Friday, February 15, 2008

The Half-Caf Bathroom

A few weeks back Husband, Chickster and I were on our way home from our visit to see Laser Beam Doc. When we travel that direction, we pretty much always stop at a certain Starbucks. It's right off the interstate, and they have a drive-thru, though we usually need to make use of the bathroom and stretch our legs.

It was during one of those pit stops that something occurred to me. Now, I know that Starbucks is a small place. There's usually more space devoted to selling cookies, mugs, and coffee paraphanalea than seating. But have you ever used their bathroom? Had to wait, didn't you? Or at least had someone do the ol' handle jiggle while you were taking your turn. Why? Because they have One-Seaters. I have been to Starbucks in multiple states, and I believe that almost every bathroom I've been in was a One-Seater, and every single time I've needed to use the restroom I have had to wait or had someone knock on the door while I was in there. And they're so big, just a teensy bit more space would afford a second stall. So why not just go ahead and make it easy on people? I've decided they should be dubbed a "Half-Caf" bathroom. Oh, it's a bathroom alright, it's just not quite all there. Makes as much sense as ordering a half-caf coffee.

Do they know what they're selling at Starbucks? By the very nature of the product they are so proud of (and charge a pretty penny for), customers will have to use the bathroom. I have to go after just hearing someone order a Venti caramel frappaccino, extra shot, extra whipped with sprinkles. Everybody knows how coffee affects your body. It's even noted in one of the best movies of all time, Steel Magnolias. Let's just say that when M'Lynn was looking for her husband, she knew exactly where he was when one of the boys told her, "His coffee kicked in."

Here's how it happens: You've made it into the ginormous One-Seater (now dubbed a Half-Caf), and resisted the urge to twirl around in your own private cavern of a bathroom. Of course, there's no hook to hang your purse on, so you either have to set it on the tiny little sink that was left soaked by the last genius in the bathroom, drape the 85 pound thing around your neck, hold the strap in your teeth (and hope you still have them by the time you're done), or worse yet, set it on the floor. With that problem figured out, you turn to the toilet. The employees have yet to discover that when the little seat-cover dispenser is empty, there are things called "refills", so you have to either hover or manage the ol' do-it-yourself job with strips of toilet paper that is so thin you think it might just disolve the instant a drop of water touches it (and make a mental note for later - wad, wad, wad). Just about the time you get that obstacle conquered, there comes the handle jiggle.

You momentarily freeze. Do you say something? Obviously the person who jiggled realized the door was locked for a reason and must have enough common sense to know you'll be done when you're done and you'll be out when you're out. So you say nothing and go about your business, having to now re-do the toilet paper strips (leaving precious little toilet paper on the roll for your actual business) that have blown off into the floor because even such a slight jiggle on the door handle created enough of a ripple in the air to blow them off the seat. You hurry through your stuff (after all, someone is waiting and you were taught to be polite) and move to wash your hands. But then comes another jiggle, or worse yet, the impatient knock. And in your trek across the cavernous bathroom, you freeze again. But this time, it is not out of a polite fear that someone is waiting on the use of the bathroom. No, this freeze is an I-can't-believe-you-just-did-that-again pause. You seriously consider two things: yelling at the moron who obviously thinks the amount of hurrying you do is proportionate to the amount of times they jiggle the handle and annoy the crap out of you; and oh need to not only wash your hands, but powder your nose, fluff your hair, and put on your lipstick. You'll show that handle jiggler a thing or two. Now your quick trip to the potty has become a leisurely afternoon at the spa. You don't carry an 85 pound purse for nothing.

You finally declare yourself done and glide toward the exit so as not to mess up your perfectly placed hair. If you're lucky, there haven't been any more jiggles or knocks. Even so, you have to leave sometime. And as you exit, the person who has been waiting gives you the so-you're-the-one-who's-been-taking-so-long glare as they do their best to refrain from doing the pee-pee dance. But you don't care. That's what they get for being a multiple handle jiggler. If it was that much of an emergency, they should've just used the men's bathroom. (Unless, that is, you're in a Starbucks that has only the Uni-Half-Caf. But that's another story for another time.) Besides, you left the toilet paper roll empty and the sink rim under an inch and a half of water for their enjoyment. Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Curly8:39 AM

    Starbucks isn't the only place with a single seater. It seems that no matter where you go, the busier places have fewer "seats" and the places that see no action at all have "seats" for everyone!