Chivalry might be dead, and people hardly say “excuse me” anymore, but there are certain courtesies that should never disappear.
“Please” and “thank you” are staples, even if they’re increasingly more rare, and holding the door open for someone has always been a much-appreciated gesture. Saying “I’m sorry” when you whack someone with your giant purse or shopping bag will never be inappropriate, and offering to grab something off the top shelf for the vertically challenged (myself included) will surely lighten someone’s load.
And always knock before entering, whether it be a room, or in this case, a bathroom stall.
Take a moment to recall my previous post and you will notice that those who design many women’s bathrooms fail to do so properly. (Yes, most women’s restrooms are, indeed, crap – pun intended, of course.) Not only are they impractical, but often highly dysfunctional. Often times, the locks don’t line up with the doorframe, while, other times, the locks simply break, or people tear them off, rendering the stall completely useless once again. (Perhaps maintenance and housekeeping shouldn’t solely focus on replacing the toilet paper?)
Unfortunately, when you combine faulty craftsmanship with the generally self-absorbed, oblivious woman that has become all too common, you cook up a recipe for disaster. Surely there are a vast number of women who defy this annoying (but truthful) stereotype; they just don’t seem to ever use public restroom facilities.
Countless women enter the restroom and, without peering under to check for feet, or knocking to see if the stall is occupied, just try to shove their way into the stall. While it’s highly unlikely that your door will open, there are those times when you cannot avoid the broken lock stall. Sure, you have to awkwardly hold the door shut while you try to take care of your business, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. Now, enter No-Knock Nellie, the kind of woman who barrels in without any regard for who may or may not already be in the restroom. You hold the door with all your might, hoping she’ll pass you by, when suddenly the door get ripped from your hands (or smashes into you, depending on which way it opens) and you’re caught with your pants down.
Personally, I say go for it. The other party will always be 10 times more embarrassed because, frankly, I have nothing to hide. (It’s the ladies’ room – we’ve all got the same parts, or at least we better.) It’s the principle of the incident that gets me riled up, especially when the offender has the audacity to get angry with you for getting angry with them. They’re mostly just mad at their stupidity, so laugh it off.
And, when you’re dealing with single bathrooms that make it impossible for you to peek under the door for feet, knocking is the only solution. Knocking allows any occupant to shout “just a minute” before you barge in and embarrass yourself and the lady on the loo. You’d show such consideration in your home, so don’t disregard the public.
(Image courtesy of Tumblr.)