Thursday, September 06, 2007

Being deaf and in a public bathroom.

Now as we all know, women are god’s greatest creation. Lord knows we love to talk. We can talk all day long about spectrum of colors on a bedspread, retractable awnings, exotic citrus and coupon expiration dates until we are blue in the face. However! I feel that there is a time and place for such topics. One of those places is not in a public restroom. Conversation does not cease when that door shuts and locks. They just keep going and going and going. This presents a small minor problem for me. Allow me to elaborate from a deaf womans point of view.

The public restroom has become an interesting place to visit. It is no longer just lock the door behind you and squint your eyes at the stark white walls with graffiti written all over it. You have a simple metal toilet paper holder affixed to the wall or cabinet housing the sink. The typical white commode and matching sink complete with a faucet that you can turn on and adjust the temperature. For a real treat, you can pump anti-bacterial soup and *GASP* actually pull your own paper towels out and dry your hands. That was the 20th century bathrooms where I did not have to worry about anything unless someone banged on the door.

Welcome to the 21st century people. Modern technology has definitely streamlined our experience with fancy schmancy elevator music to make our relieving experience as enjoyable as possible. The public restrooms are designed in eccentric proportions with unusual materials of diverse colors consequently providing a safe and enjoyable visit. Architects has developed the standard of “washrooms” or more commonly known as stalls to maintain privacy while allowing light to enter from above, below and through a 2” wide gap through the door. These washrooms are formed by steel that rattles like a train coming through town if someone happens to step into the stall next to you. It usually ends up frightening you and then forces you to stop what you were doing, abruptly with no chance of continuance. Toilets have evolved to automatic super duper vacuum toilets where you have to learn to maintain perfect posture and pray that a fly does not go past the military grade flush sensor while you are on it. It is suggestible that you take a couple classes of Yoga before you attempt to master these types of toilets. While the toilet paper rolls have gotten bigger then your average 1000 sheets, the holders are the size of a small car tire affixed to the wall. You double the fine by having a matching holder of the same size one on the other side of the stall that has toilet seat protectors. If you manage to squeeze your head between those two holders, you can continue safely. You sacrifice comfort in exchange for quantity when it comes to toilet paper because it feels more like 500-grit sandpaper then the gentle comfort paper that we have at home.

Once you have managed to find your way out of the washroom, you proceed to the sink with a faucet that is lacking options for temperature adjustment. You notice the state of the art foam soap dispensers, since liquid soap is a thing of the past. If you are lucky that the dispenser is fully foamed, you start lathering up by waving your hand in front of the sink and pray that the plumbers knew what they were doing when they installed it. Three things can happen at this point: the temperature is just right and quickly changes to scolding hot killing any bacteria before the foam soap did, or it comes out frigid cold pruning your fingers, or if you are lucky, it comes out just right and you walk away with negligible damage. The next step is to proceed to the drying station. They have hand dryers with invisible sensors that turn the darn contraptions on by waving your hands underneath of it several times and then hit it to have the dryer turn on. By this time, your hands are dry and you have burned 80 calories. All the while the dryers are going, I can't hear worth beans. No wonder why most people prefer going home to take care of business.

The bathroom is no longer an escapade. With all the commotion that goes on in the bathroom nowadays, you add the fact that women do not, I repeat do not stop chatting even to go to the bathroom. My problem with this is if I am waiting in line for a stall, holding the stall door or taking care of business, I still cannot hear a single word anyone is saying. I am in a metal enclosure, with no visual cues of what anyone is saying, and you women keep yapping to your hearts content. Yelling my name or saying that you will be outside does nothing but induce an anxiety attack that there might be a fire or something. Most women have the unbelievable ability to identify a person by their shoes. Just let me be the first person to tell you, you are not impressing anyone when you can recognize my shoes and proceed to throw toilet paper over the stall and haul ass out of there. I might not hear you but I will find your feet. I wish that all conversation ceases with me until I have exited the public restroom.

It is the only way that I can go peacefully.


Jennifer said...

Abbie, you nut...I've had this problem before, but never have I thought to blog about it!! My in-laws in particular will gab through the bathroom will my daughters. Sometimes they remember...usually not. The little girls will often resort to crawling under the door or waggling their fingers through the cracks if they want something. 'Tis annoying...

Cindy said...

I just usually say, "I know you're talking, but I can't tell what you're saying!" or "I can't lipread through these doors!" in a loud voice. Stops 'em cold!


Anonymous said...

hahaha. i just have to say i can totally not relate to this. i do what i got to do, but that is funny. u are a very deep person, that is why i love you. peace in the restroom please!!!!

Kim said...

HAHAHA! I'm sitting at work, laughing my head off like a crazy woman, and I'm sure my patrons are afraid of me now. I only have to add-- I hate-- just HATE!!-- when the automatic toilet sensor senses something and decides to flush when I'm right in the middle of doing my "business". OR the opposite happens-- it WON'T flush when I'm done. I really, really hate, hate, hate automatic toilet flushers with a passion.