Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm stumped...

Ya know how I thought I was the Queen of Etiquette when it came to public bathrooms? 

Yea... well I'm kinda stumped right now.

So you guys let me know what YOU think.

Okay... again this is at work.

I walk into the stall...I head straight for a stall that isn't occupied...making sure to check and see that I can have the one-stall-in-between rule...sometimes you can't swing that because the bathroom is busy.

I was in luck though and only one other person was in the bathroom.

I heard a hiccup when I walked in...but didn't think much of it because, of course, my mind was focused on getting to the toilet quickly because I held it to the VERY last minute.

I make sure to cover the toilet seat with toilet paper, jumping up and down and wiggling all around, and sit down to...well...relieve myself.

It's completely silent, as it should be, because I'm not about to discuss the weather with someone while we are otherwise occupied...that would be seriously uncomfortable.

Then....

From the stall two over from mine, coming from the only other person in the bathroom, a DEEP, heart-wrenching, gut-stabbing, down-from-the-depths-of-her-soul SOB.  Then silence...and then squeaks...and then another SOB where apparently the flood gates broke open!

I froze...I froze like Crash's stone cold heart.

I even stopped my pee mid stream so that I wouldn't disturb such a personal moment.

I wished myself out of there.

See, I'm not really a touchy-feel-y person anyway, sure with my close friends I'm as loyal as Nutty Hamster Chick is to her BYU Football or Kritta is to her quilting or Lilly is to her husband and helping to find a cure for cancer or Heidi is to her book tour or Binks is to me (love ya girl!) or Daddy Geek Boy is to educating us about getting snipped... and I'll give ya a hug when I see ya, or if ya need one...

But when it comes to strangers?  I'm just not one to walk up to a person in a heart wrenching moment and wrap my arms around and whisper 'it's okay' when I don't know the person...and especially not in a bathroom.

But I felt myself in an awkward situation and not knowing what to do about it.  First of all, was it okay to continue peeing?  Then if it is, and I finish with flushing the toilet and properly get everything put back together to walk out of the stall...do I say something as I go to wash my hands?  Do I say anything at all?

Who KNOWS why she is crying?  Maybe it's something I CAN help her with.

Personally, I wouldn't want anyone to talk to me.

Do I break the awkward tension in the room that I was feeling by humming or something?

It really wouldn't hurt to say, 'are you all right?'

But would that make HER then feel even MORE awkward because I said anything?

I DID finish going to the bathroom and I opted not to say anything.  Because I'm a coward...and most likely a schmuck.

So does that make me an unthoughtful person?  Was that mean? 

I mean what does one DO?

What if I could have helped her feel better...made her day or something?




71 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Tought situation! I probably would have just asked if she needed anything.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Yikes, that's a hard. Like Kristina I would have just asked if she was alright. She probably would have said yes and wanted privacy.
That's my guess anyway.

Barbaloot said...

Ummm...I probly wouldn't have said anything. My guess is that since she's in the bathroom, in a stall...she's trying to aviod human contact. At least for the time being.

Pancake said...

tough, I would have asked if she was ok, but... if she was in the stall, maybe she just needed a few moments to get it together before she could deal with it

PJ - Our life said...

I would have asked. It never hurts to ask, they can say mind your own business or ya I'll be fine just having a horrific day. But at least you tried. It is a tough situation though.

clan of the cave hair said...

Well, she's hiding, so she probably wants to be left alone. When she wants to be talked too, she'll come out of hiding. That's my theory.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I think I agree with those who said she wanted her privacy. It is a hard call. I wonder if you could have waited to see who it was when they came out and them maybe just written a note saying you hoped they were OK.

I am sure that you are in now way a scmuck.

springrose said...

That is a tough situation! I am not a hugger either, unless I know you really well, then only if I push myself to do it. Unless it is my Hubby, then I want hugs all the time! I hope you and the female sobber are ok from the experience!

King Fam said...

if it was me crying, I would have liked privacy. If it was not me I would have hurried with my business so she wouldn't feel stupid.

The Wixom Zoo said...

I would say that it depends on how big your office is and how close you are to your co-workers. I worked in an office that had 12 people in it and I would have felt very comfortable asking if I could have helped. If, however, you're in a huge building with a gazillion people running around I'd have to go with the quick, and silent, exit.

