Monday, January 7, 2008

Adventures in shopping

The last two days I've been shopping. When you reach my age, if shopping lasts very long, you inevitably must find a restroom. I had occasion to visit several during my shopping sprees. The first few were no prizes, but the last one nearly did me in. I had visions of some one calling 9-1-1 thus exposing me to the acute embarrassment of have some nice hot firemen having to extract me from the miniscule stall, rescuing me literally with my pants down. Ugh.

What on earth are these people thinking when they install ladies' toilets?

First of all, I'm still waiting to encounter a warm restroom. At my last job, my co-workers and I had a contest going for the coldest restroom. The local Pizza Hut won when we found that we could see our breath when we exhaled on encountering the ice cold seat. Brrrr. Surely it can't cost that much to heat a dinky little bathroom.

Secondly, there are those restrooms that use automatically flushing toilets. My friend and I had occassion to visit the public restrooms in a mall the last time we went shopping. Her toilet would not quit flushing. We estimated that it used enough water to provide Amarinda with one of her three minute showers--with water left over. That bugger just ran and ran and ran...

I'm not even going to discuss matters of public restroom hygiene. But there is something that bugs me. Why are the toilet tissue dispensers installed so low on the wall that you have to fold up like a pretzel in order to pick off a few meager sheets? I don't need to see my feet when I'm on the porcelain throne!

Until yesterday I thought my number one complaint was the size of the stall. Hello! Everyone isn't built like Twiggy! There are some stalls that have the walls so close to the toilet that you have to raise your arms over your head to sit down. These are usually the same stalls that have the toilet paper dispenser down low to the ground near the door. I've learned to scope out the surroundings before sitting down. I have a little routine. Get the toilet paper first. If the installer was truly fiendish, he also installed the door so that is barely clears the toilet when it swings open. In that case, you must first straddle the toilet so that you can shut the door! Hundred percent chance it was a man that installed it. There's more than one way to get back at women.

Last evening, a new humiliation was visited on me. The toilet was so low to the ground that I swear it was a kiddy toilet. I have lousy knees that don't bend worth a damn. When you are sitting, you use your knees to stand up. So there I was sitting on this toilet that was waaaaay down yonder. When I tried to stand up? Nope, the knees weren't going there. So I sat there a couple minutes trying to decide what to do.

Tried again. Nope. Still sitting there with my feet slowly going to sleep. Then the vision of the 9-1-1 guys came to me. I just couldn't face the idea of foxy firemen hauling my bare butt out of there so I tried one more time. Success! Of course, I still had to straddle the toilet to get the door open, but hey! I was out of there!

On Saturday, I decided to spring for a bigger work table for my "desk". And then on Sunday of course, everything had to be moved to the new table. It's never that simple. After some discussion the house hunk and I decided that we also needed a new area rug for that portion of the room.

When you rent an apartment, for some insane reason known only to God, the apartment people invariably install pale beige carpet throughout the apartment.

There is no easy way to keep pale beige carpet clean. None. Two days after moving in, I hit on the notion of covering all the floors with large area rugs. I like color. Lots of color. So when I went out to buy area rugs, I bought a variety in coordinating colors and slapped them down.

The rearrangment of my desk left a previously covered portion of the carpet hanging out there--bare naked beige carpet. Oh, the horror! House hunk and I immediately shot off to Walmart and picked out a new area rug to throw down and cover up the boring beige. It's sort of a toned down pomegranate red. Yum.

Rug's down, desk is rearranged and the computer is reassembled. Of course, there are all those piles of papers, notebooks, bills, receipts to file, but I'm a veteran vertical filer so that's for tomorrow... or the day after that.


Don't forget to stop by Kelly's Place at to check out the Saga, her version of the romantic potato, and her B&E story. Then pop over to Amarinda's blog at to find out what she's been up to. Ask her about Cyclone Helen. Leave cryptic comments. Blessings on your day!


  1. When I moved into Chateau Amarinda their was cream carpet everywhere. Why cream? Real peopel need real colours. As I had bought the house I ripped up every single inch of it and found the most amazing floorboards

    Public toilets - I would rather explode than use them

  2. You left out how challenging it is to straddle the toilet while juggling your purchases since depositing them on the floor is NOT an option. My knees aren't quite that bad yet...something to look forward to. Some parts of getting old just aren't fun.

  3. My biggest pet peeve with public toilets is that they jam these huge rolls of toilet paper into holders and the paper is too thin to actually roll without tearing. Then you have to shove your hand inside the dispenser and try and get enough scraps of torn paper to use.

  4. But then you only get one measly square at a time. And what happens if it's that time of the month? Or you've just watched a 48 hours program and discover many toilets are being filmed for web use. You wind up looking like a paranoid schizo trying to locate the cameras, hover, grab several squares at once and grumbling under your breath about cold air and ass hanging in the wind.

    Like AJ, I do everything in my power NOT to use public restrooms. It is the ONLY TIME I think being a man would be wonderful.

  5. Anny, thanks for the morning laugh but I found public restrooms to be heaven after I returned from my first trip to Belarus (yeah the place where I set my coming book To Love A Hero). Let me tell you, in the restroom of the airport, the door of the stall goes to the ceiling. Once you close it you are in complete pitch black darkness and don't know where to go. Forget sit. You can’t SIT on these things. There is no wood seat. You step up on the porcelain, crouch and hang up there while you do your business. I tried looking for a switch. There was none. I tried leaving the door a bit open. It immediately swung open. I wanted to give up, but couldn't, for the obvious reason my stomach was always unsettled after tasting greasy food. So when I returned to the US, I said God Bless America and its public restrooms. The best in the world.

  6. My mom said the same thing about the toilets in Japan, Mona:)

    I also don't get why restaurants don't heat their bathrooms. We women have more to expose than men, and I think our internal organ lock up and refuse to let anything loose. And then you freeze some more while you convince your body that's why you're in there in the first place!

    The warmest one I've ever encountered was in the country club where I worked during college.