I work in an office building. The women's restroom is communal and shared by everyone on the floor. In general I find this acceptable. Like those of the great open highway there are unspoken rules to sharing a restroom. And for the most part everyone complies with them. For example, if we should meet up while washing hands at the sink, a simple smile of acknowledgement and/or a light exchange of pleasantries is always nice. Or should you almost whack me with the door while entering as I am exiting, a bit of laughter and a short apology are appreciated. Beyond this there really shouldn't be too much more communication though. Especially if we don't even know each other. Now I will refer to above where I mention that MOST people adhere to these standards. Most except for one.
The office down the hall is home to a tiny old woman of about 75. She must weigh all of 90 pounds soaking wet and the massive shoulder pads in her 1980's corporate blazers dwarf her. She's constantly in the bathroom fixing her make-up, brushing her teeth and making sure not a hair on her wee head is out of place. Now for all intents and purposes I'm sure she's a perfectly lovely old woman who spoils her grandchildren rotten and enjoys a rousing game of Bingo with her girlfriends on the weekend. I, however, prefer to avoid her at all costs. This is because beneath her prim and proper persona lurks what I consider to be an incredibly ugly and unladylike habit. You see this old lady is a bit of a Chatty Kathy. Which I wouldn't mind if the talking had some boundaries. I'm trying to think how I can phrase this as inoffensively as possible, but I'm struggling. So I'm just going to come right out and say it. There is absolutely no need for someone to be speaking to me while I am actually ON the toilet. Yet that is what she does. The conversation doesn't stop once the stall door closes. Nope! She keeps right on going as if you aren't trying to have some sort of semi-private moment here. Even worse are the times when I have walked in and she herself is in a stall. She will actually call out to you and ask who is there. Then she will proceed to engage you in a talk about the weather. This whole thing horrifies me to no end. I have tried avoiding her. On many an occasion I have gotten up from my desk to use the restroom only to see her and do a 180 right back. But sometimes you just can't help running into her. And should you be unfortunate enough to run into twice in one day she'll be sure to tell you, "We must be on the same schedule today." That comment makes me cringe every time I hear it (which - by the way - has happened twice this week alone). So my new approach is to offer one word answers when I feel the conversation needs to stop. It doesn't appear to be working so far though. Apparently her feelings about allergy season are just too much to contain. I'm kind of at a loss. My choices as of now stand at a) Pretend I forgot how to speak English b) Cease all eating an drinking between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm or c) Just roll with it. I'm kind of liking choice A the best so far. Que crees? No habla Ingles!