Terror on the toilet: one man’s journey for safety when nature calls

Bathrooms: a simple bastion of safety in our lives. That one small trip at home, is a small reminder of your safety and the conveniences of a modern life. That same trip in public, for some, becomes an epic test of one’s strength and determination.

 

The bathrooms at UVU are certainly clean. In fact, I would say that of the bathrooms I’ve used in my time, the level of cleanliness here at the home of the Wolverines is superb. I almost never feel dirty while going about my business, and I notice that there is custodial staff in there frequently making sure everything is indeed next to godliness for our students. Cleanliness is definitely not the problem here.

 

I know it sounds a little ridiculous, but the thought of using the bathroom in public terrifies me. I feel unsafe having to perform my duty around others. Even if the entire restroom is empty, I fear the possibility of intrusion. I feel immobilized and my performance anxiety keeps me in discomfort for most of the day.

 

This isn’t simply about me, though. Fear of a restroom intrusion affects many of us. Restrooms are one of the few spots on this campus where privacy is the ideal standard. But that privacy isn’t being protected as well as it should be. The bathrooms on campus, instead of providing privacy, provide students with a grotesque show – probably one they would prefer to
never see.

 

Simply put, the bathrooms on campus are not safe, and offer very little in the way of privacy for students. Yes, there are doors, and yes the doors have locks. The problem is that there are stall doors on campus that don’t lock. Those that do lock don’t actually hold the door closed.

 

There is one bathroom I’ve used where the door doesn’t even try to close. It merely hangs there, taunting you with the false hope of privacy, but providing nothing to protect you from prying eyes. The men’s room on the second floor of the business building is the culprit.

 

The first time in that stall was a horrifying experience for me. I stepped inside, and began preparing to take care of my business. I went to lock the door, and noticed something off-putting. It didn’t close. Well, it did, but there was a gap of at least two inches between the door and the lock. It couldn’t possibly lock, and I decided that instead of giving the other gentlemen in the bathroom a show, I would take my business elsewhere.

 

To my surprise and dismay, however, I found that there aren’t many stalls in the restrooms that work. In fact, there is only about one stall per bathroom that provides any security during your intimate times. This is an unacceptable number. There can’t be just one place where privacy can be guaranteed when nature comes calling. The odds of managing to get that trustworthy stall every time are quite slim, and eventually you will be forced to use the one that doesn’t lock.

 

Holding a door closed with your foot while trying to balance on top of a toilet, all the while taking care of your digestive duties is a difficult task, and one that no student should have to endure. I don’t think it takes much work to make sure that all the stalls work properly. Maybe just properly calibrating them at the beginning of the year would solve all these problems.

 

Until then, I know I won’t feel safe in the stall.

One Response to "Terror on the toilet: one man’s journey for safety when nature calls"

  1. whatever   January 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Poop is a natural defense. No other person around wants a confrontation with you when you’re pooping. The mere thought of accidentally getting someone else’s fecal matter on you is enough to ward off anyone short of the drunk guy who’s looking for a place to puke. The real problem here is being insecure about people seeing you uncomfortable in these awkward situations. You need to get some pooping pride, man! When you let a big one go with a guy in the stall next to you, you need to be letting out your “AHH YEAH”, king of the porcelain throne, I’m proud to be poopin’, victory poop sounds. Get all sports announcer on everyone and do a play by play breakdown of how your morning deuce is going. See if you can take all of that worry and anxiety and channel it into pride and humor. The cure to anxiety is shared humor. Just sayin’, try it.

    Reply

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