T said...

I probably would have finished, washed my hands and walked within a hairs breath of the door before asking if she needed help or anything (and maybe disguised my voice a little?) Easy to chat from that distance if she wants help, and a quick retreat if she doesn't.

...not a shmuck - that's a tough situation... because it all depends on WHY the tears were flowing!

Southern Sage said...

Ma'am? Ma'am? Are you out of TP? I can roll you some under the stall!
Or
Honey you hadta know those jalapeno's were going to burn you twice! Don't eat them no more!


For real though I would have said damn dude (cause I do business is the dudes bathroom generally) Dude, suck it up quit your crying and put your big boy panties on be a man.

But if I was in thee and a chick was crying I'da of course asked her if I could help her. Cause thats how I roll.

brooken'dus said...

I didn't realize me and you were so much alike, I too am not a touchy feely kinda person and I like to keep my feelings to myself, I think I would have done the exact same thing, I am just no good at that kinda stuff....

H.K. said...

Oh, wow! Tough call! But, I'm pretty sure even if you asked her if she needed any help, she would have said she wanted to be left alone.

funky bag freak said...

Um I think Southern Sage covered it. LOL

Seriously though...I agree with what you did.

Staci said...

Shelle- can you do me a favor shannon needed this recipe and im not invited to her blog so could you forward this to her please Thanks
Staci
Hey Shannon I hope this is the one that you were talkin about
ingredients
1 pkg crescent rolls pillsbury
8 oz cream cheese
3 T mayonnaise
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
2 Cups of different veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, peppers, green onions, mushrooms, carrots etc.
Preheat oven to 350 deg. On greased pizza pan, unroll dough, pressing scored edges together. Bake 12-15 min until light golden brwon. In a bowl combine cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, dill and salt and pepper. Spread on cooled crust. Chop veggies in small pieces then sprinkle on top of pizza cut and serve. I hope this helps I dont know if im invited to your blog or not but my email is scentsygal@gmail.com

Mother Goose said...

i would have said nothing as well. Let the girl have her private moment. That's what I would have wanted. I mean, if I wanted consoling, I would have stared in the mirror bawling not in a locked stall door.
southern sage, again. Lovin' his comments.

achick47 said...

Well I would have done the same as you. Now if you will excuse me I need to visit the restroom as I have laughed to hard at how I could see this happening to me. I just have to vivid an imagination I guess. I lurk here often and so enjoy your writeings,

jess said...

Shelle you probably won't remember me, I dated Kevin for a little bit and we met at Rian's baby blessing. Anyways just wanted to say that I love your blog.. I have similar sentiments as you about so many subjects.. it's funny to read my opinion in someone else's words! Just thought I would say "hi" and de-lurk myself.

Kritta22 said...

Umm...I think it was fine that you finished pee'ing. It would have been weird not to. Cuz then you would have had to come back in a few anyway.

ALWAYS flush. Crying or not, loud or not...always flush.

I would have done my business. Walked out, grabbed some Kleenex, cuz you know TP hurts the nose, pushed it through the slot in the door with a note, saying that I hope she is okay and maybe my name so she could find me. Then walked right back out without saying a word.

It's the simple things, sometimes.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I think you made the right call. Somebody sobbing in the bathroom probably wants the (relative) solitude of the stall.

I dunno...I'm socially awkward.

And thanks for the shout out!

Sandi said...

Wow....hmm, I think she wanted to be left alone and you did the right thing. I love all the references to the other blogs....sends me off to some good reading! And don't forget that Crash's cold stone heart turned into a rootbeer float in the end!

Homer and Queen said...

Well, aren't you a schmuck! That was me!!! Just kidding! I think you did the right thing, if I were in the stall I would have wanted privacy. If she was by the sink, then ask her!

Canadian Bald Guy said...

This is where it's a great time to be a guy because...well...men don't sob uncontrollably in bathroom stalls.

