Thursday, April 1, 2010

Favorite Toilet

I am not sure how many of you work somewhere where you would frequent a bathroom with multiple stalls, but I guess technically this might apply to anyone who uses a public bathroom regularly whether it be the grocery store, the mall, whatevs. Anyhoo, my point is, do you have a favorite stall? Or am I just a crazy OCD person? Maybe don't answer that if I am. Okay so there are five stalls in the bathroom at work and I almost always use the exact same one. And I realized yesterday what a hick-up it causes when "my" stall is occupied. It is like my brain stops for an instant and says "great! now what do I do?". I walked into the bathroom went past the sink and powder area and into the toilet room, turned the corner towards my stall and just stopped in my tracks when I realized it was occupied. I am not sure how long I stood there. There were two stalls open, but I am pretty sure I just stood there for a second contemplating whether I should wait for mine or come back later? I was probably trying to figure out how badly I had to pee. Finally I turned around and went to an open stall. It was at this point I realized I am a little bit crazy. Who has a favorite freakin' toilet stall?
Here's my second question? Do ideas ever pop into your head like "you know what would be funny?". As I was in the "other" stall I was thinking: wouldn't it be hilarious if I stood there for a minute in front of the stall and then knocked and said 'are you going to be much longer?'. The astonished girl would respond 'what? just a second', but she would really be thinking 'are all the stalls really occupied?'. When she gets out she would realize that they aren't. Then she would look at me with wide eyes full of fear and astonishment and I could respond 'thanks, this one's my favorite' *wink*. I don't know where my brain comes up with these crazy ideas. But sometimes I think it would be awesome to live in Natalie's alternate universe where I say all this crap out loud.
Now this of course makes me think of some of my mom's crazy, yet hilarious, outbursts when her cancer had spread to her brain. People seriously look at me like I am insane when I start laughing about these incidences. But seriously it is the only relief you get most of the time and they become this happy memory during a very dark time. My mom found it a bit hilarious too and when she would say something that normally she would filter out she would be like 'what? I have a brain tumor okay?' and then we would both laugh histerically. Getting the horrified looks from people around us was obviously way more fun when she was there. When I try to tell people these stories they give me a look that is part horror, part amusement, part apprehension. It is like they are thinking: 'Whoa did she just say that? Was it supposed to be funny? Am I a horrible person if I laugh? She is laughing. But she is kind of crazy'. And maybe the craziest part is that these reactions are humorous to me too. But I immediately have to tell people that it is okay to laugh about it.  
The one I remember most vividly was when mom was in the hospital. She was sleeping, or at least we thought she was, and Andy and I were watching TV. Suddenly she starts yelling 'change the channel! change the channel! I don't want to watch this!'. Andy and I are wide eyed and quickly reach for the remote and change the channel. We were just watching some sitcom, but from her reaction you'd think they were skinning baby lambs or something horrible. Then I ask her 'okay Mom, what do you want to watch?' response....'Mom, what did you want to watch?'. Then she wakes up fully and says 'what?'. It must have been a combination of a strange brain reaction and her dreams or something. She had no idea why she had gotten so upset about it. Now I realize to most everyone this doesn't seem funny. But Andy and I still remember this and it makes us smile and laugh.
I also remember the first time I realized that changes were happening. We were out to eat, she had ordered something and the waitress came back to inform her that they didn't have anymore of the item. I just remember my mom getting upset and pouty and saying 'well *hummmp* that's what I want". My mom was usually a very reserved person and kind beyond normal expectation. If it had been four years earlier, even if she was disappointed, she would bubbly respond 'no problem I will try ___ instead!'. So I remember being shocked when she reacted this way, even if it was just an itty bitty outburst that no one else would probably notice. I mentioned it after the waitress left and this was the first time mom said 'well I do have a brain tumor!' and she started laughing. This is when I realized that you can find comedy in any situation in life and it is the comedy and happiness that makes it bearable.
I am seriously not sure how I got here. I was just trying to tell you people about my weird obsession with a particular bathroom stall. I swear my fingers just get possessed sometimes.


  1. Yup, you got me. I do the same thing. :)

  2. We are creatures of habit. There are 6 bathrooms in my tiny office (b/c it's technically two residential units that have been married into one commercial space) and I ALWAYS use the same one. :)

  3. On the RARE occasions I have no choice but to use a public ladies room, I use the first stall where I can see myself in the mirror or I don't use one at all. My psychotic germaphobe brain computes that the first stall visible in a mirror is the cleanest, because it's what the supervisor would see first when popping in to check the maid's work. Even still, I carry my own disposable toilet shields and I employ the hover method. I don't like to take any chances.

  4. Oh yeah, I wanted to comment about your mom, because I didn't want to ignore that 3/4 of the post that I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have shared if you didn't want us to talk about it. I LOVE that you guys could find humor even in those tragic circumstances. Your mom must have been one incredible lady.

  5. Hahaha you all crack me up and make me feel instantly relieved that I am not crazy! I went in today and someone was in there again! Seriously? I think I need to put a sign up. You think the cleaning crew would figure it out if I put an out of order sign on that stall? Hahaha. GM- I try to hold it as long as humanly possible when I am anywhere but work or home. And I am somewhat of a shy pee-er, so I have to wait until someone flushes the toilet or turns on the sink. But I thoroughly enjoyed your "technique" of toilet selection. You are most likely correct that would be the cleanest stall.

  6. Yep, I do the same thing at work too! And we used to say "chemo brain" in our family when my mom made a silly comment. Same thing, and I still think about her saying that today. :)

  7. I have a three part comment
    1) Did you know that scientific research has shown that the 1st stall in the series is the cleanest? Probably because people skip over it thinking the opposite...but if word gets out I guess this will forget I mentioned it and I will keep this my secret.
    2) My excuse is always "I would be OCD, I always do everything right the first time" :)
    3) I just teared up AGAIN because of one of your posts. Because of living across the country from you at the times of our Moms' late stage illness, I don't think we really talked about this part, but my Mom went through the SAME thing. I will never forget when I asked her if I could take a bed from their house for my apartment in Boulder and she said, "Well, okay, but don't loose it!", still makes me smile too.

  8. Oh my gosh! I totally have a favorite stall, and I also have the "random thoughts that pop into my head when they probably shouldn't syndrome." I love it!