Open Letter

3rd July 2007

Dear Woman Who Just Left This Bathroom Stall,

What the holy hell happened in here? My brain is racing through the possibilities. Did you splay starfish-style against the walls of the stall and misfire from above? Did you decide to practice a little yoga while you had some down time?

Only moments ago, we made eye contact as you passed; I noted your cute shoes. And now here I stand, preparing to wipe one-half-gallon of your urine off my toilet seat.

How was this spatter pattern physically possible? Did you stand over the seat under the misimpression that you have a penis? Clearly you do not have a penis. Territorial drunk men with prostate issues have better aim than you.

If you continue to do this, leave filthy messes for complete strangers despite being in your late thirties, eventually someone will point it out. I hope they will point it out by slamming open the stall, grabbing you by the scruff of your neck, and pushing your nose up to the toilet seat, while shouting, “No! NO! Baaaad stranger! Baaaaaad!”

In the meantime, I’ll be here with half a roll of toilet paper wrapped around my hand, mopping up a grown woman’s pee-pee.

Sincerely,
Margaret Mason

53 thoughts on “Open Letter

  1. Monica

    Oh, gross! And how about the people who use one of those paper toilet-seat protectors and then leave it in place when they are done (maybe as a courtesy to the next user???? THANKS BUT I WOULD LIKE MY OWN, you moron!)

  2. Becky

    As far as I can gather in my gingerly-conducted research, women who “hover” above the seat often yield horrible, splashy results. The pee-phobia that makes them hover in the first place also keeps them from even thinking of doing any post clean up.

    Man, bathrooms on the brain this week! flickr.com/photos/hambox/698546120/

  3. Mau

    Yeah… well, at least I give women this: you have no choice, you either use the toilet, or the toilet.

    Men… yeah… they really don’t make sense… there’s urinals in public restrooms, right? well… they choose to use the toilet to pee and they choose not to lift the seat… No, the urinal was vacant and they still chose to use the toilet… and chose to spray all over, leaving me wishing that the very next user was their own mother…

    Sorry, I feel ya! and people like them were not raised like my mom raised me… respecting the next toilet user.

  4. Jenn

    Attention, women of the world: Just sit on the damn seat. Line it if you must, but just sit on it. There are more germs on your cell phone anyway.

  5. Cherry

    Kid you not, I’ve had similar findings multiple times in the last week.

    She’s out there, and she’s making her mark.

  6. Lisa

    A scruffy 14-ish year old darted in front of me to use the bathroom at Subway yesterday. He exited in 15 seconds, leaving behind a frothy filled toilet of urine. I grabbed him by the sleeve and said, “Whoa, dude, flush to toilet like a grown-up. And be sure the wipe that seat.” And he did!

  7. Amy

    ha, I have a friend who would LOVE this post. She’s always disgusted by our colleagues’ gross corporate bathroom behaviour.

  8. Eric

    Wow, and here I thought it was just us guys that went through that kind of thing. Of course alot of times it’s alot worse in the mens room than the ladies room, but still I feel for ya on this one for sure. Please people, take the time to respect the next person to use the toilet after you.

  9. Tracy27

    100% what Jenn said.

    Even more fun is sharing a work restroom with people from cultures where they’re used to “squat toilets” (i.e. ceramic-lined holes in the ground); encountering splash marks AND dirty footprints on the seat is a double-whammy of suck.

  10. Lisa

    When at the movie theater last week, I encountered a similar experience in the bathroom stall. Except. It. Was. Poo.

    I was flabbergasted and spent the next hour trying to figure out how that was even humanly possible!

    GAHHHHHHH.

  11. merry jennifer

    I need to print your letter and post it on the bathroom walls at my work. I think your Woman Who Just Left This Bathroom Stall may be using the bathrooms there, too.

  12. Michelle

    Hey, I’ve printed out signs and left them taped up in the bathroom stalls at work before. I don’t know whether it’s more disgusting when it’s a stranger or whether it’s someone you know, but either way, it bloody well sucks. No excuse for grown ups to be so damn disgusting and inconsiderate.

  13. Barbara

    A dilemma. Suppose there are no other vacant stalls. Do you clean up the pee splatter, or do you follow suit and squat away? I usually clean. The ONE time I did not clean, and instead squatted, I was put to shame by the woman who entered behind me. She bellowed “Ewwww!” and drug her friend in see the horror of it all. I left protesting: “I swear it was not me! It was the person before me!”

