A new appreciation for the comforts of home


Recently, Matt and I have had occasion to travel several times. Traveling is different for us than it was when we were younger. In the first place, we no longer drive 15 or 20 hours without rest. Secondly, we take our time not just because we get tired, but also because we are in a mental place to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. And finally, I can only go about two hours without a restroom break.

Because of this, we experienced a number of public bathrooms and I have to say we’ve encountered some odd, and downright scary, bathrooms.

The first one was in a very small town. The gas station served not only for fuel and restroom, but also as a pizza joint, supermarket, Laundromat, town hall, and hair salon. It was also the only place we found that had separate facilities for men and women, but shared a communal sink. So you did your private business, then exited to wash hands out near the hair salon and Laundromat.

We found another restroom that had apparently been added on to the main gas station at some later point. Later than the time the original building was erected, but sometime in the 1940’s. You actually exited the building into a hallway that led you back to the rest room doors. The women’s room door was propped open with a broken broom. The restroom was in an “S” configuration, with a stall on each curve. The back of the “S” featured a private room with a door and a lock; the whole thing winding around the back of the store! I must mention that gaps of an inch or more were all around each stall, requiring one to actually hold up a sweater to block the view, even after the door was shut. That was fun.

A third bathroom had a foamy soap dispenser, but the actual soap was sitting upside down on the counter. This meant to wash my hands, I had to tilt the dispenser over, hold it against my body while pumping the soap, then set it back down. The dispenser was about 8 inches around, so no easy task — and the soap came out non-foaming (since the attachment for that was on the wall). I ended up with a palm full of soapy liquid which took about ten minutes to rinse away. But gosh, my hands were clean!

Our final stop took us to a service station with several restrooms. The women’s room had two stalls, but neither had a commode tank lid. Neither stall had locks on the doors. So you had to sit and lean forward, holding the door shut with your head. This allowed you to experience the rather alarming rocking of the commode itself. There was no paper in the towel dispenser. As I came out, shaking my hands, Matt emerged from the men’s room stating, “This was the best one yet! Everything was perfect!”

So glad to be home, if not just for our bathrooms! Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.