Handicap Bathroom Stalls. This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 30, 2010
Handicap stalls in public restrooms make me nervous.

Usually coveted for their abundant foot-space and room for galavanting from door to porcelain throne, these cubicles are tempting to a certain brand of person that happens to make up the majority of the population. This kind of person chooses the obviously aesthetically preferable of two situations and finds simple pleasure in vast spaces that are not even necessary.

The average American wants more of everything-- more products, more satisfaction.

More leisurely space in their public-restroom experience.

But here's the catch-- it's a handicap stall. As in, reserved for the disabled, the incapacitated, the crippled. Shouldn't we as an (ideally) reasonable and respectably moral society respect the sanctity of receptacles reserved for our less fortunate comrades?

Such a normally mundane aspect of daily life is clandestinely polarizing; it is a nub of a problem hidden snugly under the blanket of familiar, monotonous normalcy.

Here's my perspective.

You are in line for the restroom in the movie theater. The normal conduits of delayed activity have arisen-- the mom with a newly house-trained trail of offspring discovering the wonders of the flush, the ancient crone trying to decipher the stall door's labyrinthine latch with shaky, uncertain hands.

You gotta go real bad.

In response to your mental pleas, the gods of bodily relief swing a door open in the far corner of the bathroom. You waddle eagerly forward.

Oh, look. The door's significantly larger than all of the other doors, indicating that this stall is for handicapped individuals..

Gotta go.

So you go.

You walk to the door with that iron clench of tension below the navel finally released, leaving you light-footed and downright spry. The door unlocks. And there she is.

She's a plain girl about your age-- brown hair, freckles. You tilt your head down a good two feet to lock eyes with her in a sort of awkward ocular duel. Then you see.

The girl is in a wheelchair.

And she is pissed as hell.

And this is why I fear handicap stalls in public restrooms. Because I know that the one time I go in there is when I will walk out be given the death stare by an individual who is in some way incapacitated and in greater need of the bathroom than I. Maybe the person would have even soiled herself waiting for me, knowing my luck, and I have to deal with the cold, derisive stares of the bathroom's other occupants as I stutter out a stream of stammering apologies to the weeping cripple whose life I have just ruined.

Far-fetched? Absolutely.

But, by God, I will never have to face even the slightest possibility of this ever happening to me. Cause I will never enter one of those damn stalls, ever.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

bookworm77 said...
Dec. 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm
which ones did you look at? and if you have any feedback please let me know :D
bookworm77 said...
Dec. 9, 2010 at 10:07 am
this truely surprised me, i absoultly love this. your vocabulary with the mix of your sense of humor is excellent! "Far-fetched? absoutely." love it!
clarefullerest replied...
Dec. 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm
thank you so much for reading it/ providing legitimate feedback! that means a lot. :)
vassardoc replied...
Dec. 17, 2010 at 8:41 am
Loved your writing!  Your friend from Brophy sent it to me, his mom, because he loved it!  Very nicely done!
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