  14. MarkDM

    The first thing I do when I enter a stall in the men’s room at work is to wipe the seat with one or two of those paper seat covers. Then I look closely from all angles to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I have learned from unfortunate experience that few things are ickier than sitting down unawares in what feels like an entire puddle of somebody else’s pee. If you find it impossible to lift a toilet seat, how did you ever land your job?

  15. marymuses

    I encounter Woman Who Just Left This Bathroom Stall all over New York City, and she is often well-dressed and even fashion forward. And yet, she still feels that leaving disgrossting messes in public toilets is acceptable. Some ladies need to either figure out how to get all their pee in the toilet or they just need to hold it until they get home.

  16. Leila

    There was actually a New York Times article several years ago that analyzed the potential health hazards related to sitting on toilet seats, and found that there are very, very few. My co-worker Michelle (who might have posted earlier? Hi!) and I printed this article out and taped it in the ladies’ room — but to no avail. We spent a good five years trying to get the Woman Who Just Left This Bathroom Stall to sit her ass down and spare the rest of us her mess. But, I swear, squatters can’t be convinced that the only germs on the toilet are *their fault*! Finally, the squatter was fired for her habit of arriving several hours late to work. I think these two acts of irresponsibility and self-centeredness are intimately connected, and I suspect that when she grows up and learns to respect the next peer she’ll also find it easier to hold down a job.

  17. Sarah B.

    I don’t understand people who are afraid to sit on toilet seats. Dude, it’s your ASS. Of all my body parts I would rather put on a toilet seat, my ass is #1. Were you saving it to sit bare on your grandma’s velvet couch later that day or something?

    Also, Nicole Kidman does this.

  18. candy

    i have felt the same way for oh so many years. just sit your butt down & pee! personally, i will wipe the seat if i have to. i’m going to wash my hands anyway & would prefer a dry seat. as mentioned, there’s few things worse than having a damp surprise when you sit.

    right on, lisa (who stopped the kid in subway)! that’s awesome!

  19. Ms. Karen

    Oh, please, PLEASE tell me the peeing woman at least washed her damn hands? It’s bad enough that I’ve had to clean up after she pees all over the toilet seat, but when I see her leaving without even waving her filthy paws at the sink… GAAAH!

    One of these days, I’m gonna start yelling at people. Then security will have to come and take me away, but when they do, THEY’LL have to touch the door handle and I won’t. So there.

  20. Min

    The world would be a much better place if women would just. SIT. DOWN. Seriously, unless you rub your fingers all over the seat before you sit, and then lick them while you do your business, it’s really hard to catch anything.

    And suddenly it becomes so much more clear why half the stalls are out of paper at any given moment. I, too, feel compelled to wrap half the roll around my hand before cleaning up some disgusting stranger’s mess.

    Also, this post makes me feel much better about the conversation I had with a coworker a few weeks ago, in which we analyzed how it is humanly possible to leave the messes we find in our *employee* (not public!) restroom!

  21. Jessica

    There’s nothing i hate more than idiot women who hover.

    My only hope is they get UTI’s and die. Ha. That’ll learn ’em!

  22. Pingback: Ivar Zantinge » Blog Archive » Maggie’s Open Letter

  23. Sean

    For men this is always infinitely worse, trust me. Ever walked into a stall of poo? No glove of TP will be enough for me to clean that up, just move on and block it out. That is just ungodly. What is it with people?

  24. dina

    Here here! We are not your cleaning crew you scattershot peeing ladies! Seriously though Maggie, warn me not to have coffee in my mouth before reading next time. Now I have a mess to deal with.

  25. Annie

    We have those girls where I work – only they take it a step further and don’t wash their hands on their way out of the bathroom.

  26. Amy

    Kinda related but maybe not – on the line of it being the ‘well-dressed woman’, etc….I worked in a well known womens clothing store and we started to notice every time ‘a certain doctors wife who lives in the country club and her daughter, Junior-Miss-My-Town’, came in and tried on clothes, EVERY TIME they left we would find a trashcan with pee in it in their dressing room!! NO LIE. They would go out to the common area of the dressing room and take the little wastebasket that was there into their room and pee in it!! It only took a couple of times to get to the point when we saw them come through the door, we quickly sent someone to remove the wastebasket from the dressing room area.

