30 October 2007

Meeting in the Ladies Room - Part Deux

Living in New York City, I and many others have the challenge of finding decent public restrooms. When I say decent, of course I mean clean and not foul-smelling – don’t want to have to decide whether to sit or stand, if you know what I mean! Anyway, because we here have the problem of homelessness, clean public restrooms are a real challenge. And in the wake of 9/11, the challenge has become even greater. It was easy to duck into a hotel lobby restroom; but since 9/11, the concierge started asking to see your room key.

Still, there are several public restrooms for us out and about-ers. Any Barnes and Noble book store can accommodate your urgent needs. After you go, grab a book, purchase a latte and sit and rest. Although B&N has restrooms, there isn’t much resting going on in them; unless you rest while waiting on the line for the stall. I must say that Borders Booksellers have fabulous restrooms – clean, spacious and with foamy soap. Like B&N, you can rest with a good book once you are done.

I have become addicted to Starbucks’ Vanilla Lattes. And guess what? Yes, you guessed it – there is a public restroom. After a Grande Vanilla Latte, there had better be a restroom; though some of the smaller Starbucks don’t have public facilities. Take your own paper goods because there is rarely any toilet tissue or paper towels. But there is a toilet. So far, so good. I have noticed that not many street people use the facilities at Starbucks. They are probably put off by the price of a cup of coffee. Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s is more their style – fast, cheap and yes, a toilet.

Now, except for the bookstores, ladies don’t look for a mirror. And no resting or socializing. Starbucks is a one-person-at-a-time facility; so no groups. But when you gotta go fast, it’s convenient. And when you really gotta go, you lose the whole socializing thing anyway. As for hotels, if there are restaurants, shops, and a bank of public phones (remember those?), then there are public restrooms. These are my personal favorites. Hotels restrooms are real meeting rooms. Women can sit, rest, socialize, and have decent conversations. The restrooms in the hotels have a sitting area, the stalls, and an area to spruce up. It’s like a condo! And everything works; there are enough paper goods to last through a flood. Hot water is hot and not lukewarm. And the paper towels are the quality kind, you know, lint-free. Good for dusting and cleaning. Okay, so I take a few. What, do they want them back? But I digress….

When I counsel clients in grief, especially women, I always tell them to honor their feelings and when you need to have a meltdown, duck into a ladies room. It is socially accepted, no one is going to stop you from needing to go to the loo, and it is full of tissues (at least we pray that it is) and, there is a mirror; except Starbucks. Wonder what’s up with that? With the prices they charge they should be able to afford bathroom mirrors, don’t you think? I mean, what's a restroom without a mirror? Just a loo!

"...I'll be back real soon..."

Coach Carolyn


Virtual Woman's Day said...

I recently discovered your blog (via google alerts) and love it! In fact, I recently listed it it in a post " Our Women Bloggers List Grows" on one of my blogs Virtual Woman's Day (http://www.virtualwomansday.com).

Wishing you all the best and continued success.

Heidi Richards, Founder & CE) - The WECAI Network™ - http://www.wecai.org

Carolyn D. Townes, SFO said...

Rockin'! Thank you Heidi and Virtual Women's Day!