This was not the post I had planned for this week. It’s been three years since we went to Adult Space Camp so I was going to write about that today. But that has to wait because I experienced something fairly traumatic today that I must tell you about.
I was driving back to the ranch today with the boys and stopped at a gas station to pee. I walk up to the building and go in right behind a middle aged lady (50s?) in a blue dress. She’s got kind of an odd walk and she’s moving pretty slowly but nothing seems weird. She goes straight and I turn right toward the restrooms. All five stalls are full so I wait. Blue dress comes in and waits behind me. I turn to smile at her and my purse sets off the automatic dryer, startling us both. In hindsight, this may have been the moment everything went downhill.
I don’t wait long before a stall opens and I go in to do my business. I’m a fast pee-er so it’s less than two minutes. Believe me when I say nothing could have prepared me for the subsequent two minutes.
I open the stall door and there in front of me is a giant, soft pile of poop on the floor. I stare at it for what feels like an hour but was likely only a few seconds and then raise my eyes to blue dress standing there holding a wad of paper towels. We make eye contact and she mumbles, “Sorry..”
Either my poker face is amazing or I was in such complete shock my synapses had temporarily stopped sending messages to each other. I stepped over the patty and noticed two more along with a trail of poo to the paper towel dispenser. I register another lady at the sink and we make brief eye contact in the mirror. I don’t know at what point she exited her stall and how much of this literal sh*t show she witnessed but the look in her eyes was haunting. I hope she seeks therapy immediately.
I wash my hands and spend another seeming hour trying to think of something to say to this poor lady who is still using gas station paper towels to attempt to pick up loose piles of poop. I want to say something comforting or try to lighten the mood but my voice had failed me and, honestly, what was there to say? I just left.
I did alert the staff to the situation in the bathroom and the look on my face must have spoken volumes.
I feel so bad for her and a little guilty for beating her to the bathroom but I have a lot *A LOT* of questions. Primarily, why did she not make it known that it was an emergency situation?? I would have happily let her cut the line and we would have all had a little less trauma in our lives. Was she not wearing underwear? This seems like a good case for it, as a storage solution at the very least. Why were there three piles? Once it became clear that pooping in the floor is what’s happening, why get up and move around?? How did I not hear any of this from my stall?
Perhaps most interesting, what were the series of poor decisions that led to this moment? Because this isn’t the kind of thing that just happens out of the blue. There were warning signs, chances to turn back, make different choices. We’ve all gotten ourselves in situations like this. Maybe not exactly like this but up sh*ts creek, so to speak. Pun definitely intended.
I think there are a couple of lessons to take from this. You never know what someone is going through so try to be gracious and understanding. And when your gut tells you something, for heaven’s sake, listen to it. It may not repeat itself.