    I guess they felt better about hovering over a wastebasket than a public toilet but still, how disgusting!

  27. James

    Maybe she crouching over the seat to avoid touching it, afraid it was dirty? Possibly from people crouching over it and missing the bowl? I bet it was lost on her.

  28. Barbara

    Oh man, did I ever laugh at this Maggie! Can I request open letters? Please? I need to read your letters to people who don’t pick up after their dogs, or drive slow in the left lane, or set up a microphone at our Fourth of July parade and narrate assuming we want to listen to his commentary???? Help me laugh at the narcissistic culture that surrounds us…this one made my day.

  29. Megan

    The toilets in my building have some sort of power flush thing going on, which results in the toilet spitting water onto the seats. For the first few months after I began working here, I could not figure out how it was that a whole building full of people could pee on the seats! Then someone clued me into the spitting toilets.

  30. Laurenne

    I wonder if the person leaving the stall before you was the culprit or if it was a person before her? Because when I enter a stall with pee all over the toilet seat, I don’t clean it up. I either find another stall or resort to crouching. If one person splattered all over the toilet seat and forced subsequent pee-ers to also squat, there could be pee from ten people on there! I feel bad for the janitors.

  31. Sueberry

    WOW — I think we may work in the same building!

    A friend sent me a link to this post & I just about fell over laughing because I can totally relate….and sadly, it’s MUCH worse where I work on many days, but I enjoyed reading your story immensely. I hope “Ms. Cute Shoes” gets better aim soon! Any chance she’s really a man??? :)

  32. Lynn

    This is too funny!! My comment whenever I go into a stall is……Its OK to FLUSH TWICE!!! Why to women wait until they get to a public restroom.

  33. Pattie

    Ugh! I hate sprayers! We were not meant to pee standing up. Oh, the horrors this post brings to mind. This is why it takes me approximately 17 minutes to pee in a public bathroom stall. Fifteen minutes for cleanup, two to pee.

  34. Diana

    Been there , dealt with that !!!I work in a grocery store where you deal with the ignorance of others at all times . Once upon entering the handy capped bathroom stall, since the other one was in use , I encountered a 100% naked woman telling me it was ok for me to come in and use the toilet while she washed up !!!! I could not believe she was inviting me in to SHARE the space with her first off…but when I saw that she was not only covered with feces but the entire commode and wall behind and beside it were also smeared with it I found myself holding my hand to my mouth so I would not add to the disaster with my own puke !!! I shutter every time I have reason to think of that moment !!! UGH !!!!

  35. karla

    I always want to say to the person “You left something in there” and when they come out all confused, point it out to them. But, I’ve never done it.

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  37. T Grum

    I can understand how a toilet seat can get wet. But tell me, just how does a pile of feces end up in the middle of the men’s room floor, unless it’s done maliciously? And just how did it get distributed there, directly or by hand?

    And Mr. Grumpy suspender guy, I know you’re one of the biggest offenders of not flushing urnials. I know some follow the creed, if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down,” but I barely tolerate my own excretements. Other people’s are just plain gross.

    Also to whom it may concern, paper hand towels and candy bar wrappers are not flushable items.

    I feel sorry for the cleaning crew where I work.

  38. Jenn (dish)

    At work, we had to prepare a set of petri dishes with bacterial growth a few years back for a demo. Just for fun, we swabbed a bunch of “common” things to make the demo more fun. The swab of the toilet seat barely grew anything. The worst offender? The faucet on the bathroom sink. So, sit away, ladies, but don’t touch the faucet when you wash up.

  39. Annie

    Hooray for your Mighty Letter! I’ve peed after this woman so many times in NYC that I’ve lost count. I think it’s a class thing– the richer the neighborhood (Upper West/East side, anyone?)the less these ladies deign to sit/wipe up. I feel like I’ve got it down to a science where I can predict, based on the trendiness of clothing and shoes alone, which “lady” will be the seat pee-er. And yes, I wipe up after them– why piss on the seat even more and leave the mess for some poor minimum wage earner to clean up?

  40. Megan

    “Women are disgusting” is the conclusion I came to after many years of working in restaurants and having to do basic bathroom pick up. Women’s room was consistently in worse shape than the mens’. Blech.

  41. Jess

    Thank you for writing this. Not only did it need to be said, it was also highly entertaining.

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