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The nightmarish reality of what really happens in women’s restrooms

We’ve all been there: in the middle of grocery shopping or trivia night at the pub, when suddenly, nature calls. Unfortunately the only way to answer is to tread where the liquids are mysterious, the tampons are never stocked and the sinks are always crowded. The women’s restroom is no place for dignity.

1. The lines

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Why is there always a line for the bathroom? It cannot be possible that women have tiny teacup bladders so dainty and petite that there is constant demand. I know for a fact that in a pee camel contest with my husband, I can always hold it longer — so this can’t be biological. Still, the lines grow and grow, and for some reason, all of the people queuing up seem to have a serious aversion to keeping the door open, so we’re all forced to pack in like sardines between the useless tampon disposer thingy and the diaper changing station. Of course, someone’s there for big potties, and they’re discreetly relieving pressure, so that plus the body odor of 20-plus chihuahua-bladdered adult women is enough to cause someone to pass out.

2. Automatic toilets

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Automatic toilets are wonderful creations and, unlike your average toddler or adorable elderly person, I’m familiar enough with them to not freak out when they go off. The only thing about them is this: People seem to have gotten into their minds that the sensors on these bad boys are infallible things, and they can therefore leave their emissions or whatever just chilling in the bowl like the world’s most unspeakable party beverage because the magical toilet will take care of the rest. It will not. And if you are the type of person to not glance over your shoulder for just one blessed moment after you take a messy dump in the Wal-Mart loo, just to make sure the slate had been wiped clean, you are an awful person and probably not even your mom likes you.

3. That crap they spray on the doors

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Nothing is worse than having to use the bathroom immediately, only to rush into the stall, slam the door shut, and have your fingers slide off of the latchy-claspy thing over and over again like some cosmic joke because the stall doors are made of stainless steel and apparently, only a mixture of emulsified whale blubber and lemon Pledge can keep it clean.

More: Little boys allegedly banned from women’s restroom

4. Squatters

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People don’t like to sit on public toilets. Fine. Just do us a favor: If, in place of a normal human urethra you have an industrial sprinkler head down there, maybe grab a square or two of toilet paper and give the place you just peed all over the old once-over, hmm?

5. Multiple years of ingrained conditioning about what is and isn’t ladylike

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Ladies, in the bathroom, please take care of business. It’s a bathroom, not a first date in a smart car with no A/C on a midsummer’s day in Dallas. Let loose. We all know what you’re there to do, so there’s no need to wait for the entire place to clear out before you finally feel comfortable enough to poot or foofoo or whatever you’re going to call it. We would see less of number one if everyone just stopped trying to pretend not to go to the bathroom in the bathroom.

6. Peepers

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Hey. Sometimes, you gotta take your kid into the bathroom with you. Sometimes, they are little dude-children. Cool. Just, first, maybe go over a little bathroom etiquette so that there’s no chance they will stick their entire faces up through the gap between stalls and attempt to begin a conversation about which Skylander is my favorite (Lava Barf Eruptor, no question) before attempting to wiggle their entire person over because they see an M&M near the base of the toilet.

More: Does the toilet seat hover actually protect us from bacteria?

7. The acoustics

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I don’t mind the regular bathroom noises. No, I’m not squeamish. What I do mind is the lady three stalls over having a phone conversation about Stacey from work and her god-awful kinetic unicorn statue at FIVE HUNDRED DECIBELS when all I’m trying to do is poo in relative peace.

8. Any and all things related to “feminine hygiene”

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Again. Not squeamish. But could we maybe have tampons in the dispenser once in a while? And maybe when we put them in there we find ones that aren’t apparently made of hand-hammered steel and carbon fiber? Or pads that are maybe a little bit smaller than extra long twin-sized mattresses? Especially if they’re 50 f***ing cents, because who even has quarters on their person anymore? And maybe we could also empty those little trashcan doo-dads stuck to the cubicle wall before Jesus comes again?

More: #ItWasNeverADress bathroom sign is a girl power game changer

9. The sinks, reimagined as a personal f***ing vanity setup

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Ladies. Why, oh why, do you want to balance your very expensive looking clutch on a soap-and-water-soaked sliver of porcelain while you undertake what appears to be your entire skin-and-beauty care regimen? Surely there are more comfortable places for you to floss/reapply lipstick/do cocaine. While we’re at it, standing in front of the sink touching your hair very purposefully for 15 minutes is not the same thing as actually washing your hands.

10. That crap they spray in the air

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Hey, you know what smells way better than the collective vapors of everyone’s business? The collective vapors of everyone’s business blanketed in the soft cloying odeur of lily-of-the-valley and strawberries. Just kidding. That smells awful.

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