To Hover or Not To Hover?
Lori Osiecki Illustration
In this country we got Republicans and Democrats, Catholics and atheists, Saints and Falcons – and we got sitters and hoverers.
(If you happen to be a man, you might not want to read no further. Maybe go watch some baseball. This is kind of between us ladies.)
Ladies, you know how when you got to make a quick trip to the powder room and you get in the stall, you got a choice. You can plunk down and sit on who-knows-how-many invisible germs, or bend and lock your knees and suspend your hiney a couple inches above the seat. You are either a sitter or a hoverer.
My mama brought me up to be a hoverer.
She also taught me to be a foot-flusher, even though it ain’t easy to lean back, especially in high heels, and push the flusher with my foot instead of my hand. Unless I’m on one of them self-flushing toilets – the kind that got a little electric eye watching your behind and as soon as you move, it flushes. I am sure whoever invented that toilet thought it was a great idea, but there you are, trying to pull all your different layers back on, and it keeps flushing at you. Like it’s telling you to move along; you’re done here.
Besides, just what does that electric eye see? And does it record it and post it on the Internet? I wonder about that.
Who comes up with ladies’ room appliances, anyway? And do they ever ask the ladies? What about them toilet paper rolls the size of a truck tire? How much toilet paper do they think we need? I am all for tidy, but this is ridiculous. And they got no perforations in these giant rolls, so there you are, leaning sideways, trying to yank off enough paper and you pull so hard, half the time the side of the dispenser falls off, followed by the entire roll.
Now, I read that they’re coming out with an electronic toilet paper dispenser that you just have to put your hand under and the toilet paper – as much as the restroom owner thinks you need – will fall into your hand. And if the power fails, don’t worry. They thought of that. You simply have to “pull and push” a knob on the front to make it work. Pull and push. At once. While hovering in high heels.
I tell you what I think is next. You know those blow dryers for your hands that they got instead of paper towels? I bet pretty soon they’re going to install other blow dryers, right in the stall, to replace toilet paper. So I carry a little packet of Kleenex in my purse at all times. You just never know.
And the whole time you’re doing the sitting or hovering and yanking and flushing, you’re clenching your purse strap in your teeth. They used to have purse hooks inside stall doors, but somebody started a rumor that purse snatchers were sneaking into ladies’ rooms, reaching over the stall doors and grabbing purses off the hooks while the purse owners were caught with their pants down. I don’t know if it was true, but ever since then there ain’t no purse hooks on the inside of stall doors and you got no other choice but to dangle your purse from your teeth because you sure don’t want to risk putting it on the floor.
Of course, before you get in the ladies’ room, first you got to find it. Which ain’t that easy if you’re in one of them places where they label the restrooms with something besides women and men. Innies and outies; gulls and bouys; Adams and Eves; pointers and setters. Usually it’s obvious, but sometimes you have to think for a minute.
Last week my gentleman friend Lust and me got all dressed up and went to his brother’s 25th wedding anniversary party at this cute little German restaurant across the lake. They got an oom-pah-pah band and a lot of beer, and more beer. Pretty soon I had an urgent need to find the restroom.
So I come to two doors, marked “Herron” and “Damin.” I assume “Herron” means “Hers,” and I rush in there and into a stall. (There is no waiting line – that should have clued me in right there, but nooo.) After I’m done, I reach for the gigantic toilet paper roll and it gives me a fight and would have tumbled into my lap, but since I ain’t got no lap while hovering, it rolls under the door and keeps going, while I’m holding one end of the paper in my hand. And then I hear a man’s voice. And another. And splashing. And I peek through the jalousies on this stall door and look at a row of guys with their backs to me. (“Herron,” I find out later, means “gentlemen” in German.)
Anyway, I quick pull up my drawers, and turn around to flush before I make a run for it. Meanwhile, one of the men notices the roll and the path of paper leading to my stall, and says “Lose something, dude?” and rolls it back. I happen to have my back turned, standing on one foot while I flush with the other, when that thing barrels in. It smacks right into the foot I’m standing on. I lose my balance and fall over backwards, knock open the stall door and land on my back on the floor, with my purse strap still in my teeth.
Well. Everybody is a perfect gentleman and zips up real fast and helps me up and asks if I am OK. And I am. Except mentally.
You don’t forget something like that. Not ever.
I am a changed woman. I am now a sitter. I will never hover again.