On the other hand, guys makes all kinds of horrific other noises...so maybe your experience isn't so bad afterall.

roy/elisabeth dean said...

hhhhhmmmmmmm.....I probably would have asked if she was okay, but I'm nosy that way. If she screamed "NO Bitch, I just want to be left alone!", then all she would have known of me would be my shoes! Then again, what do I know? A customer blessed me out at the store the other day because I SMILED at her!
It's food-for-thought....I probably SHOULD think about what I would do should this ever happen to me.... speaking of FOOD....LOVE that recipe for the veggie/crescent roll thingy that Staci couldn't send to Shannon (SHAME on you Shannon).
I really hope Sage isn't right and the poor girl was just out of TP, especially when you had all that extra to line your potty seat with!
Goodnight Shelle!
♥,Lilly

Shannon said...

Awwwwwwkwwaaaarrrrd!In all honesty, I would have hurried to finish my bidness... and leave her in peace. But that's just me.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

OKay...those of you that would have said something...you are SUCH a bigger person than I am! Honestly, I couldn't do it... a part of me wanted to, but I just felt weird...period!

Sure Staci I'll pass the recipe to Shannon... :) after I make sure it is edible of course.

Sage--It's good to know you would be a gentleman if you were ever in the ladies restroom! :)

Canadian Bald guy--I emailed you this already...but NICE image...thanks...I think I just threw up in my mouth a little! :)

Achick47...that is the BEST thing about blogging...you get to find other people that make you feel normal! lol!

Funky Bag Freak--checked out your blog...HOLY COW girl you have skillz...I love your designs!

Queen...the sink is a good idea...that probably would have been all right because it would have been obvious that I was there and should say something...I think?

Jess GIRL...of COURSE I remember you...HELLO!!! I think you are even MORE gorgeous now then when I met you...seriouly LOVE your header!

Well we are pretty much split down the middle...so half of us our schmucks...the other half are nice and offer help even if they get yelled at...and 3 of you are MALE which means your opinion counts the MOST right? :)

Love ya all!

Kritta22 said...

I've been thinking about this. It would be sooo tough to decide what to do.

Kritta22 said...

I have also been thinking about other manner things you could write about.

1. Where and when to change baby diapers.

I had an aunt that changed my niece on my kitchen table!!
She said she had a bad back and had to do it on a high surface! ON MY KITCEN table!!

But not just that extreme. When your kid has a poopy diaper, do you ALWAYS go to the bathroom to change? Is there occasions where it's okay to sneek behind a chair or something, so you aren't completely out of all the conversations. Or can you just do it in the middle of everything??

Kritta22 said...

2. How do you show off your talents without being a jerk?

I love to quilt and people seem to be amazed by it. Or they are just being nice. Anyway, can I put quilts on my bed and walls without being concieded?

What about playing the piano? I love to play music. But when people in our church find out that I play, they think I'm awesome. I'm not. I just plunk through the notes.

So what do you say to people, while being honest?

I mean, I'm better than most at the piano but I can't just say that. I would call myself a jerk. But I don't wanna say that I stink either. Cuz if I stink, what about little Suzy in the corner that only plays the right hand. That just slams her confidence to the ground.

I'm sure you have dealt with this with your dancing.

Help a sister out!

Kritta22 said...

What about baby bunmps??

If you have a feeling that someone is prego, can you ask?

Kritta22 said...

How do you bring up that you have a blog?

I want this chick, that's new at church, to invite me to her blog. She is really fun and I think we get along great.

But it's not something that comes up in convo during Relief Society.

What did you post on yoru blog today?

I found out she had a blog through a common friend.

Kritta22 said...

How do you get over having a really awesome post and NO one comments on it??

do you repost it in like six months?

Do you just let it go?

Kritta22 said...

How do you tactfully tell someone they dont look good with bangs, or that color shirt or????

I have the hardest time with this.

Kritta22 said...

How about closing your blinds?

As much as I LOVE to look into people's home's at night, seeing what they have decorated with or who is home....do you think it is a bad thing??

I mean there are people like Jill that have see-through bathroom curtains for years without noticing.

But what about those that just leave the blinds open to just leave them open??

Kritta22 said...

I'm so glad that I found your blog about a year ago!

I consider you one of my closest blogging buddies. Maybe even real buddies.

I know that seems weird. I'm not stalking you, promise. I know you posted about this the other day too.

I totally feel like I know you better than some of my friends I see every week.

Kritta22 said...

How did you pick your kids names for your blog?

Why do you change them?

Kritta22 said...

Crash does it too.

I have never heard the reason behind it or yours though.

