Restroom Confusion


I’ve been promoted to driving the company truck and picking up trash at the nearby group campground and at the parking lot on the days off of the co-worker who is normally responsible for trash detail.

The other day I was getting the trash from the two cans near the restrooms in the parking lot. A man and a woman approached the doors to the restrooms. The man had on a ball cap and a t-shirt and pants of some kind. He was nondescript. The woman I can best describe as citified. If she wasn’t from L.A., she wanted to be. She was one of those women who’s worked so hard to look like Western society’s ideal of a woman that she looks like a drag queen. Or maybe she was a drag queen.

The restrooms in the parking lot do not segregate genders. There’s not a women’s restroom and a men’s restroom. There are two restrooms, both accessible for folks with disabilities and both available to men or women or any other gender variety. The signs have those humanoid figures representing males and females one finds on restrooms. Each restroom displays both the “male” and the “female” humanoid symbols.


This is the type of sign on the restrooms in the parking lot. (Photo by me.)

The citified woman stood in front of the restrooms and repeated I don’t understand. I don’t understand.

She said something else (that I now don’t remember) which made me realize she didn’t understand the signs and therefore didn’t know which restroom to use.

I piped up helpfully, They’re unisex.

“Unisex” did not seem to be in her vocabulary.

Then the man reached out and tried the handle on the restroom door nearest to him. It did not open.

It’s locked, he told the woman, seemingly perplexed.

That’s probably because someone is in there, I said, still trying to be helpful. You should knock to find out if someone is in there.

Both of them seemed to be ignoring me.

Then the woman tentatively tried to open the other door.

You should knock, I told her before giving up on trying to be helpful.

The woman managed to open the door. She went into the restroom, and the door closed behind her. She immediately came back outside, shaking her head. She said something quietly to the man, and I could tell she was disgusted, but whether by the bad smell or the fact that the toilet was vault style and not a flusher, I don’t know.

At that point I’d collected the trash, so I got in the truck and drove away.

Sometimes I wonder if what appears to be humans acting strangely aren’t actually space aliens confused by our human ways. How  could a human someone not directly arrived from a developing nation have never encountered a unisex restroom? Target stores have unisex restrooms. Even Wal-Marts have unisex restrooms. And why didn’t the man know to knock on the door in order to find out if it was locked because it was in use? Doesn’t everyone know to knock on a locked restroom door?

Space aliens I tell you.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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