Is there ever a scenario where the words "bathroom surprise" could mean something good? I can't really think of one.
This weekend we drove up to Denton, north of Dallas, to visit Mike's mom for her birthday. Before taking off on our four-hour drive, we stopped at Mr. Natural on the eastside for some breakfast. After a couple of breakfast tacos and a giant glass of spinach-pineapple-honey juice (I know! sounds crazy, but it's really just crazy good), it was necessary to visit the ladies' room for a pre-trip tank draining.
The bathroom -- a single-user set-up -- was unoccupied when I arrived. After a thorough inspection, I determined that there was no lock on the inside. I assumed this meant the patrons of Mr. Natural were probably aware of the restroom's vulnerable nature and knew to knock before opening the door, or else that maybe the door locked automatically somehow.
I had just finished up my business when I heard someone approach. In retrospect, this would have been a good time to clear my throat loudly or maybe sing (to the tune of Frère Jacques), "I am in here, I am in here. Yes I am! Yes I am! Don't open the door, please, I'm not finished wiping... Don't come in. Don't come in!"
But no. I was trusting the unspoken "no lock, must knock" rule. That apparently is not a real rule.
Despite being fully aware of my vulnerability, I still managed to be wildly surprised when a woman in running shorts threw open the door like she had an urgent job to do. Luckily I had already gotten my panties on, but I was in the midst of the arduous, wiggly, embarrassing process of shimmying back into my skinny jeans.
Now, when you are ambushed in the bathroom, you really have no control over what comes out of your mouth. This has happened to me once or twice, and I always blurt out something that doesn't make a whole lot of sense and certainly doesn't help the situation. This time, I said loudly, "Whoa, whoa...!" in the same tone you might use to calm a spooked horse if your only experience with spooked horses was watching re-runs of "Mr. Ed" as a kid. Running Shorts Lady paused for several seconds mumbling some "sorries" and not going anywhere, as though she were waiting for me to do something? Like waddle over to the door with my pants at mid-calf and close the door for HER? It was confusing for everyone involved, I think.
When I came out, Running Shorts Lady was nowhere to be seen (probably off trying to shake the image of my pale, ungirded thighs from her memory), and I collected my husband and shuffled out the door as quickly as possible without meeting anyone's eye.
Here is an artistic rendering of my Bathroom Surprise (complete with historically accurate puffy corduroy jacket, skinny jeans, and cowboy boots):
Have any of y'all been surprised in a public restroom? Is there an ideal way to respond in this situation?