In light of the ongoing (and honestly, ad nauseum) bathroom gender discussions, I thought I’d share my own gender confused bathroom story.

Last fall I was visiting Sportsman’s Warehouse with my friend who was on the hunt for a small wood stove for her winter camp tent.

We had already stopped at several other places and visited and talked through two bottles of water and almost an hour in the car.

By the time I walked into Sportsman’s I was feeling pretty desperate for a bathroom as my bladder was expanding well past the point of comfort.

My phone rang just as I was walking in. I don’t remember who called, but they needed some kind of information and I was distracted as I walked into the restroom.

I ended the call by the time I got in the stall. I don’t care that cell phones can go anywhere, some things should remain private.

Anyway, there I was, minding my own business in a public restroom stall, when I heard the bathroom door open and someone walk into the stall next to me. I glanced down to my right and there were these ENORMOUS boots under the partition between the stalls. Then I heard a very deep throat clearing beside me and I think I stopped breathing for just a second. It was obviously a man in the stall beside me.

I was flustered and, yes, just a little scared. What did he want? Why was he in the women’s restroom? From what I heard he needed to pee, but why didn’t he go to his own bathroom? Then I heard the bathroom door open again, and another male sounding throat being cleared. There was a zipper, and then, to my utter mortification, the sound of someone STANDING UP TO PEE.

I’m pretty sure my eyes were the size of a giant squid’s. I covered my mouth with my hands and thought hard and fast. How, in the name of little green men, did “I” end up in the MEN’S BATHROOM?

I waited until they both left, agonized over whether to wash my hands or not…I decided clean hands were more important than pride, washed quickly, and cracked the door open to check the hallway. It was all clear and I raced out of there faster than I ever thought I could move.

By the time I left the store with my friend, mortification had turned to hilarity. There I was imagining men in lumberjack boots attempting to accost me in the women’s bathroom, and it turns out I was the one interrupting a couple of guys just trying to pee in peace.

Moral of the story: that little picture on the door can cause serious confusion when you’re on a phone and about to pee your pants. It’s hard to tell if that little stickman is wearing pants, a skirt, a superhero cape, or a kilt when your eyes are watering so bad  from the need to go.

Bathroom sign confusion: the struggle is real my friends.

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