Kritta22 said...

Do you think your friends that comment on here are going to think I'm crazy for stuffing your comment box?

I'm just sharing the love People!!

Kritta22 said...

I love comments and when I open up my email and see I have 10 new ones, junk or not, I get a little tingle in my tummy.

10 people care!

Kritta22 said...

Have you seen Celebrity Apprentence?

I like it a lot better than the regular Apprentences.

I'm a reality show freak though. I LOVE them.

Kritta22 said...

How is school going for your hubby? Is his quarter almost done?

I have a friend that just turned 29 and decided that he wanted to go to dental school. So for the next 7 years, they will have no big income! Yikes, his friend is SCARED!

Kritta22 said...

I would be too. Especially in the US today. It's scary out there.

I hope this will get better soon.

Kritta22 said...

honest to goodness opinion here...

when do you think the second Coming is coming???

20 years

5 years

50 years??

Kritta22 said...

Maybe even a 1000 years??

How is it living with your in-laws??

Oh that's another question....

how do you handle a mother-in-law that wants to help but is really just being a jerk??

like my MIL she will say, Oh honey Connor won't like theose peas. I know what he likes.

Ummm...excuse me, I gave birth to that kid!!

Kritta22 said...

I bet you are going to wake up tomorrow morning, shocked that you have a wonderful amount of comments!

I would be!

Kritta22 said...

I bet you are going to wake up tomorrow morning, shocked that you have a wonderful amount of comments!

I would be!

Kritta22 said...

I'm suppose to go help a friend move tomorrow morning, then I'm going to the RS prez house to go quilt. She is a superstar quilter and she wants to see some of mine!!

I hope she gives me some pointers.

What are you doing tomorrow??

It's Friday!!!

Kritta22 said...

Oh you are going to post a picture for Carrie's thing...awesomeness!

do you find yourself going into blogging waves??

I just realized that today. I've been 'hanging' out with you and Crash and all the Crash comment box hommies lately.

I've been kinda neglecting Jill and Amy and Georgie. I don't mean to. I just kinda phase in and out of both groups.

Do you??

Kritta22 said...

Connor is asleep upstairs and my hubby is at work. He is working swing shift since he got home from Fairbanks.

I enjoyed fairbanks. There was a lot more to do, I thought, than in Anchorage.

Anchorage is kinda centered around biking or drinking. There isn't too much in between.

Kritta22 said...

I got a Wii fit and it's totally kicking my butt.

I ran with chris last night for 10 minutes, in place!!

My calves are kicking my butt today!

Kritta22 said...

Oh I totally forgot to tell you....

This is a girlie comment, for all your boys....

I haven't had a period since Christmas. All the prego sticks say negative so I had an appt yesterday.

They say my left ovary is enlarged and they want to do more tests.

But I'm really kinda excited about it cuz it means that once they figure out what it is, hopefully it will fix my baby making!!!!

Kritta22 said...

Oh and the doc said that once they figure everything out he will refer me to Women's Health, where they WILL prescribe me fertility meds!!!!

When we joined, they told us that no optional treatments would be paid for. fertility is a optional treatment.

Well either things have changed or they just lied cuz the doctor said it was NO prob!!!!

SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!! I could have a baby in a year and half!!!

Kritta22 said...

I am really excited about that.

You know that I've wanted like 5 babies. well not just babies, kids.

When chris and I got married, one of our first fights was over how many kids we wanted. I wanted 5. Chris wanted 6. He likes the even number of 6.

I like that you can still fit five in a mini van.

Now we are just counting our blessings with Connor.

Kritta22 said...

It's so silly what you fight about when you are married!

Kritta22 said...

Once your hubby is done with school, where do you want to live?

what is he going to school for anyway??

Kritta22 said...

I can't believe I don't know that!

I have a quilt almost ready to go to Devri. she is going to love it...I hope.

If she doesn't, she can just put it in the bottom of her closet until she moves or something!

Kritta22 said...

I was hoping you would have won one of my quilts but I think you were sick or something.

Oh well....I need to have another giveaway BUT I have to finish all the quilts I said I would make first!

Kritta22 said...

I talked to Chris about writing for the Venus vs Mars...he said he would. I just have to type it AND it has to be after the first week in may.

