Jul 13, 2007

It Finally Happened

One of my biggest paranoia's is being afraid that I've walked into the wrong public bathroom. For me, that would mean unknowingly finding myself in a stall in the men's room. I guess I don't need to be paranoid anymore. It finally happened and I've lived to tell about it.

It's not like I just saw the sign and ignored it and charged in full steam ahead to confront my fears. Oh no, that would be too simple and easy for me. I prefer the hard way. In college, in the main student center, whenever I would use the public restroom, I would always try to memorize the color on the walls, just in case I 'accidentally' (see the paranoia had already begun it's stronghold on me back then) found myself walking into the wrong one, I would instantly know by the color on the wall. Duh!! That and the fact that I would most likely find myself surrounded by the opposite gender.

But the wall color was a big issue for me, for whatever stupid reason. Actually, I know the reason, but to divulge that would be to give the reader too much insight into the crazy world known as my brain. You see, I forget things very quickly. It is quite possible that I would look directly at a sign, read it and have no clue what I just read within 5 seconds. THAT is called short term memory, my friends. So, in my mind, I had to have a trigger to let me know, after the fact, if I was indeed in the right place or not. So when that panic hits me and I'm already locked in the stall, I must be assured somehow that I'm where I'm supposed to be - thus the reasoning behind memorizing bathroom wall colors. Simple logic, right?

So here I am today in a public building I've only been in a handful of times. I was unaware of proper wall colors. Actually, the doors to each restroom were, in my opinion, way too close together. They were only separated by 4 water fountains. And, another factor that played into my identity confusion...the cleaning ladies were standing in the open doorway of this restroom. Therefore, my brain reasoned, they must be standing in the ladies' restroom. I don't know that I even bothered to look at the sign. I just walked in, with Chloe in tow. It only took half a second to register once I saw a wall of urinals and a man standing there...oops!!!

Even retelling the story, I'm horribly embarrassed. So, instead of sneaking out of there with stealthy precision, I open my big mouth and alert Chloe, "Uh oh, honey, looks like we're in the wrong place!" To which she quickly and loudly answers "WHY??" This caused the poor guy at the urinal to notice us. At least I was in the proper frame of mind to know that I shouldn't make eye contact. I did an about face and darted out of there as fast as I could drag Chloe and didn't stop until I read the sign on the next door marking it as the correct one for my gender. I then appropriately hid behind the door.

Once I was safe within the confines of the female restroom I began to think about how that could have happened. I passed no less that 3 people as I was on my way to that door, and none of them saw it in their hearts to show me the error of my ways or my profound mistake in judgement? Were the cleaning ladies trying to play a practical joke on me? Why was there no written warning that both the men's and women's restrooms were the same generic color with no distinguishing features other than the urinals? In my opinion, that's just bad design. Obviously, I was ready to place the blame elsewhere.

After exiting the proper restroom, I once again meet up with the boys who were patiently waiting right outside. I asked them, "Did you see me go into the wrong bathroom?" And in unison they said, "Yes." Like this is a common occurrence for them. Then Gavin says, "We were out here making jokes about it and wondering why you did it?" Join the club!


Jennifer said...

If this is the first time this has happened to you, a hardy congratulations is in order! Girl, I've walked into (and in some cases actually used) the wrong bathroom more times than I care to count. Inevitably, when I come out, I run into a man that is trying to walk in and they always do a double-take to check the sign, then give me the strangest looks :) I always just smile and wave and act like absolutely nothing unusual has just occurred! It gives them a funny story to tell...

carol gwosdz said...

Corie, my husband recently went in the wrong restroom, did his job and on leaving noticed a quarter stuck in the tampon machine. He only saw the quarter. He was totally oblivious to the type of vending apparatus it was housed in. He pulled out his pocket knife to dislodge the coin, when a very annoyed lady tapped him on the shoulder. He spun around , knife in hand , to a very surprised female. in the blink of an eye, he high tailed it out of there before someone called security
Rest assured this happens more often than you think.
Keep on sharing lifes humor,
Carol Gwosdz, another Texas friend of Kim Crilleys

Heather said...

I'm not certain, but I think I may have even knowingly used the wrong restroom because the women's was either unavailable or the wait was too long.

Glad you lived to tell. And it gave the boys a good laugh.

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