I just need to go.
I just need to go.

Life is complicated. Using a public restroom shouldn’t be. I’m a big fan of diversity, truly, and maybe it’s just me being a bit overwrought these days—but lately I find myself doing this peculiar interpretive dance when I use public bathrooms. With the combination of toilet, sink, soap, and dryer choices, there’s any number of ways to do what needs doing. Too many, if you ask me.

Some toilets flush on their own. Great. The germaphobe in me appreciates not having to use my foot to get the job done. But often these self-flushers just don’t know when I’m ready for them. Sometimes they are a little excitable and a bit premature in their efforts…and a bit startling. Nothing like a sneak attack flush to get my heart pumping. And then sometimes I’ll stand there and wait…and then look for the little button to manually perform the task…which I can’t use my foot for, so that makes me twitch. Now more and more places are installing dual flush toilets where I need to choose to flush “up” for “liquid” and “down” for “solid.” So many choices! I just need to go!

And then when I’m ready to wash my hands, the choices multiply, and not knowing or paying enough attention (oops…this may be my downfall), can mean that the interpretive dance kicks in. Do I just stand in front of the sink and the water will come? Do I push for the soap? Wave my hand? Does the water stop on its own?

Now my hands are clean…all I need to do is dry them…If there are towels, is another wave needed? Hand crank? Elbow crank? And if I need to wave and I keep waving like an idiot and nothing happens, is it okay to feel small and insignificant because even the towel machine doesn’t see me?

Air blowers offer several variations, as well. Push the button? Move around? Stick my hands in some weird looking plastic “purse” for super-charged turbo dry action? And what am I supposed to use to grab the door without a towel to hang onto? (Don’t judge me, dammit—I already copped to being a germaphobe.)

My favorite combination is when a place has gone completely touchless except for one thing. So the toilet will self-flush, the soap will drop right into my palm, and I stand there like a moron waiting for the water to come…only there’s a big “PUSH” imprinted on the faucet that I didn’t bother to read because I haven’t had to touch anything else. Sigh. I never had to think at all when I knew it was all up to me to get the job done.

These variables make for too many choices for this whacky woman. I’m merely trying to take care of nature’s call! Can’t a mere bathroom offer simplicity?

And don’t get me started on the automated checkout machines in stores…swipe on the side? top? vertical? horizontal? Then hit enter? yes? PIN? zipcode? Is the amount okay? Do you want cash back? Do I need to sign or is the total low enough I don’t have to? Just take my money!

Okay. There. I think I’m done. For now.

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