tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine) wrote,
tried to eat the safe banana
thefourthvine

[Poll] Potty Polling

Best Beloved recently attended a meeting. (This is not the unusual part of this story; there is apparently a strict policy where she works about the percentage of one's total working time one must spend in meetings, and they do not let you slack on that.) This particular meeting was held in a location that her colleague, S (I think you will see soon why I am avoiding revealing any personal information about her), particularly hates, and during a break, S told BB why she hates it so much:

When they have meetings there, S ends up peeing behind a dumpster.

And, yes, there are totally perfectly acceptable bathrooms at the meeting location. S (who is a middle-aged professional woman with a highly responsible position, dignified and at all times well-dressed) is peeing behind dumpsters on the way to the meeting, because in the early morning, she has to pee every hour or so, and the meeting location is about an hour and a half away from her house. So what happens is, S gets to the hour mark, really really has to pee, pulls off the freeway, and finds herself in a profoundly sketchy neighborhood. (Locals: Compton. For serious.) She finds a gas station, is told they don't have public restrooms, and pees behind their dumpsters.

This has happened three times in the last year.

S shared this story with BB in the sort of mildly amused tones most people would use for relating the story of how they got all the way to the meeting and realized only then they'd left their shoes at home. (True fact: BB once did this. She put a pair of socks on over her hose and went to the meeting that way, and no one noticed, or at least no one said anything.)

BB was horrified. BB, before we had the earthling, had very strict policies about potty privacy that included, for example, a hermetically sealed door even if she was alone in the house. ("What if burglars came in?" she asked me, when she revealed this policy. And she was right! I absolutely did not have a special plan for dealing with a sudden home invasion while I was peeing.) Now, of course, we have a small child, so privacy is one of those things we sort of vaguely recall, like the mornings we slept in until ten. BB, remembering how I mocked her for the locked-door-home-alone thing, thought maybe she was the weird one, so she came home and related this story to me. (I am never going to be able to meet this woman now, for the record, without a real risk that I might blurt out, "Hi! We don't have a dumpster, but the bathroom's right over there!")

I wasn't exactly horrified, but I was definitely surprised. What I focused on was the three times thing. Once, okay, desperation, needs must, whatever. I have never peed behind a dumpster, or indeed at the side of a road, but I can envision circumstances where I might have absolutely no choice. But if it happened once, I personally would take steps, like finding a McDonald's along the route and making sure to stop there. In short, I would do whatever I could to keep my chances of peeing behind a dumpster in a sketchy neighborhood to an absolute minimum. (It's a pity I didn't hear this story a few weeks ago. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but this seems like a fruitful topic for one.)

But maybe we are just weird. Maybe it's totally normal to view peeing behind a dumpster as a relatively reasonable working hazard. Obviously, it's poll time.





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