This piece first appeared in inboxes in February Diane, a young Christian university student, was home for the summer. She had gone to visit some friends one evening and the time passed quickly as each shared their various experiences of the past year. She ended up staying longer than she had planned and had to walk home alone.
My mother's husband confessed to having spied on me in my bedroom and bathroom years ago. Figuring out how to maintain a relationship with him — and with my mother — has been traumatic, even if they don't consider it sexual abuse. My last visit back to Florida to visit my mother was years ago. In the morning I would wake up and find an empty coffee cup and a shining teaspoon waiting for me on a folded paper towel before the coffeemaker, its big glass belly filled with Folgers that had been sitting there for a while, getting gnarly and more caffeinated with the passage of time. Taking my cup out onto the lanai, I would join my mother in the haze of cigarette smoke that filled the room, its own atmosphere.
If you're anything like me, then you probably have a whole list of weird things you only do when you're alone, and then another list of even weirder things you only do when you're alone in the bathroom. Personally, when I think about how little alone time most women get to enjoy on a daily basis, between working, socializing, commuting, and running errands, it makes me feel like the weird stuff women do when they're in the bathroom alone isn't really that weird at all. Because unless you live alone, work exclusively from home, and rarely leave your house, there are probably some days when the time you spend alone in the bathroom is the only alone time you get all day. If you've ever taken a bathroom break at work just so you could have five minutes to sit alone somewhere quiet, or you make a habit of checking out your own ass every time you find yourself alone in front of a bathroom mirror, or you've been known to give yourself the occasional pre-sex, bathroom mirror pep-talk, then you already know about the weird stuff women do in the bathroom.