It’s under Scott’s recommendation that I tell you this story, and he told me that my idol, Woody Allen, wouldn’t be embarrassed, and so why would I go being embarrassed when really, these things happen to everyone, right? But Garance, you can’t go putting up these walls. That’s what’s so nice about writing. You can really tell everything, all you have to do is find the words.
I was telling him that I love it when people tell me to just go for it and let myself lose, and that’s one of the things that Scott does so well. He does a lot of other stuff really really well too, I should add.
I was just about to tell him how great that was when suddenly, bam, I slip on a patch of New York ice and fall flat on the ground – Dammit! – that ended our little heart-to-heart.
Three hours later, Scott was in a plane en route to Korea, and as he’s still there now, we haven’t had the chance to finish our conversation.
So in honor of Scott and each and every Korean, here’s my story…
So this all goes down in a restaurant, behind a door which says, “Ladies.”
I hate going to public bathrooms, just like everyone else. Not to say that New York toilets are especially dirty, not at all, they’re pretty clean in fact. But nevertheless, I’ve hated doing it ever since the age of 5 when my mother taught me to never to sit on a public toilet seat and since then, I am lost: I really just don’t know what to do.
But as the years have passed, I’ve found three ways to deal with the situation…
#1 If the bathrooms are in too bad of shape, I just forget about it.
And then I spend the most unforgettable evening in constant dialogue with my bladder.
#2 If the bathrooms are decent + I’m in good shape = I get a good ab workout.
And with this one, I take the second MRPW (Most Ridiculous Position in the World)(the first being the one the esthetician where you’re at the spa for a wax and… you know where I’m going here.) and I squat with the following mathematical equation:
MHDRTS (Minimum Hygienic Distance Required from the Toilet Seat) ÷ MADCTS (Minimum Acceptable Distance still having a Chance at getting it in the Toilet Seat) x total duration of action = Acceptable Distance.
If there’s some handle that I can hold onto, I thank the gods and and pray that the handle stay attached – oh man, imagine how ugly that could get -.
Other than that, I take a nice deep breath (not too deep now, I’m still in the bathroom after all) and smile at this wonderful way to exercise. No need to go to Crunch today. Namaste.
#3 The bathroom is spick and span. The stalls are big. They’re full of toilet paper. It almost feels like I’m right at home, except there are no magazines!!!! Aaaaaahhh (sigh of relief)!!!
I smile a most satiated smile and off I go…
NOT SO FAST!!! Suddenly my mother materializes in the bathroom, saying GERMS!!! Have you not thought about the germs?!
Yep. So there are some things that are so engrained I just can’t shake them. Thanks Ma. So here’s what I do, and what I did the last time and what I told Scott before falling face first into a ice-y patch of NYC sidewalk.
Oh come on, I am sure you do the same:
I get the paper ready and tear it into a long strip and delicately place it on the toilet seat without touching it (see mommy?) and try to move as little as possible, because each mini-current of air very well could destroy my beautiful construction, and also because I’m not satisfied until the seat is not at all visible under the paper.
And so last time, while Scott was out there waiting patient as can be and totally ignorant of the drama that was going down behind the door marked, “Ladies,” it took me three tries to finally have the joy of sitting on a perfectly covered toilet seat.
Yep, because each time I started toward the seat to sit down, the paper would move. Stupid paper.
So I started being pretty upset, especially with the paper on the floor and all, no but seriously, and what about preserving the planet, all this paper, and also how am I supposed to go cleaning it after? I mean, you wanna leave the place in some sort of decent condition, for god’s sake.
Anyway so once done, I get dressed, and realize that all the fallen papers are attached to the bottom of my shoes. They all had floated to the ground and then glued themselves, no seriously, GLUED themselves to the bottom of my shoes.
I try wiping my feet on the ground but nothing helps. I try to scrap some paper off with the other foot but nope, it sticks right to the second, and firmly so.
Actually I’ve gotta add here that I just bought a pair of shoes that are supposed to not slip on New York ice patches. We’re talking almost suction cups here, like you could totally grip an igloo with your feet.
Or grab a whole bunch of toilet paper…
Oh just kill me now, I’m about to fall into a deep depression: I ended up having to use my hand, disgusted with life and its pee breaks, swearing to myself as I washed my hands that never NEVER again would I go to the bathroom except in the comfort of my own home.
And all that just to fall flat on a patch of ice, half an hour later.
Damn suction cup shoes.
Translation: Tim Sullivan