When I’m on a road trip and need a restroom, I stop at McDonald’s. Their restrooms are usually somewhat clean and I don’t feel obligated to buy anything. I figure I have spent somewhere just under $100,000.00 at McDonald’s all over the country in the last 35 years, so I feel I should be able to use any of their restrooms without a purchase, guilt free.

Most public restrooms make me uneasy for obvious reasons. I like the ones in fancy places where attendants pass out hand towels and lotion. A tip is expected, but everything always feels sanitary mostly because the person handing things out is wearing a uniform, almost like someone in the medical field.

A couple of years ago, New York City had a Charmin bathroom set up in Times Square. We rode a lovely escalator up two floors to a huge room lined with individual bathrooms. Only in NYC would there be such a fuss over the launching of a new line of toilet paper … strong or soft. An attendant was in charge of each bathroom and cleaned up after each visitor exited. I don’t think that would be on my list of jobs to apply for.

Airport restrooms are the most challenging. The doors open inward setting up an obstacle course with a carry on bag and purse. When finally squeezing out of the stall there is usually a lineup at the sinks. And who decided paper towel dispensers are required to be installed just high enough the water runs down to your elbows while you’re trying to figure out if it’s a wave-in-front of or turn-the-knob dispenser. I will say, though, it’s easier to navigate in the airport bathroom than the broom closet sized one on the plane.

Walmart needs better signage for their restrooms. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve walked in to the men’s room. Not once has anyone stopped me. I think people like to watch to see how long it takes someone to realize their mistake.

I do understand why Mom used to say, “Use the bathroom before you leave home.”


2 responses to “

  • Mary Paddock

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Mary Paddock

    I intensely dislike public bathrooms, will wait as long as I can to avoid using one. I have no idea why I'm like this.

    As per Wal-mart–once when I was pregnant with my fourth, I made it all the way into the stall in an empty men's bathroom, even peripherally noting the urinals as I strode quickly to the stall. While there, with the door closed, I took note of a pair of men's loafers walking past, processed the image and realized (to my horror) where I probably was. I waited for the individual to leave and slipped out unnoticed by everyone except my much delighted husband (who leaves no stone unturned when seeking material to tease me about). Walmart's only crime this time was in “switching” entrances–meaning that in every Walmart I'd ever been in to that point, women's bathrooms were on the left and the mens's was on the right. In this case, they were reversed. I simply didn't read the sign.

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