Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Potty Question

Once a month, the moderator of our homeschooling group hosts a Mom's Book Club or, as I like to call it, we-call-it-a-book-club-so-we-have-an-excuse-to-get-out-of-the-house-to-talk club. Friday night was our most recent one. (If you're interested, the book selection was The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. I'm not sure if anyone but our moderator finished it...those who tried to read it gave up after 3 chapters. They hated it.)

Anyway, instead of talking about the book, we talked about anything and everything, with conversation bouncing around as it is wont to do when a group of women have the opportunity to get together without a task to be accomplished.

My ears keyed in on a conversation that had somehow gone to public restrooms and the fact that the speaker flushed public toilets with her foot. What? I thought. She flushes the toilet with her foot? Well, if you knew me in real life, you'd totally be able to imagine what happened next.

"What? You flush the toilet with your foot?", I blurted out.

"Of course", she replied. "Don't you?"

"Well, no! I have never heard of flushing the toilet with your foot" was my shocked response. (Seriously, I hadn't.)

After that, it was a free for all. Everyone volunteered their public restroom habits for public consumption in a flurry of back and forth conversation combined with commentary on the state of public restrooms. The conclusion? Most of the women in the room flush public toilets with their feet and all of the women think public restrooms are disgusting. The three of us to didn't flush the toilet with our feet all pointed out that we washed our hands thoroughly when we were done, so what was the point of the feet? (Not to mention that we were all now grossed out that people were putting their shoes on the flush handles.)

Well, as one of the hand flushers, I couldn't believe that there was this entire majority sub-culture of women who flush the toilet with their feet. Obviously, it couldn't stop with the Book Club moms...oh, no. I needed to know more.

I got home and I asked Buttercup. You guessed it. Buttercup flushes with her foot. I didn't teach her did she know? The next day, I asked my neighbor. Again, she flushes with her foot. I even asked my dad's wife. It was unanimous, I am the only person in my life who flushes public toilets with my hand. How did this movement happen without me knowing it? Seriously. How widespread is it?

So, now I want to know. No, now I need to know. Tell me. Foot or hand? Please. Am I really the only one?

P.S. Again, if you know me in real life, you can picture this entire scenario. Admit're laughing at me right now.


jen@odbt said...

Too funny. I also flush public toilets with my foot. Not sure how that came about...I guess it doesn't make a difference b/c we all wash our hands after, right ;) That is a pet peeve of mine...seeing someone walk out of a stall and head right out the door.

Teddy-n-Mai's mom said...

I flush with my foot

generationsgoneby said...

I use my hand, because like you, I wash thoroughly. But I'm not much of a germ a phobe about public bathrooms. I heard a speech by a health department spokeswoman when I was in beauty school and she pointed out that the bathroom is a mostly dry surface. Germs need mostly wet, warm surfaces to live. As long as the toilet you use is dry you are fine. In fact, she pointed out if everyone would SIT ON the toilet and not HOVER ABOVE the toilet, women's bathrooms would be cleaner and safer for everyone.

But like Jen, it bugs me more to see women who leave without washing at all, especially when they have small children in tow. WASH YOUR HANDS PEOPLE, that kills 99% of the germs you get flushing the toilet.

Sarah said...


And yes, I am indeed laughing. :)

Melissa Henning said...

lol!!! I'm a foot flusher too. i typed up a huge thing explaining my brain so you could better understand why I do it, but it was too long, and tmi into my brain. I work in health care and my foot flushing has everything to do what I have learned about hand hygiene and what the average person doesn't know about it. I don't touch anything in public restrooms. No pun in tended, but I am pretty anal when it comes to using them lol.

Anonymous said...

Plus, when I enter the restroom, I wash my hands before using the toilet. As I enter the stall I use a piece of toiletpaper to lock the door. I try very hard NOT to use public restrooms, however often it just can't be avoided. I try everything possible to be able to NOT touch the personal hygiene of others, BECAUSE I KNOW most do not take such cautions. Kathi Bachor, Athens, TX

CaliGirl said...

Foot...and yes, I'm laughing at you.

Darla said...

Hand. I wash thoroughly and use Germx. I'm not great at balancing myself, so one foot up in the air over a toilet isn't my thang.

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Great post --- I'm laughing! I've done both!

Anonymous said...

Foot. Every time. In my Microbiology class in college I swabbed and cultured different parts of the public restroom in the school. Then identified them under the microscope. It was totally gross. Beth