Number one on my list: Talking to strangers in public bathrooms.
The time: This afternoon
The location: Border’s
The situation: I’m wasting time while my mom gets a manicure in the Border’s, having a perfectly lovely afternoon, debating purchasing This American Life season 2 on DVD (the affirmative side won resulting in me spending my evening with Ira Glass.) when I go into the bathroom. Everything is normal until the woman in the stall next to me does her business (pretty loudly) and then says, and I quote, “Wow!” It wasn’t to herself. It was loud and expectant, like she wanted me to answer, perhaps give some witty and commiserating comment about how she must’ve really had to go. Um…no?
Obviously, I remained silent and proceeded to finish up as slowly as possible so I could avoid contact at the sink with this bathroom talker. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go slowly enough, so as I approached the sink where she hovered, I looked down, avoiding eye contact as much as possible. As I dried my hands, the talker looked in the mirror, playing with her hair, then she looked at me and declared, “Looks like it’s time for me to get a haircut!” Um…awesome? What am I supposed to say? “Yeah, your hair looks awful, and by the way, you were right when you said ‘wow!’ before. You were REALLY loud in there! I’m Amanda, by the way. SO great to meet you!” Again…no! I do not come into the bathroom to make friends. I came in to use the bathroom and leave as quickly as possible, preferably, with little to no human contact. I didn’t come in here to comment on your bathroom loudness, bladder fullness or new hair-do.
Of course, I said none of this. Being the awkwardly polite person I am, I simply said “Must be the rain!” and smiled as she skipped out the door. Clearly, she is to blame for my DVD purchase. I had to salvage my journey to the bookstore. Yep.