Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the aforementioned monster cup of coffee 40 minutes earlier, I naturally had to go to the bathroom the instant I arrived at the store.

“Please tell me you have a bathroom I can use before I start shopping,” I begged the salesgirl. She gave me a bored look.

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“We don’t have a public restroom,” she said and went back to folding clothes.

For a while I tried to explain the merits of having a restroom for customers to use, but her eyes glazed over and I realized that a) she couldn’t care less, and b) if I didn’t stop arguing with her and actually get to a bathroom really soon, I would end up shopping for Depends.

“Well, where is the nearest bathroom?” I asked.

“There’s a coffee shop around the corner.”

Around the corner turned out to be two blocks away and by the time I arrived, I was about to blow. But when I tried the door to the restroom it was locked. I waited a respectful amount of time and then knocked. When no one answered, I figured there was either a deaf person in the restroom or it was one of those public bathrooms you need a key to get into. Five minutes later when the deaf person failed to emerge, I approached an employee.

“Do I need a key to get into the restroom?” I asked her.

“Yes. But the restroom is for patrons only.”

I gave her a blank stare.

“You need to buy something to use the restroom,” she shouted. Clearly she thought I was deaf, too.

“Are you serious?” I asked. I looked around. The place was empty. It wasn’t likely that I, a non-paying customer, was going to interfere with the restroom needs of any actual paying patrons.

“Are you going to buy something?” she asked me impatiently.

I shook my head. “If I buy a cup of coffee, then I will use your bathroom, go back to the store two blocks away, and in 10 minutes, I will have to come back and use your bathroom again,” I argued. “Then, you will make me buy another cup of coffee again, and I will use your bathroom again and then go back to the store and 10 minutes later I will have to go to the bathroom again. Is this really what you want???”

“You have to buy something,” she said again.

I was furious. I was indignant. But I was also desperate. “Fine!!! What’s the smallest thing you have?”

“You can get donut holes. A box of 10 is $1.59, 25 is $3.99, or 50 holes are $5.59.” 

“I meant small, as in amount, not small as in size,” I explained slowly.


I sighed. “I’ll take one donut hole.”

“Just one?”


“Would you like glazed or powdered?”

“I DON’T CARE! Just give me any hole and the key to the bathroom!”

She handed me one, lone, powdered donut hole, rang me up, and handed me the key to the city.

When I came out I gave her the key back.

“Can I help you with anything else today?” she asked robotically.

“Yeah,” I replied acidly. “You’re out of toilet paper.”

For more Lost in Suburbia, Follow Tracy on Facebook at and Twitter @TracyBeckerman.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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