I told him that we didn't care when.

Kritta22 said...

i still don't think you are a jerk or selfish for not doing or saying anything to that chick.

She was LOCKED into the stall. Maybe she just started her period and she was trying to have a kid.

been there done that....but not at work.

Or maybe she just found out she was prego and was so excited that she was crying.

been there done that too

Or maybe she just found out that her computer had a virus from all the craft websites she was looking at.

I'm just saying.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

WOWZA Kritta needs to know a lot, lol!

But I'm curious too ;)

♥georgie♥ said...

wow shelle...I am in the group of I would have said something BUT that doesnt make it wrong,unthoughtful or mean of you that you didnt...it really was a tough situation to be in...

My philosophy albeit a lil warped at times is...we never know when speaking up with a kind word or gesture will make someones day...

huggers...

Michele Horne said...

You did exactly as I would have. She might have been uncomfortable if you approached her in a bathroom stall and why would you??? I would just beeline for the door.

American in Norway said...

I would have done the same as you.... If she was in a stall, she probably wanted to be left alone & not wanting anyone to know it was here... now if she was at the sink or something, I would have asked.

Loralee and the gang... said...

I think if this person went into a bathroom stall to cry, she does NOT want attention. If she did, she'd have her break down in the middle of the break room!
:~D

shannon said...

Too bad Kritta 22 wasn't in the bathroom when the girl was crying...I'm pretty sure she would have struck up a conversation with her...tee hee

It's a tough call...I guess it would have depended on my mood whether or not I would have tried to get involved...

You were just respecting her privacy... :)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Ha ah ah ahahah ohhhhh Kritta, Kritta, Kritta. You just gotta love Kritta.

I really want to answer all of her questions, but will it make me tired? Will it wear me out? Will I get dizzy from scrolling up and down, back and forth and focusing and refocusing?

Should I have put each of those questions in a seperate comment box so you have even more comments?

That probably would have been the thoughtful thing to do.

And how random that Staci just butted in and told you to forward that recipe!

Okay, Shelle Belle, to you I say MAN, you have a lot of great bathroom stories. Holy Cow girl. I've imagined you peeing more than any other person on earth. You've made the peeing hall of fame.

I am weird because I'm a total hugger, but then I'm not. I mean I'm only a hugger if I feel totally comfortable, which isn't all the time. I feel socially awkward a lot. And that would have been a socially awkward situation. I can see myself not saying anything because I wouldn't want anyone to say anything to me. Although if someone walked in the bathroom while I was crying I would have stiffled my sobs FO'SURE. I think I probably would have asked if she was okay.

I really like Kritta's idea about the tissue and the note. If I was crying in a stall, that would make my day.

Kritta, I AM SO STINKIN' HAPPY for you that you could have a baby in a year and a half. YAY! How silly that you and your hub fought about whether to have 5 kids or 6 kids. hahahah Why not compromise and go for 5.5?

Using your talents and your quilts isn't bragging, unless you act hoity toity about it, which I'm sure you don't. It's all in the attitude.

Hey, I don't change my kids names on my blog! I never even say my kids names. I just say my daughter and my son. Or my twins. Sometimes I'll say my annoying son. ;)

I know there's more to answer, but I'm getting hungry!

Ly Shelle. Ly Kritta!

binks said...

I had this same dilemma the other day at a restaurant.
Except the girl was in the next stall and she was puking (which was seriously making me want to vomit because I just finished eating).
I mean, do you ask if they are ok or what?
Such pressure to do the right thing.
As for the crying girl, I am really not sure what I would do. I think it depends on the circumstances.
Our work bathroom is a one shotter, so it might've been pretty awkward for me.

binks said...

I think Kritta is crying out for attention.

Comment whore. ;)

Angie's Spot said...

Oh my, that situation would have upset my stomach to no end. (good thing I would've already been in the bathroom)

ANYWAY, I would've done the same thing you did. Just as others have already said, if she was in the bathroom, she probably didn't want any human intervention. I'm nosy, but not THAT nosy.

Stodds Crew said...

Ok let me give it to you honestly, because you know I will. YES! YOU ARE A SHMUCK!! Come on girl, you know you wanted to know what she was crying about!!

Personally, I can't believe that cat got your tongue!!


Anyhow, love ya!!

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