By: Mary Fran Bontempo
Me and Dave enjoying Florida, as evidenced by Dave smiling. He usually looks like someone’s sticking bamboo shoots under his fingernails in photos.
Ultimately, it was the bathrooms.
After nearly 35 years of marriage, with the anniversary coming upon us in June, my husband, Dave, and I decided to take a vacation to celebrate. We traveled to Florida, spending a few days in Sarasota, a favorite spot, with the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico beckoning, and then on to Disney World, because we’re weird that way.
It was the first major vacation that didn’t involve our children. And, sorry, kids, it was fantastic.
No schedules. No agenda. Nothing to see or do but exactly what we wanted, which, lucky for us, usually turns out to be the same thing.
We had wonderful meals, one especially memorable at the Columbia Restaurant in St. Armands Circle. And then there was the 70-something guy who fancied himself quite the entertainer, belting out both “Uptown Funk” and “Blurred Lines,” while we alternately gaped in disbelief and applauded his moxie. Hysterical.
Disney has always been our go-to, much to the chagrin of my friend Kathy, who cannot in her wildest imagination figure why we would want to tromp around a theme part overrun with kids to stand in line for rides we’ve been on a dozen times before. I can’t explain it either, but we do exactly that, and we love it every time.
It was the perfect vacation, so you’d think we’d be sad to see it end, right? Wrong. Not only were we not sad, we moved up our flight by a day and came home early.
We’d had our fill of public bathrooms.
I’m not sure what happens to people when they use a public bathroom. Even in Disney World, where things are generally scrupulously clean, the bathrooms are disgusting. Or maybe it’s the people using the bathrooms. Either way, I stepped in more pee in six days’ time than a zoo keeper cleaning a monkey pen. (And I will spare you the video I took of a giant gorilla turning his butt to the humans staring at him and divesting himself of several gallons worth of pee, shooting us a look of disdain after he was done. Oh hell, no I won’t. It’s below.)
I could kind of see it if I were a man and over or under-shot my aim with that appendage they need to use. But women? What are you ladies doing in there? We sit down to pee. If you’re standing up, you’re probably going to pee on the floor. And apparently, a lot of you are doing just that.
Believe me, as somewhat of a germaphobe, I get the cleanliness thing, which is why I never pee in a public bathroom without first lining the seat with that annoying paper thing, toilet paper, or both. Assuming, that is, that the seat is not soaked with pee and must be wiped first before lining is even attempted. Why is the seat soaked with pee? Are you squatting and going around in circles? What is that about? And yes, ordinarily I’d just go to another stall after seeing a pee-soaked seat, but after waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean for 35 minutes, and then trying to find a bathroom in Adventureland, an open stall is the only option, unless…well, let’s leave unless to the imagination, in which case I cross my legs and hop up and down until a free stall opens up, hopefully sans seat pee.
And don’t even get me started on the sinks. Why are they always soaked? Are people showering in there and I just missed it? Why is it so hard to wash your hands without flinging water all over the rest of the bathroom? Then there are the sticky floors, the wet and dirty paper towels and God knows what germs still living and thriving on the door handles….
About six days in, we just looked at each other and said, “What do you think about going home a day early?”
Yes, the vacation was amazing. But so is using the bathroom without stepping in pee. It’s nice to be, and pee, at home.