Ho Ho Hold On…

It’s the Holiday Season.

As you’ve probably noticed – everybody and their mother has been complaining about everything. Whether or not they can say ‘Merry Christmas’…or if they have to say ‘Happy Holidays’…or listening to headphones, polite smile, complete silence, no eye-contact, and minding my own business (like I do) to strange passersby, and co-workers.

I’m not going to bore you with my opinions on that. I am, however, going to bore you with my opinions on something else that holds a little bit more weight this time of year.

Public Bathrooms.

Now, I don’t know about you… but one of the Pillars of Adulthood, for me, has been:

Knowing where every bathroom is (and its accessibility) everywhere you go.

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 It is a basic human right to know, and understand, the location of any and every indoor plumbing facility. (Repeat this, as necessary.)

Unfortunately, as well as knowing the location of said bathroom…we also have to know the policies on using the bathroom.

And everywhere is different.

To name a few:

  • The Statue of Liberty Bathroom Policy – This means their bathroom is open to anyone and everyone.Give me your tired, your hungry, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, your paying customers, your random people walking by who had no intention of entering your establishment, your moms or dads with their potty training 2 year-old who always waits until it’s an emergency, your elderly, etc”
    We love these people, and their cart blanche bathroom policies. They are angels among us.
  • Fascist Party Bathroom Policy – This means that the bathrooms are EMPLOYEES ONLY. This could be a Gas Station, a Convenience Store, a Combination of the two…whatever. These people are advocates of the movement of intolerance of others using their bathroom (or maybe they just don’t want to keep it up to code on the cleaning). Either way – it isn’t right.
  • Bathroom Gestapo Bathroom Policy – This means that the bathrooms are for CUSTOMERS ONLY. Which is fine. Except, I don’t appreciate the attitude that goes with this policy. “Can I use your bathroom?” followed by a snotty “Our bathroom is for Customers Only” is not a very welcoming sentiment. I’m already in a panic. I have to go to the bathroom. There’s a room at your Inn. What if I have never been to your establishment? I clearly did not know the policy. I just stopped in. I could be a potential return customer. Put a smile on your face. It won’t kill you.
  • Password Protected Bathroom Policy – This means that the bathroom is open to anyone… but it requires a passcode or a key in order to gain entry to the facilities. Usually, the store does not have a sign saying: “If you need to use our restroom, please find an apathetic 18 year-old employee who is pretending to look busy to avoid actual interaction or work to provide you with access to the bathroom.” I would be fine with a sign like that. But instead – you find the bathroom, and then see that you need a password or a key…and now there isn’t an employee in sight. Deplorable.

 

I will forever boycott Church’s Chicken because of a time some years ago, around the Holidays, where I tried to use their bathroom in an urgent need for bladder relief. I was told that the bathroom was for Customers Only – I told them I would happily purchase anything.  To which they replied, “We’re closing, soon.”  And I was cast out.  My willingness to comply and purchase and consume frozen fried chicken, their lazy attempt at a poor excuse for mashed potatoes and their sad gelatinous gravy was not sufficient enough for these Bathroom Gestapos.

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If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of some of these heinous policies…

Stand up for yourself. Say something.

Because you shouldn’t have to fight…for your right… to potty.

 

 

 

A Christmas Story

I grew up in a nice, quiet suburb of Chicago called Wood Dale, Illinois. I went to a nice, quiet Catholic school called Holy Ghost Catholic School. I had the same 20 kids in my classes for the short time that I attended Holy Ghost. In the Fall of 1997, my family made a company move from Illinois to Phoenix, Arizona.

My sister and I were going to be transitioning from a private Catholic School to a Public School…so my mother had to break some news to us. She sat us down and told us, “Ok, girls. There is no Santa Claus. Your father and I are Santa Claus. We’re also the Easter Bunny, and we’re also the Tooth Fairy.” (To this day, she will tell you that she did this because she didn’t want ‘those rat bastards to ruin it for us.’) As a bowl-cut laden 8 year-old…this was a lot to process. After deciding that I could deal with the information that my sweet mother presented to me…I had but one question to ask: “Do I still get presents?”

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My sister is exactly two years older than I am — and she has three kids, now. (Those are two separate thoughts, by the way. The fact that she is two years older has NOTHING to do with the fact that she has three children. They are not mutually exclusive.) The kids are all under ten years old – therefore, they believe in the Supreme Being that is: Santa Claus.

For the past couple of years, a family tradition has been in the works. (Forcing a family tradition is kinda like trying to give a cat a bath. No one really wants to do it, but a bath is needed…and it is going to happen…whether any of you like it, or not. Supplies are purchased, a plan is put into place to trick the cat and get it in the tub, long sleeve shirts are worn to thwart scratching…The whole shaboodle.) The tradition being put into place, thus far, has been that: on Christmas Eve, I go to my sister’s house to hang out with the kids and watch ‘Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!’ and then, once the kids go to bed, I play Santa by helping with wrapping the presents/putting the presents under the tree. (I also have the burden of eating the cookies to make it look like Santa has visited. I know. There will be monuments made in my honor, one day.)

My sister has a five bedroom house. And the room that my sister has designated to be the room where all of the presents are stored is right across from the girls’ room, and down the hall from the little boy’s room. (This part is stressful for me. I’m a bad liar. Any noise we make…if the kids come up to the room and knock on the door…I’m opening the door and telling them EVERYTHING.)

I’m terrible at wrapping presents – but I do have decent penmanship. So my sister wraps presents…and then passes them along to me to write the ‘To’ and ‘From’. We are (sort of) efficient.

Any lack of efficiency comes mostly from my ‘I-Don’t-Take-Much-Seriously’ attitude. For example: I asked my sister, “Who do you want me to put as ‘From’? ‘From: Mom and Dad’? ‘From: Santa’?” She said, “I don’t really care who you put.”

WRONG ANSWER.

I labeled all of the presents as ‘From: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’.

My sister started to slow down on wrapping the presents, and saw what I had been writing. She stops, looks at me, and says, “Why? Why are you putting that?”

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Here’s Why — (and the whole point to this post)

How is it any less likely that Ruth Bader Ginsburg traveled all over the world and delivered Christmas Presents to everyone in one night?

Think about it.

As a society, we have created a fictional character who lives in a fictional place. He is an Operations Manager at a Toy Factory. His sole purpose in this world is just to monitor children’s behavior and sleeping habits…and then, one night a year, he drives a vehicle that flies and is powered by magic and reindeer.

Never a mention if Santa has an education. Never a mention of career goals. Never a mention of Santa’s mortgage payments (if any). Never a mention of Santa’s bills. Never a mention of overhead costs in the North Pole. Never a mention of insurance payments. Never a mention of salary. Never a mention of health benefits, paid-time-off, paid vacation, paid sick leave, retirement plans, 401k…

Here’s how I see it: Santa is a very old man who likes cookies and milk, who never gets a day off, and who works himself to the bone in undesirable conditions and who will probably never retire.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a Supreme Court Justice in the United States of America. She is educated. She has a background. She has a story. She has an opinion. She has good work ethic. She makes a difference. (And…not for nothin’…but she probably has a pension.)

So – It doesn’t have to be Notorious R.B.G… But why can’t our imagination for Santa run to someone who inspires kids to be interested in our Judicial System? Why can’t it be someone who gets kids to be interested in making our country better? Or making themselves better? Why can’t it be someone who exists – and maybe they ordered presents off of Amazon?

Let’s create a better class of Santa.


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