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More Stories - The Way We Were
Public Toilets and Private Moments
When author Cynthia Macgregor forwarded the piece about why women take so much longer than men in the rest rooms, entitled "The Stance", it reminded me of a funny toilet incident from my childhood. Since I decided to "let it all hang out" in this website, I'll 'fess up.
When my mother was in her late eighties, but fortunately still having all her marbles, we talked a lot about things we were proud of and those we regretted, good times, bad things that happened to us and why, and even funny moments in our lives. I reminded her of an incident she had totally forgotten.
Mother felt it was her duty to inform me fully on personal
matters when I was growing up: menstruation, childbirth, hygiene, etc., as no one
ever told HER a darn thing when she was young, and she had to find out the facts
of life the hard way. But this instruction was difficult and embarrassing
for her, so she would pick her moments, and would she ever pick them! The birds
and the bees discussion happened while she was teaching me to make a cake called
- ready? - Cherries Jubilee. I'm sure the humor escaped her.
There were several men in this area. We went into the bathroom,
locked the door, and mother carefully papered the toilet seat and helped boost me
onto it without dislodging any, where I proceeded to "do number two" as we euphemistically
called that function. She handed me a wad of toilet paper, and as I was about to
reach under from the front, she decided to give me a lecture on "wiping front to
back" to stay cleaner and avoid possible infection, and followed with a lecture
about the importance of always washing "that place" with a soapy washrag when a
took I bath, and rinsing well.