The Potty Dance

by jlolb

*Sara–this is not one you will find any pleasure in reading, so close the browser now.

I think this might be an undiscussed phenomena….so I am going to take a leap and bring it to the surface. I don’t know if any of you work in an environment where the shared restroom is a fact of life. I do. And over the last several years, I have started to realize that there is this potty dance that happens in women’s restrooms—especially at work.

Not quite sure what I am referring to? I’m referring to the fact that it’s very awkward to run in to your coworkers–the ones you really don’t know all that well– at the sink in the restroom. You both come out of the stalls, stand washing your hands together and try to find some sort of small talk that seems appropriate after you’ve just well…”pottied” together? It’s weird. It’s just very weird.

So, then, for those of us who hate that situation, there is the very calculated potty dance. You go in, use the restroom—someone comes in after you. You have to be sure that you are out of your stall, wash your hands, and make your way to the door before they flush so that you don’t have to be seen. Or, if you’re the second one in, you do the waiting—wait ‘til the first person has left her stall, washed her hands (hopefully) and has hightailed it to the door before you find it in yourself to flush. You do everything you can to try to avoid the situation where you have to see the other person.

Now, of course, the situation changes depending on who you happen to be in the restroom at the same time as. If it’s one of my several workfriends (because I do love many of the people I work with), then it’s no biggie—we talk about our lunch plans or what we did last night or can you believe he said that to her? That kind of thing. But then, there is the occasion where you get stuck in there with the person you don’t know very well—the one who hardly speaks to you and who probably doesn’t even like you all that much. That’s when it gets really weird. And it’s equally as weird when someone starts talking to you between the stalls— and you’re both peeing and so it’s hard to hear what the other person is even saying. Sorry, coworker, I am trying to pee here, and this makes me very uncomfortable.

Does anyone else have this experience? Or am I just far too tuned in to and freaked out by strange bathroom antics?  It is possible that I am just incredibly strange.

Probably I should stop drinking liquids while at work.  Then I could likely manage to avoid these situations all together…