Tag Archives: Atmosphere

Strangers In The Restroom

27 Jul

Twice this week I have found myself alone in the restroom with the baby. Both times I was finishing up her feedings and changing her diaper, and both times I was thinking about how I had to wash my hands/use the restroom/blow my nose. Luckily just as I was thinking these things someone would come into the restroom and say Hello to baby and I. I asked each of these nice ladies to watch TinyOne while I did what I needed to do.

I used my better judgment. If I didn’t get a good vibe, I wouldn’t have asked, and additionally, There are varying degrees within the favor. For instance, one woman I felt comfortable using a stall while she chatted with TinyOne. Another, I was comfortable standing a few feet away using the sink (to wash my hands. Obviously), but not out of eyesight or reach.

I know some people would balk. They would say that some people’s “better judgment” deemed Jeffrey Dahmer to be a nice guy. They would say that in this day and age, you can’t trust anyone with your kids. I already have a tendency to lean toward panic thinking, so I have to consciously decide to relax and trust my instincts. But really, I am not writing this post to talk about the possible dangers of strangers in a restroom. This post is because I want to focus on the positive experiences you can have while meeting strangers in a restroom.

And WOW. Remove that last sentence from the context of this post and you have your chuckle for the day. You’re welcome.

There were two things that struck me:

First, I was amazed at how outgoing I had become. I was very shy as a kid. Then I was outgoing as a young adult. Then I feel like I got shy again. And now, as a parent, I am becoming more outgoing. It ebbs and flows, and apparently, I am in the chatty phase again.  I am no stranger to striking up conversations in the bathroom. At concerts, the opportunity to meet the coolest people happens most often in line waiting for a stall to open. Restrooms are where women are friendliest to each other. We compliment each others outfits, and we guard faulty stall doors. We help with zippers and hold each others drinks. We offer up our last tampon to the person who got caught by surprise, and we warn of the dwindling supply of toilet paper. And when we hear others chatting about something, we will often join in and offer up a tidbit or two about our own experience with the subject. These behaviors, that are so common and freely given in the women’s restroom, do not translate outside the metal stalls.

Second, I am beginning to notice how willing (even eager in some cases) people are to help you if you simply ask. ESPECIALLY is you are asking for help with a baby! The whole experience reminded me that there are people out there who don’t get to hold or interact with babies for whatever reason. For some, that is fine…but others get a real joy out of talking with a tiny baby, of seeing things new again through tiny eyes. In the moments that they lend a hand with the baby, they may be remembering their grandchildren, their own children, the children they never had, or the children they may have lost – but always the children they have loved.

In those moments, everybody wins.

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