Gotta go; but Where?
Public restroom handicapped stalls
I have absolutely no tolerance for rude people, especially when they’re rude to the handicapped. There is really no excuse for them.
Here is an example of what drives me absolutely batty:
Mom who was already past ninety years old, and I were at a store, and she needed to use the restroom. Okay, not a problem. Since mom used a walker, we headed straight for the handicapped stall that would enable her to have more room to maneuver her walking aid.
The stall was locked. It was in use. There were still three other stalls that were vacant, so I opted to help mom inside leaving her walker outside the stall door. It wasn’t easy but we made do.
Before too long, I heard a voice coming from the handicapped stall indicating someone was using their cell phone.
Okay, again, not a major dilemma. It happens. Many people talk while in a public restroom, but I doubt I’ll ever understand why. Leaving the walker outside the tiny stall, after helping my mom inside, I encouraged her to not lock the door giving me access should she need me. Then, turned away to block the door and give her some privacy.
Mom was almost finished with “her business” when I heard the lock click in the door of the handicapped stall. What I saw wasn’t what I expected.
Out walks a young girl who looked about 16 years old, talking on a cell phone and absolutely NO handicap. No walker! No wheelchair! Nothing but her own two very able legs.
I stared at her and said, “Really? You used the handicapped stall when there is nothing wrong with you?” I was infuriated.
She looked at me as if I had five heads and said, “I wanted to make a phone call. I wanted my privacy.”
I told her everyone in the restroom could hear her very loud voice so what was the point.
Again, she looked at me as if I were crazy and left the room. I know if there had been a door leading out, she would have slammed it.
Now, the way I look at it is this way: those stalls were made bigger to accommodate people with wheelchairs, walkers, mothers with small children, and any others that need assistance and mothers with infants that need changing on the installed changing table. They are not made for kids who want to use their cell phones for what they think is a bit of privacy.
I can’t tell you how angry I was to know that my mom had to be so inconvenienced by someone so inconsiderate and self-absorbed.
Another thing I considered: what if she had been in a wheelchair and need me to help her from the wheelchair to the toilet? She would have ended up messing herself since the other “stalls” were so narrow and small. And for what? For the use of a teen using her cell phone?
It’s understandable that the store’s management has no responsibility to monitor the restrooms to correct a situation like this. It is not the job of management to educate or encourage teens to use manners they should be learning at home.
I mentioned this to a neighbor, and she indicated her displeasure at my indignation. Abruptly, she said to me that her daughter uses the handicapped stall because she has Crohn’s Disease. My response was a sarcastic, “Really? And do you think that gives her the right to infringe on the rights of the handicapped? I have two sons. One has critical Crohn’s and the other severe ulcerative colitis, and neither would be so inconsiderate as to use a handicapped stall. They know it’s reserved for those who need assistance.”
She was not happy with my retort and said that we clearly had a difference of opinion but by her reaction, I knew why so many teens are so selfish. They’re being raised to be spoiled young adults who think the world owes them everything.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many more teens who are considerate, polite, eager to help, and generally wonderful young adults. They are, no doubt to be admired and yet, I pity those who are as selfish as the teen I encountered years ago. One day, if it has not yet happened, she’ll have her own encounter with the real world and a complete wake up call that she can’t have things her own way.
How I would like to be a fly on the wall to see her reactions when someone puts her in her place and reality pours a bucket of cold water on her face.
Yes, this encounter has made my old “soapbox” come out from under the bed, but I wrote this because I know there are many others out there who have experienced what I have and for their own reasons, haven’t said a word. I decided to speak for us all.
About the author
I am a 75 year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.
My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.