Why One Girl Never Goes to the Bathroom Alone

By Molly Boehler

When I am out in public, my gal pals and I always go to the bathroom as a group. For some reason boys think it is so weird and they make fun of us. This really peeves me. What is their problem? Now let me explain why this ticks me off.

Boys do not know the dangers of public restrooms. I know that sounds ludicrous because what could a bathroom do to you aside from be very unsanitary, have gross soap, and run out of toilet paper?

It was a hot summers day in July, approximately 5 o’clock in the evening. I was seven years old and at Dinosaur park pool, where it was the end of a long day of swimming and getting very sun burnt. The pool was just about to close, and naturally I needed to “use the potty” at the last minute. So I told my grandmother and headed that way. I walked in and shut the stall door. I believe it is essential for me to tell you that my legs were too short to be seen under the stall door as they hung from the toilet seat. As I was still in the stall, a lifeguard came in and yelled, “Is anyone in here?” I then realized that she was closing up the bathrooms for the night. I replied, “Yes” in a very small and timid voice. What happened next would ruin me for the rest of my days on earth.

The lights went out and I heard the door slam and the keys turn. That was it, I was stuck, and she hadn’t heard me respond.

The author was trapped behind a similarly intimidating park restroom door. Photo from "windy234" on Flickr.
The author was trapped behind a similarly intimidating park restroom door. Photo from “windy234” on Flickr.

I instantly started panicking and that turned into heavy crying and screams of complete terror. I had so many thoughts running through my head. Where am I going to go? What am I going to do? What is Grandma going to do? Where is she? Am I going to have to have a sleepover? I have never had one of those before! I started planning my attack on the concrete wall between the bathroom and the concession stand next door so I wouldn’t starve. I was going to survive, no matter how many water faucets I had to destroy to get there.

I just pounded as hard as I could on the door, screaming for someone to help. The sunlight coming through the vent on the door was the only light shed on the situation. Ten minutes rolled by, which felt like an eternity. Then heaven answered my calls. A sweet family of angels who were eating McDonalds at the picnic tables near the bathrooms told the lifeguard there was a ruckus coming from the women’s bathroom. They saved me from being a homeless 7 year old. Well probably not, I don’t think my grandma would have said, “Eh, it has been ten minutes, she’s a goner, better just go without her” and left me there, but I was still grateful. My grandma was so confused why I was crying, she thought I fell in or something. When I told her she just laughed and bought me ice cream. Ice cream fixed all my problems at 7 years old.

But that’s just it: did that delicious cookies and cream waffle cone really make things better? I’m going to vote no, since I’m still upset about it and it was almost 10 years ago. But that is why, I, a female, do not go to a public restroom alone.