are that strong.
(I was always told that forcing yourself to pee would result in a UTI. I’ve only had one of those in my life, and let me tell you that sitting on the toilet for two hours with a stack of magazines and a jug of cranberry juice isn’t nearly as relaxing as it sounds.)
Dudes, seriously, she pees insane. The pee is literally shooting out of her. She does it so fast that by the time she’s back out the door, I haven’t even begun to concentrate on the task at hand. I mean, I guess this is okay, because although I’m mildly annoyed that she won’t ever move over a stall, I don’t have time to feel weird about her proximity to me, and I’ve already started laughing so I’m relaxed enough to go.
If you need me I’ll be in Stall A, shaking with silent laughter and wondering when the pee will come.