The Art Of Using Public Restrooms

Traveling through life as I do, in a tricked out VW bus, I have daily opportunity to experience public restrooms all over the town where I currently live. I never used to think about them one way or the other, beyond whether or not they were functional.

Although, I have to admit, and I don’t know if they still function this way, I always loved the Italian bathrooms that had attendants who cleaned the restroom or stalls after every use. I think I saw this more in museums and high end cafes, but I liked this cultural attention to detail.

A sign of our deterioration as a culture or society is reflected, besides the fact that there is just a lack of public restrooms for use while out in public, in the state of cleanliness in our public restrooms. I’m not quite sure why we think that services in the public domain should be taken care of by someone else, or that we are so entitled that someone is going to come and clean up after us, but as someone who uses public restrooms a lot, here are my observations and tips to solving these little problems that will make life a little nicer for everyone, not just me.

Used paper towels go in the bin. The bin is not the floor. The bin is usually big enough for a day’s worth of used paper towels, so I’m not sure that “the bin is full” is a good answer.

Splashing water all over the sink and floor. Even if you are using the sink as a bird bath, there are usually paper towels available for wiping up after yourself.

So, fellow women … can someone PLEASE tell me why a woman would pee on the toilet seat and leave it for the next person to clean up? Why is this acceptable behavior? I’ve cleaned up after a lot of women, so this is prevalent in our culture.

Almost as annoying is pee drops on the floor. Is that something that boys do at home as well? There is always a puddle of pee on the front of the toilet in public restrooms.

Another big why, is why do people leave their seat protector (those tissue paper seat covers) on the seat after they are finished in the restroom? Again, for the next person to deal with.

Social constructs given what they are, I would think that it would be very easy to leave a public restroom as clean as you found it – given that each person did this throughout the day, it would work, although it would only take one to screw it up a bit, but, really, why would you leave a mess for the next person? Are people really that unconscious?

Have you got a public restroom pet peeve? Or have you noticed something nice about public restrooms in your travels?

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