Thursday, May 14, 2009

this is why all bathroom doors should have good strong locks

Oh man.

Tonight I was instantly brought back to a certain time and place I'd really rather not remember.
It was summer. Hot and humid all around and I, along with thousands of other people--both national and international--were gathered for a mission's trip. I remember eating en masse every day, the whole lot of us milling about outside and wading through tables and tables of food, with the only option for a beverage being iced tea. I don't know, maybe they had a special at Cosco or something.

The thing about iced tea is that I hate it.

I've always hated it and I always will.

I would toss the stuff into my mouth, trying desperately to bypass my taste buds, but it was not much good. The thing about liquid is that it spreads really quick. That weak and flowery taste would always come back to me, no matter how much I rushed the swallowing process.

But there was one afternoon that is forever branded into my memory.

First you need to know that among all of the young men at this mission's trip, one stood out. He was hot, and not simply because we were in Atlanta. And if that weren't enough, he played the guitar, sang like an angel, and seemed to be a kind and gentle soul. I couldn't say so from first hand experience, necessarily, but I was hoping to be able to at some point.

Because remember? He was hot. Oh yeah, and his name was Christian.

Okay, onto this particular afternoon.

See, I really have to go. Like, badly. And the only option for that kind of relief is a slew of port-a-potties, painted bright blue as if that could help mask what it was, exactly, that they stand for. As if the initial disgust you'd experience at smelling the crap would then turn to delight as you see that the source of the crap smell is painted a lovely shade of blue.

I take a nice big gulp of air as I make my way into the port-a-potty, hoping to avoid breathing altogether once I am actually inside. I am going about my business when to my abject horror and shock I see the door latch slowly start to turn.

I cannot believe it; it honestly feels like the worst thing in the world.

I can't find my voice in time, and I am too busy hovering over the port-a-potty hole and using my hands to keep my pants from pooling down at my ankles to physically stop the door from opening. Once the door reaches midway, I start to scream. Words are too intelligent for the moment, apparently, so instead I choose inarticulate grating screams and end up sounding like a badly done voice over for an American movie playing in Tokyo.

The door, already in the act of opening, finally finishes it's trajectory and swings fully ajar. I am still hovering, holding my pants in place, but am now looking the guitar-playing-sweetly-singing-hottest-guy-there, Christian, right in the face.

And I was wrong before. Earlier when I thought that this was the worst thing in the world, I hadn't yet seen who was on the other side of the door. There was still hope for it to be an elderly lady, an international missionary who didn't even speak my language, or the best scenario, my close friend Christine.

But it was Christian. And now this was the worst thing in the world.

He quickly closes the door. I finish and creep out of the port-a-potty while leaving much of my dignity somewhere inside it's blue walls.

And Christian? We never talk. Not once. We avoid each other for the rest of the summer at all costs. When he happens to come into a room and we meet eyes by chance, I am in the port-a-potty all over again, pants down, hot with shame.

Fast-forward to tonight. I am at a party, held by a friend who is staying at this swanky loft apartment that overlooks St. Louis. I have to go to the bathroom, walk into the room and see that the door doesn't lock, and so walk right back out.

An hour later I still have to go.

I tell two of my friends my dilemma. Explain to them that I really want to go, but unlocked bathroom doors make me feel really uncomfortable. They look at me like I am crazy cakes and tell me to just go. It's just us, they say, referring to the cast, who do you think is going to barge in on you?

Persuaded, I go. I close the door as tightly as it will go, but it is one of those sliding doors that doesn't quite hold fast. I resolve to go as fast as humanly possible and start the process. I am mid-stream, literally, when I hear three knocks and the door slides open.

Slides. Open.

I jump up, start to scream that I am in here! and probably pee on the floor in the process. Thankfully, nobody shows up on the other side of the door and I know exactly who has pulled this little prank.

Once I check the floor for pee, I go back out to the living room. Sure enough, my friend--the same one who had asked me who would ever barge in on me--is cracking up. Ha, ha, ha, just like that. So I tell them. I tell them about the blue port-a-potties; I tell them about Christian, the hot boy that I never did get to know.

Somebody says, Well at least this time it was just Dave. And now we are laughing. I throw in, Yeah, just Dave. Not hot, just a troll. And we laugh even more.

Moral of the story: if somebody opens the door on you while you are going to the bathroom, you can totally call them a troll. Unless he happens to be the hottest guy in Atlanta; then you should probably just avoid him altogether and maybe when a very long time has passed you can send him a post card of a picture of a port-a-potty and write, Wish you were here.

(p.s. I don't think David is a troll)


semi anonymous said...

first, I second your title whole heartedly

second, sorry for laughing, even tho that was probably your intent, it still seems mean. If I had been there, I would have totally held the door shut for you. Any GIRL would have. Mean boy trolls.

Jessica Latshaw said...

I don't blame you for laughing one bit; we laughed a great deal about it tonight, in fact.

And yes, you are totally right--a girl would have held the door open, rather than fling it aside while proud as a peacock at their own joke...!!!

Jessica Latshaw said...

um, I meant CLOSED! a girl would have held the door closed!!!

sherri said...

Hilarious! My heart goes out to you.
And I hate that I missed your performance in St. Loius (on stage, not on the potty) when you were so very close.

Mom said...

ha ha!

Hey what do you want for your birthday?

Mama Bear said...

That is one of my biggest fears... I too have been walked in on in a public restroom and I also very fearful of walking in on someone else. The result is that I leave potentially open stalls unused because I can't tell if there is someone in there even if there is a long line.

Now I use the stroller and two screaming boys to alert someone to the face that I am in the stall when the door doesn't lock. My new fear - that Jackson will push the door open for the world to see!!

Also, the drink I remember from a mission trip when I was in 5th or 6th grade is Peach Mystic. I still can't drink it to this day because I remember having a record 19 in one day while on the trip!

Nina said...

Funny. And mortifying!

The humorous thing is that I often think of you when I go into public restrooms because one time you told me (as we entered a public restroom together) that you'd heard the first stall is always the cleanest. That's all it took. Now I always choose the first toilet -- as long as the lock works!

Jess said...

I love that you think of me at public restrooms, Nina!!!!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Mom--I would definitely like a family party this time around since I missed it last year because I was working in L.A.!!!

Please notify everyone to start thinking of their nice things to say about me--I'm looking for creativity and very very luxurious compliments!!!! ;-)

peaj said...

Good for you for being able to laugh about it. Me, I'd have probably been looking for new friends.

kathiek said...

I have a whole slew of bathroom issues and I am very much in favor of strong locks for all bathroom doors!!

I, too, would have held the door shut for you!

Michele said...

Okay, so am I the only one who is going to ask if it was our very own Christian who so thoroughly embarrassed you? Was it???

Jenna Latshaw said...

haha you never told me that story of christian!

Jessica Latshaw said...

I have to say that no, it is not Christian Dunn, although at one point in my life I was quite enthralled with him as well. (I still am, just in an entirely different way!).

Thankfully, he never walked in on me in the port-a-potty!!!

sherri said...

Like I said before, I wish I knew you were performing so close to where I live- I would have caught the show!

St. Louis IS beautiful- and the Arch is breathtaking. Glad you enjoyed your stay.

* I have something for you ...come check out my site!

Jenna Latshaw said...

haha i thought you meant christian dunn.