Monday, January 13, 2014

First Day of School [pt 2] and the Handicapped Stall

Good evening, dear blog readers. It's currently looming close to 8:30 and while at some point I will have to force myself to go to the gym, right now is not that time. So naturally I thought I would tell you all about my first day of classes this semester, but as briefly as possible because I think "my first day of school" falls into the same category as "the dream I had last night" as far as storytelling goes--ergo nobody actually cares but has to pretend to be intently interested so as to not come across as a douche.

So anyway, yeah I had my first two classes today: Survey of British Literature II (basically Victorian lit) and French 232. The English class was good because three of my best college friends are taking it with me, so I didn't have to worry about, y'know, talking to people and making conversation. Phew, what a relief, no associating with strangers! The sad thing is I'm only half kidding when I say that. Anyway, the auditorium the class is in is so big I was immediately overwhelmed upon entering--last semester my biggest classroom was meant to hold 150 students, but this room is at least twice the size. But both the lecture and grading professors seem cool and I'll probably be able to coast through, so all-around good things. My French class doesn't start until 6:10, leaving me with 5 hours in the middle of the day to do nothing. Mom, if you're reading this, I meant 5 hours to study. Anyway, because the class is so late I was worried the roster would only boast a few names, but thankfully a good twenty people bothered to show up. My professor is a high school teacher by day and seems pretty nice, plus she said she'd speak English a good portion of the time, so I'm not too worried. I can already tell I'm going to whine and moan about going to French as we get further into the semester, but hey, you can't win 'em all.

Anyway, that was my recap of day one; I have more details I could smack down on you, but I'm not going to make you suffer through that. Tomorrow I have my final three classes--Individual Presentations, Lifespan Psychology, and Introduction to Theater--and I can't imagine having a problem with any of those. Now onto what I really wanted to talk about today: handicapped stalls in public restrooms.

During that aforementioned 5 hour break I read a bit of David Seraris's Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls (which, so far at least, is phenomenal by the way; highly recommended) in the library when I felt the sudden urge to pee. This is a problem for two reasons: one being the fact that I always always wait to pee until the very last minute so I basically have to run to the nearest restroom cupping my crotch; the other being the fact that every time I go into a public restroom I'm reminded of my handicapped stall anxiety.

See, if there's no one in the bathroom it's not a big deal because you can just use the other regular person stall and it's all fine and dandy, but God forbid those are occupied, then you have to use the dreaded handicapped stall. In theory it's great because there's no much more room to stretch your legs, (because we all do some quick hamstring stretches in the bathroom, right?) and then on top of that there's almost always toilet paper in there, even if the other stalls are barren as far as butt wiping purposes are concerned. I mean I'm not saying it's a direct correlation, but I feel like the bathroom cleaners are cognizant of the fact that the handicapped already have it pretty rough, so perhaps toilet paper should always be an available amenity in order to compensate a little bit. A little bit being the operative term here.

But anyway, even though those perks exist in the handicapped stall, you can't fully enjoy them because you're so anxious the entire time. Wait, I failed to mention one key factor here: in order to properly understand, you'll have to pretend you're me, aka afraid of everything and analyzing even the most irrelevant details of the human experience. To continue, you can't enjoy the handicapped stall because you're rushing so much to get in and get out. See, I have a really bad habit of caring way too much about inconveniencing people, so naturally this situation isn't any different. The entire time I'm using the bathroom (the whole two minutes, tops) all I can do is picture myself opening the door to wash my hands and finding a severely handicapped woman--I'm talking blind, deaf, and in a wheelchair--sitting right in my path red-faced with embarrassment because of the pee puddle she's been forced to leave at her feet...err...wheels. I know that is completely irrational and will never happen, mostly because I feel like most people have more control over their bladders in those scenarios, but that's just how my mind works. It's odd, I know, but that's just pretty much the conclusion you can draw from any quick trip inside my brain.

Hopefully as I keep updating you on my life and the anxieties therein, you'll begin to understand where I'm coming from a little bit more and not feel as uncomfortable every time you read my blog.

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