I was unsuccessfully looking around for the sign for the Women's bathroom. Fox said it was upstairs; one staff member asked me if he could help; the other staff member was talking to the first staff member about a bucket - all at the same time. This was confusing, "I just want to WASH MY HANDS!" The first staff member said I was welcome to use the downstairs toilet for disabled patrons. I thanked him and went through to wash my hands.
Fox, Willo and I had spent the afternoon with The Scots and friends celebrating Charlie's first birthday and had decided to drop into the Belgian Beer Cafe to buy Charlie her first beer. Being the efficient worker-bees we are, we also decided to take the recycling out as we were to pass the bins along the way. I like washing my hands in general, and more so in the time between touching trash bins and putting my hands anywhere near my mouth. I needed to lather-up with increasing urgency and rid my skin of recycling germs before I ordered my drink.
I wasn't entirely sure which door I needed to go through, but I took my best guess and felt comfortable with my choice as entered the spacious white-tiled bathroom - noticing there was tons of room for a wheelchair I must have picked the correct door.
Half way between the door and the basins though I realised that 'extra wide door' to the right was not necessarily for wheelchairs, but for able-bodied people wanting access to the next thing I saw: the urinals. I was, in fact, in the Men's toilet and then I realised the second urinal from the left being utilised.
The man standing at the urinal glanced over his shoulder and clocked me - that slight action made me feel the option to leave was no longer available. It was as if I had been seen, so I could no longer be unseen. I had to carry on. Yes, that's exactly how it works. Those are the rules!
I apologised and started seriously concentrating on washing my hands as quickly as possible. He said it was okay. He said he didn't mind. Failing to rinse my now-soapy hands fumbling with stupid flip-taps that wouldn't just run the water without being held in the 'on' position - I had to hold the handle up with one hand and try to wash the germs off with my the other hand - stupid taps!
Shaking off the water and keeping my eyes to the floor _TO_THE_FLOOR_ I turned and cursed to see there was only a hand dryer and no paper towels. Drying machines take too long, _too_long_. I pushed my hands underneath the nozzle and it began slowly drying my wringing hands in the jet of warmish air.
The man had finished in the urinal section now. He had washed his hands and was now wanting to use the hand dryer too. I thought he's wait his turn - there must be some sort of air-dryer etiquette - and if there is I'm sure that sharing a hand-dryer is considered poor form. He pushed his hands into the air stream between mine and the source and looked at me and said "So, how're you doing?"
"Obviously not well," I said "I'm a woman in the Men's toilet."
"That's okay, I don't mind in fact, I quite like it."
And this, people: this is my life. My life is not a movie.
If this was a movie I'd be some quirky square peg in a round hole who is stupid-smart, good at math and creative up to the eyeballs. I'd buys clothes from second-hand shops, pairing items together in an unique way but I can manage to pull off and look wonderful. He would have been some intelligent, good looking guy who is bored with the string of main-stream vapid blondes he'd been touting around town and is instantly fascinated by the quirky girl who had stumbled into this bathroom, and spends the rest of the evening (not hanging around in the toilet - out in the bar, walking along the waterfront, riding the ferris-wheel) kinda fighting a bit, laughing a lot and falling in love.
No. No, my life is not a movie.
Mine is a real life. It's full of recycled germs and wrong turns. It stars a middle aged, over-weight, under made-up woman with her badly cut hair dragged into a pony tail. She is a woman who, while knowing that 'Homme' means 'male' in French, will still barrel into the a toilet marked as such and not even have the where-with-all to slam it into reverse and get the hell out of there when the truth is revealed. She is the type of person who will commit to a course of action which ends up standing next to a creepy, unattractive stranger who is touching her semi-dry hands with his wet post-peeing-penis hands under the same warm-ish air from a bathroom hand dryer.