The men’s bathroom on the 3rd floor has got to be one of the busiest bathrooms in Charlottetown. There is practically a constant rotation of bowel and bladder bothered men in there. Often it’s a no-vacancy situation that forces me to go down one floor to the men’s bathroom that doesn’t seem to see half the action of the 3rd floor’s.
There are two stalls and one urinal. One of the stalls is extra-wide for the wheelchair-enabled. By choice, I don’t use that stall. Even though I think I have as much right to use that stall as a handicapped person, I don’t.
But today, I needed to pee, and while the second stall was free (urinal was in use), I decided on a whim to enjoy my piss in the vast openness of that extra-wide stall. No sooner did I unzip my pants when I hear a click-click-click in the room. I instinctively knew it was someone with a disability. As I hadn’t yet started to vacate my bladder, I decided I’d vacate the stall and give it to the handicapped person. Zip up and exit the stall, and I see the guy has already taken up residence at the urinal. It’s a blind guy, and his white cane provided the click-click.
Since he’s already relieving himself at the urinal, I decide to go back to the extra-wide stall and relieve myself. Decision made, and I do my business.
Even though I, like I said, feel I have as much right to use that stall as handicapped people, I obviously feel guilty for doing so. So, yeah, it’s odd, I think, to feel like I’m cheating by using it. I felt a bit of guilt for almost being caught for using it.
I’m glad it didn’t turn into something with this guy, too. Not that he would’ve turned it into anything, but I’ve had one other embarrassing (for me) experience with him. We were both in the elevator, making our way to the third floor. We had one of those inconsequential elevator conversations, and as the door opened, and we exited, I said to him, as a way to end the conversation “See you later”. To a blind guy. I’m sure he gets it all the time, but it caught me off guard, enough for me to try and stop myself in mid-sentence. That made it worse. Sort of like “See you… Later”. Don’t think it phased him in the least, but I felt stupid for saying it.
As per the current CNIB ad campaign on television:
“Not all people who look blind, are totally blind.”
So in fact, they could see you later.
Have you seen the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode that deals with the difficult issue of handicapped stalls.
I am the same way with wheel chair ramps. I will not use them to avoid walking up a few steps though some people do. If you do the math the distance to get to your destination is usually longer anyway.. Regardless, they were not built for my lazy ass and I consider it fortunate that I don’t HAVE to use them so I don’t as a matter of principle.
I live under the belief that I might be handicapped, but everyone is just too polite to tell me. This opens up stalls, parking lots, ramps and more to me.