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A horrifying question of bathroom etiquette

Posted by Lissa on April 2, 2012

Let me pose you a hypothetical situation, dear readers. (It’s hypothetical, really it is. Nothing like this ever happened to me. I’m imagining the whole thing. Really.)

Let us say that you’re invited to a dinner party. Let us further say that the host has overnight guests, including the Guest of Honor (the reason the party is being thrown). When you arrive, one of these overnight guests (perhaps the GoH, perhaps not) is occupying the bathroom (#Occupy!). When he finally gets out, there are a few other guests who, like you, need to use the facilities, but they all let you go first because you’re the only girl and they’re like that.

And finally, let us say that when you get to the bathroom – knowing that several people will be using it after you – and you look in the toilet, there is a very clear. . . EXCREMENT TRAIL . . . running down the back of the bowl.

This trail does not disappear with repeated flushing. You look around frantically for toilet-cleaning materials but none are in evidence.

So. According to the Official Rules of Emily Post, what is the proper thing to do?

1) Shrug your shoulders, do your business and rejoin the party. So the next guest will think YOU left the trail; so what?

2) Leave the bathroom, closing the door behind you, and hunt down the host (who is in the middle of preparing dinner). Explain to him – and everyone around him – why you need cleaning materials. Ignore the buzzkill that you’ve inflicted on the party and further ignore the fact that you will be the butt – ugh – of all jokes with that group for the rest of your life.

3) Wad up a hunk of toilet paper thick enough to protect your fingers but just thin enough to avoid clogging the toilet. Wipe down and erase the trail and flush away the evidence. Wash your hands in super-hot water at least five times, while whimpering.

Tell me, dear readers. What would you do? What do you think I did?


6 Responses to “A horrifying question of bathroom etiquette”

  1. Peter said

    Clean it up, wash your hands, carry on regardless. It avoids complications. You can always regard it as practice for when the kids arrive . . .


  2. julie said

    +1 for what Peter said

  3. Brad Kruse said

    Oh, what a s***** dilemma.

    Being the only girl, it might be tempting to do your business, let the lineup proceed as it will, and find the host/hostess to report the issue. The non-girls and non-homemakers in the lineup might not notice the smear, or think twice about it. And the next dude in line might get a joyful target to “blow away”. That smear might turn out to be the after-party glowing “golden times” bragging point. “Remember that time at X? I completely blew away three inches of heavy smear!”

    But washing hands twice should have been sufficient. Being fresh, it shouldn’t be that much worse that parents changing a diaper.

  4. secretlivesofscientists said

    3, and 3.

  5. 45er said

    Yeah, that’s a tough one. Use the hosts toothbrush and, depending on if the host has done anything terrible in the recent past, either throw it away or replace it accordingly. 😉

    I’ll never be invited to another party.

  6. Anonymous said

    I’d wiz so quick that no one could imagine I had enough time to leave the mark, then depending on comfort with the host quietly mention the toilet might need tending.


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