Bathroom Etiquette in a Small Office

This has just been making me chuckle, so I am sharing. To set the stage, at the Hermit Haus office, we currently have two bathrooms in the basement (someday there will be an upstairs bathroom). The church that occupied the building before us decorated the rooms in stereotypically masculine and feminine ways.

The scenic ladies’ room, complete with fake window.

But, when you look closer, each of them has a toilet, a sink, some towels, a lot of soap and hand sanitizer, etc. They function exactly the same.

The manly men’s room.

When we had Master Naturalist meetings in here, I noticed that people seemed aghast when I suggested that anyone could use either room. True, someone had stuck signs (two actually, one above the door and one on the door) on each room, hinting at the preferred users. But really, they are the SAME dang bathrooms!

Ah, there are options! You can be a lady OR a woman to use one of our restrooms.
Maybe we need THIS sign!

(Aside, they also get upset that “the toilet doesn’t work” when people repeatedly flush before the tank has refilled. I need to put up a sign saying “ancient 1930s plumbing; please be patient if you want a good flush.”)

As we’ve been working here all by ourselves (the Hearts Homes and Hands staff and me), I’ve noticed another pattern. Repeatedly, Lee decides he has to “go” and bursts in on Chris, who has closed (but not locked) the door to the men’s room as a sign that it’s occupied. When it was suggested that Lee use the other bathroom, he acted like that was not a possible option. Once again, there is the SAME equipment in each room, just one looks 1980s girly and one looks like some fancy gentleman’s dressing quarters.

This is an option, of course.

I THINK we have all come to an agreement that if a door is shut, it’s probably occupied, and you should at least knock. Preferably, just use the other one. Apparently once or twice someone closed the men’s room door after use and it confused Lee, but that hasn’t happened in months.

It just makes me laugh. At home, everyone uses whatever toilet is available. But when we get to work, the exact same group of people acts like one of the available options is poison.

Just go! Photo by @mylove4art via Twenty20.

We are so well trained! I can’t wait until there are more universal and family bathrooms around, so people will get used to it. As for me, when I gotta go, I gotta go. I can handle masculine decor, though I won’t use urinals. That’s my private business.

Footware Fantasy

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? I believe I do. And a couple of runners up. I don’t have a shoe fetish or an actual mental health challenge about shoes. My Well, you may or may not agree.

I have a few shoes. There are more in Austin. I recently gave lots away.

Now I own a lot of shoes. I do. I’ve endured Imelda Marcos jokes for decades. Maybe young people don’t know about her and it will stop.

I always blamed it on my sun and moon being in Pisces ♓️. That sign “rules” the feet. Apparently the Piscean will either have beautiful feet or scary ones. My dad’s were very weird, and his high arches made it hard for him to buy shoes.

I had a pair of sandals for church at this age. I’m the one with fewer teeth.

I had very nice, average size feet that looked good in shoes. When I was little, we mostly went barefoot and got a new pair of shoes when school started, either loafers or Keds.

Normal feet for my age.

So, when I started earning my own money, the first thing I did was buy shoes. High school friends will remember the white patent-leather 6” platforms I bought in Mexico in ninth grade. I’m sure I looked like a puta, but I could be in the back row in chorus. Ha!

Second row at the end. The shoes are peeking out.

Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed shoes. I sorta miss my lovely Cole Hahn dress shoes, but my feet are thrilled that I now wear comfy ones. Now I just miss all the shoes in Austin I haven’t seen since the first week of March. Poor orange sparkles!

I hope someone is enjoying these. Not me anymore.

You might be surprised that my favorite shoes are very practical. They’re brown walking shoes, what a snooze. But they are infinitely comfortable, great for walking and hiking, and get this: they’re waterproof! I can walk around in the rain or afterward without wearing hot rubber boots.

Practical.

And the bottoms have leaves!

You can see that used them to walk in mud.

I got them on a weird shopping trip with my stepmom. The store owner showed us all his guns. I felt so safe.

It has orthotics.

Other favorites are Corky’s flip flops, because they don’t hurt between my toes. Then there are the sparkly sneakers. All of them.

Others I like are the Skechers GoWalk series. They are good for work and dog walking. And my colorful Western shoes. Almost as great as the brown ones.

I love cowboy boots. Right now my favorites are these blue Ariats I wear for ranch stuff and riding. They have soon kind of cushioning that’s miraculous. My favorite dress ones are the snakeskin. So comfy.

I always wondered if other people were as fond of shoes as me. Maybe if you had a lot as a kid, they don’t matter? Or if you don’t obsessively match your outfits and shoes like me. I guess I’m a grownup at last, though, with this parade of comfy shoes passing as my favorites. Y’all missed my glory days!

Book Report: Bunny Bunny

This book is a follow-up to the memoir of Alan Zweibel that I posted last week. In that book, Zweibel talked about a little book he wrote about his late best friend, Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer at a very young age. He said the whole book was dialog that just came to him after she passed away. I was interested.

The cover was put together by Zweibel’s wife and an artist they commissioned for the painting.

So, I set out to get a copy. That was harder than it might have been, because Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner: A Sort of Love Story (a book with TWO colons) is out of print, having passed its prime in 1994, I guess. Luckily I selected a reputable vendor of used books and got a copy in pretty good shape for just $7.

Once again. Zweibel made me laugh a lot, but I was also touched by the little stories he chose to tell. It’s a wonderful tribute to an amazing friendship. I had to read some passages aloud to the family, so they could enjoy them, too.

I got a real kick out of the illustrations, as well. They are simple line drawings by the artistically impaired author, but they are also really sweet and convey the essence of the stories perfectly.

Here, they have taken a taxi in New York City. I left in a snippet of dialog to show you the format.

So, I’m pretty sure none of you are going to go out and buy this book, but if you want to borrow it from me, see me after people can meet up more easily!

Mexican hats!

Enjoy some flowers. They’re left over from yesterday’s photo expedition.

That Dog

Just a funny little Vlassic story.

I’m friendly, that’s all.

This morning I had to gas up the car before heading to Cameron. I pulled into the bay, got out, and Vlassic jumped out right after me.

I was worried he’d get hit by a car at the very busy station.

But no. He ran around the car at the pump next to me, which had also just pulled up, and jumped into that car. He was ready to go.

The man at the other pump laughed and laughed. He said, “He must have known I have a dog that looks just like that!”

How dare those men park here!

Right now we are waiting for Lee at the scenic Buckholts State Bank, where Vlassic is focusing his laser vision on people who have the nerve to park next to us.

Scenic Buckholts State Bank, as seen through a wet windshield.

(Weather report sidebar: yes, it’s raining again. We sure enjoyed that one sunny day this week.)

I need a knife.

When the people leave, he’s trying to break into my giant box of egg cartons.