Going to the bathroom and having bathroom etiquette may not change the world. But having good bathroom etiquette can make a bigger difference in someone’s life than you would think.
Hear me out. If you want to care for the older people in your life (and for the little ones too) you can start by doing one thing. Make good choices after you use the bathroom every time. It’s quite simple.
Three words for you. WIPE THAT SEAT.
Have you ever walked into a public bathroom and walked right out? Sometimes you just don’t have other options and so you incorporate some “coping methods” out of bare necessity. In middle school I first encountered the unavoidable experience of using public restrooms. In time, I learned the squat method and it saved me from being subjected to future traumatizing experiences.
Fast forward years years later as I stood in another public restroom with my elderly grandma (who is now 102). If you don’t know me and my grandma, we’re tight. Sometimes I consider her my “girlfriend”, the oldest one I’ve got of course. In many ways you could say we’re the ultimate bathroom buddies. At church or whenever we’re out, it’s fairly typical that she will grab me and ask me to take her to the bathroom.
I had buddied up on bathroom trips with my grandma for years. But there was one day I was waiting for Mama in the bathroom when I was traumatized by the reality that faces the older adult population.
Not everyone can squat. And for sure, not all people can hold it in long enough to avoid having to use the most disgusting of bathrooms. If you are healthy and strong, you may squat to cope with horrific stalls, but not everyone has that luxury. I suspect many people finish your business and then get out to fresh air ASAP!
Few people have in mind who will occupy the stall next. Ahem… need I say it again? Please. WIPE THAT SEAT.
If I wasn’t already traumatized, I started potty training my little girl around that same time. Dealing with boogers is gross, but imagine the thought of bringing your toddler daughter to a public restroom when she is insistent on going.
Do you allow her to go in the stall on her own? Or would you go in first and frantically and obsessively clean that seat as if you might lose your job over it? Now with three little ones under the age of five, let’s just be real. Sometimes I do NOT have the hands, the energy or the ability to micromanage my daughter’s bathroom routine. Yes, even in public restrooms. Even so, children for the most part have the luxury of having someone clean up before them. Because frankly, not everyone leaves the stall sparkling clean for the next user.
For the sake and consideration of our older generation. And for my children’s sake. And goodness, really for my sake. WIPE THAT SEAT.
You can use as much toilet paper as you want. Or maybe you’ve got a wipe or some better ways to do it. Whatever the case, next time you use the restroom, make the world a better place for seniors. For people who don’t have strong quad muscles. For people with physical disabilities. For the potty training mom. For the person with poor eyes that may be unable to even see the grossness before them. Out of respect for the older generation. Change your bathroom etiquette. Though unseen, your simple act is a world changing deed.