I rely on two techniques to ensure that my butt doesn't come into physical contact with the toilet seat when using public restrooms. Like most normal women, my method of choice is squatting. However, if there is something preventing me from properly executing the squat (ie: laziness, inebriation, or loss of balance due to wearing heels), then I turn to option number 2, which is to line the seat with toilet paper before sitting down. These two strategies have pretty much served me well during my 23 years of life (24 years, as of Saturday!). That is, up until that fateful weekend in September.
It was a big weekend. The Avett Brothers were playing two nights in a row at the Charlottesville Pavilion and one of my best friends, Julia, was coming to visit from Baton Rouge. After a day of wine-tasting, a group of about 8 of us decided to go out to dinner at Michael's Bistro on the Corner. After we finished eating, I ran to the restroom before we left the restaurant.
Some useful background information: I also had laryngitis at the time and had spent 15 minutes in the bathroom blowing my nose at one of the vineyards earlier in the day. You can imagine the kind of jokes this warranted.
With this in mind, I was determined to pee as quickly as possible and haul ass (literally) out of the bathroom. As I was facing every squatting obstacle possible, I lined the seat with toilet paper, did my thing, and rushed out. I didn't notice anything unusual and no one else seemed to, as we put on our coats and descended, single-file, down the long staircase that dumped us out onto the sidewalk.
My friend, Margaret, had followed me down the stairs and when we finally stepped outside, I heard her say, rather loudly and not so covertly, " Desire'!!! Is that...TOILET PAPER?"
Naturally, I looked down at my boots and started inspecting the bottom of my heels. I didn't see anything. "Nope! I don't know what you mean...there's nothing!" That was when I realized it. Margaret was pointing between my legs. I looked down, and there it was: a long trail of toilet paper peeking out from beneath my skirt. The toilet paper that lined the seat must have stuck to my butt when I stood up, and was now secured on one end by my tights, allowing the other end to billow in the wind behind me as I walked, like a kite tail.
Suddenly, I felt a tugging, and there was my friend, Kim, taking one for the team and pulling the toilet paper out. However, it wasn't going anywhere without a fight and it didn't take long for Kim to scream, "There's resistance!!" When the toilet paper decided to give, Kim kept pulling and pulling. Everyone gasped and awed, as the squares of toilet paper multiplied. Kim promptly threw it on the ground and we all glared at it, gleaming against the stone walkway. Everyone burst out laughing (including a random couple who had stood nearby to watch the spectacle) as I tried to explain my seat-lining method. But it was no use.
At the end of the night, we were standing on the same street corner, trying to hail a cab, when an ambulance pulled up the area where my strip of toilet paper had been abandoned just hours earlier. "I'll bet there was a bar fight or something," I surmised. "No, no, no. Let's be honest here," my friend Patrick responded. "Someone obviously tripped on your toilet paper."
A couple weeks later, I received this card in the mail from Julia:There I am.