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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Restroom challenge

Posted Saturday, March 1, 2008, at 8:40 AM

What would you do if you were in the correct restroom and a person of the opposite sex mistakenly walked in and challenged you for being there?

Why me?

This happened to me Thursday. The only good part is that I was washing my hands prior to leaving. At that point a well-dressed woman, perhaps in her mid-30s, walked through the door.

"Oh, are you cleaning up in here," she exclaimed.

"No, I'm a customer," I replied.

He face clouded up with an angry expression and she snarled, "Just what are you doing in the women's restroom?"

Even with no time to really think about it I gave her what I think was a very good, if somewhat unusual, answer. She gave me a very harsh glare and walked out with high heels clicking.

I purposely waited a couple of minutes before leaving and, yes, it crossed my mind what might be waiting outside that restroom door. She wasn't in sight and no one else was there. I finished my shopping and left without ever seeing my challenger again.

Have you ever been in such a situation? What would you have said if you had been in my situation?

If I get a few responses to this blog I'll reveal how I responded to her challenge.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

So you were in the men's restroom, and she walked in? Did she not see the urinals?

If I were you (which is imposible for me since I am a woman), I would have pointed out the urinals and asked if women's restrooms had them too.

Clearly after noticing the urinals, the woman would realize she was in the wrong bathroom.

-- Posted by Mary on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 10:19 AM

It happened to me in Japan, but I was in the wrong place. They did not confront me or get nasty. Just giggled and went about their business.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 10:24 AM

If I was in the correct bathroom and she asked me that, I would say, "Yes and your next."

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 10:26 AM

At the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris I paid money to use a restroom where both men & women went in. I went in one stall, & a man went into another.

I have gone into the wrong one accidentlly at a restaurant & backed out as quickly as possible. No one was in there at the time, thank goodness.

While we were in Honolulu last month I was in a restaurant restroom (we eat out a lot as you can see) when a maintenance man came in to try to repair one of the commodes. I kept telling him I was in there. He kept telling me in very broken English that he was working on the other commode. I heard another lady come in. She just went on to her stall too. I would have preferred for him to ask if I were the last person & then for him to go in & prop the main door open. That's usually what happens around here.

You must have handled it well.

-- Posted by bettyhbrown on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 4:27 PM

Early one morning when traveling from out west I had to go to the bathroom at 2am. Do you know what's open at 2am...not much that's for sure unless your lucky enough to find a Truck Stop. We were just outside Arkansas when I spotted a Wal-mart sign and we decided that maybe they were open 24 hours sure enough they were open. So I stumbled out of the car after riding for 9 straight hours and made my way into the store without even looking I just went into the restroom where I was accustom to the women's restroom would be at our local Wal-mart. As I walked in, there was a man standing there readjusting his clothes. I quickly said Oops and backed out the way I came in...Embarrassed? Too say the least. From now on I look to make sure the symbol on the door is wearing a dress.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 6:04 PM

I'd have done a pirouette and said "The doctors say I can get my driver's license and birth certificate changed after my next surgery. What do you think? Could I pass for a man? Oh,you thought I WAS a guy? You're so sweet to say so. Bye-Bye!"

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 8:21 PM

I'd have done a pirouette and said "The doctors say I can get my driver's license and birth certificate changed after my next surgery. What do you think? Could I pass for a man? Oh,you thought I WAS a guy? You're so sweet to say so. Bye-Bye!"

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 8:21 PM

LOL Now that would have been funny!

I have never entered the wrong restroom thank goodness but am curious as to how you handled it Bo.

-- Posted by DannysGal on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 9:21 PM

I have been in the stalls of the womens bathroom and have had a little boy come in with a parent to use the bathroom, the child pushed on my door and after realizing it was locked decided to look underneath, he said aaahhh mommy theirs a woman in their. His mom told him not to do that and use the other stall, he wanted to know why their was a woman in the boys bathroom, and when his mom told him he was in the girls bathroom he was pretty upset.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 10:20 PM

Mary and some others suggested almost exactly what I said to the woman.

I just said, "Lady, I don't know what is in the women's restroom because I've never been there but this one has urinals."

I recall some restrooms routinely used by both men and women in Yokosuka, Japan.

We were in Paris in the late 1980s. I went down below street level into a restroom that was used by both men and women but with individual stalls with doors. A woman walked in right behind me and I thought one of us had made a mistake. This was somewhere near the Lourve and fairly close to Cathederal of Notre Dame.

My wife read the sign pointing down to the restroom while I gone and was laughing at me when I came out.

-- Posted by bomelson on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 10:59 PM

I actually found myself on the other side of this on Tuesday. I took my 8 year old son to his first concert and he needed to go potty so I took him and on instinct I followed him into the bathroom, not realizing he had went to the men's room, where as he usually goes to the girls so I can keep an eye on him, Needless to say I got more than an eyefull and ended up with several embarrassed boys and men staring at me and shuffling around, not to mention my red face LOL....

-- Posted by Disturbia on Sun, Mar 2, 2008, at 12:49 PM

I will totally admit to using the mens' room on occasion when there's a line for the ladies' room and there is no one using the mens'. This is usually in places where the bathrooms are one room with one toilet and not the large bathrooms with several stalls. Why should I wait in line and do the potty dance when there's a perfectly useful, unoccupied bathroom right there? I just make sure I lock the door.

-- Posted by cubicalgirl on Sun, Mar 2, 2008, at 8:39 PM


LOL!!! That is hallarious, and somehow I can see myself there in a couple of years since I have two boys! LoL

I remember when I was six months pregnant and being evacuated from Myrtle Beach because hurricane Charlie was on his way. They gave my husband and I 30 minutes to get married and get out of town.

After finally getting married, we drove in traffic for SIX hours for a trip that would normally take one and a half hours! About three hours into the trip, I had to pee, BAD! LoL When we stopped at the gas station, the line for the women's restroom was out the door (not exagerating!). I was doing my pee-pee dance, holding my belly.

Can you guess how many were in line for me men's one stall bathroom?


I ran up the the men's bathroom, and told everyone that I could not hold it! It was either, go potty there, or in a near by bush.

When I opened the door to exist the bathroom, there was a whole other line of women for the men's bathroom.

-- Posted by Mary on Sun, Mar 2, 2008, at 11:44 PM

I'm like cubicalgirl - if I have to go and the line to the women's room is too long, and there's no line in the men's room...I'm there. I don't know why more women don't do that.

-- Posted by cfrich on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 12:12 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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