Wednesday, October 10, 2007

bathroom curtains?

in my ongoing quest to keep my faithful readers informed about the state of women's rest rooms around the country, i present to you the latest weird thing i have observed in my travels: paper stall curtains!

so what is a paper stall curtain? well, you know how the standard stall divider is separated from the wall or the next panel over by a short gap? the size of the gap varies due to the mounting hardware used to attach the thing to the wall, but it averages about 3/4 inch. well, at the facility i'm teaching in this week, someone decided that gap was large enough to threaten her privacy, i guess. i wandered in, put down my paper ass gasket, and prepared to do what it is we do in a toilet stall when i noticed this long streamer of toilet paper dangling from the stall divider just in my peripheral vision. someone had hung a makeshift paper curtain to block the view through the gap between the stall divider and the wall. and this raises the question: did the previous occupant of my stall erect her paper-thin veil of modesty because she herself has viewed something objectionable through the gap between stall panel and wall? or did she catch someone peeping at her? my curiosity is piqued!

it is completely beyond my ken that someone might actually attempt to observe a stall occupant in her disadvantaged state, but i am assured by an ex-girlfriend of mine that this did occur to her, and not in the larry craig way. and this story, i think, is REALLY REALLY weird. let me know if you agree...

my ex fell ill at work one day and found herself in the women's room, doing what one does when one's gastric system is in distress. she heard some foot-shuffling and other traffic outside her stall, but she was in her own special world of misery and paid no particular attention to it. upon exiting the "necessary room" and returning to her desk, she heard strange titters from her coworkers (say it with me: cow orkers) and felt her spidey-senses tingling. she had the strange feeling that she (and maybe her unfortunate lack of intestinal fortitude) were the subject of office gossip. as she was telling me this, i interrupted her story to interject, "Surely," says i, "nobody came out of the restroom and discussed what she saw in there! To do that, she'd have had to bend over and peer under the divider and identify you by your shoes, and that's just ridiculous! No grown person does that!" surely, she assured me, this was exactly what had happened. on the one hand, i was stunned at the puerility and the crassness. on the other hand, this woman's propensity for stirring up drama was well known to me by this time, and it just fit.

still, i ask you, gentle readers... if you came out of the toilet and found yourself the subject of gossip for solo activity conducted in the privacy of your stall, would you be embarrassed for yourself? or for the harpies who were sitting in the cube farm discussing you? seriously. i thought this was a one-off thing, just one crazy pot-stirrer's crazy behavior in a crazy office. is this stall-spying problem more widespread than naive little me would like to think? do i need to start hanging paper stall curtains, too?

1 comment:

Gina Q. Steele said...

I saw the same freaky thing this weekend at an Olive Garden in Addison, Texas in the men's restroom. Poor design with sink facing the toilets aside, it was odd to see the "curtain" in effect. Guess they needed privacy - or didn't like people watching unless it was over a webcam! BWAAA HAAA!