And thus begins the story of my weirdest public bathroom experience...ever.
A few weeks ago, we started having some problems with our water heater. Of course, only when I would take a shower would the heat go out. The person in this family who gets to shower rarely and quickly, was now taking them cold. Clearly, this was not gonna work. After calling in the professionals and getting a death sentence for our poor water heater (RIP), we set out to buy a new one.
Being a now Single Income Family, with the holidays coming up, etc. we knew we needed to do some price comparisons, especially for installation costs. Luckily, it was a beautiful day outside and after heading to some other places we headed to the Home Depot and Lowe's right next to each other in the next city. We parked at Home Depot, put Ev in the stroller with her best friend Sophie the Giraffe and headed in.
They were great, we had our estimate including labor and hubby's military discount (score) within 15 minutes. Awesome, we thought, that was easy...and it's such a nice day out, why don't we just walk over to Lowe's? Sounds like fun to me! It's a bit of a walk, but so gorgeous, let's enjoy it.
You may see where this is going.
As soon as we get into Lowe's we start working with the people at the front desk, but wait, we have to go back to the plumbing section to get our quote...so we head back there. The guy back there is super helpful, but brings up a question about reserve tanks. You need them in one city, but he's not sure about ours, etc. So he gets on the phone to start calling around...all in all this is taking too much time. We ended up at Lowe's for about 45 minutes or so when Ev starts getting hungry. I clearly did not time this well.
We are walking and singing and doing everything we can to stave off the inevitable, but the calling around is still not done, and at this point she is not going to make it the walk back to the car at Home Depot. My boobs are starting to swell and leak, and I am weighing my options.
Whipping my boobs out in the middle of man-central hardware store is not my idea of a good time, and there is nowhere to sit, so nursing cover is out, because my baby is now a flailing, flopping, grabbing thing while feeding, so, yeah. Thinking longingly of our car, I decide to head to the restroom. At least I know that it appears super clean, having visited this same restroom before. I leave the stroller and diaper bag with A, who gives me a super apologetic look as he can tell I am not happy about this decision.
I carry her into the handicap stall so that we don't have to touch anything and we have plenty of room. and proceed to nurse her standing up. We're the only people in there and I relax thinking, "This isn't so bad, not my first choice, but look at us, making do."
A woman enters the restroom. Though there are five stalls available, she chooses the one right next to us. And proceeds to go about her business. Whatever, this is a bathroom, right? I try to shake it off. Then, the woman starts...for lack of a better description...giving herself a pep talk. Yup.
I find myself shuffling my feet around and softly making comforting noises to Ev, to sort of gently let the other woman know that she is not alone, but it is not working, or she doesn't care.
Continuing to talk herself through it, I am getting more and more mortified as time ticks by. Gaaaaaaaaah. How did I get here?!
She finishes her trip and heads out. Whew. We are almost done so I am starting to feel relieved and relaxed again. I hear another woman come in, with two kids running around and chatting. Again she chooses to use the stall next to me. Seriously people? We finish up and I straighten my clothes and prepare to head out of the stall.
As I open the door, my eyes lock with the other woman's in the mirror...while she is sitting on the commode. Pants around her ankles. Stall door wide open.
"Oh! I'm sorry!" I mumble, or something like that...as does she. She is clearly embarrassed and didn't realize I was in there. And her daughters begin giggling.
I skedaddled out of there as fast as possible and begin reflecting on that woman's decisions. I mean, those girls were plenty old enough to not have to be supervised in the restroom, so door wide open? Also, I assume she didn't know I was there, but what if someone would have walked in from the regular door? Maybe she didn't care? To each his own, I guess?
A happened to be standing right outside the door, estimate in hand -
"Well, Home Depot happens to be way cheaper, so I guess we didn't need to come here after all."
"Please don't tell me that right now... Let's get out of here."
Evelyn Rae is 4 months old
...and next time I think I will make the long walk back to the car with crying baby in tow.