Bathroom’s That Way…

This past month has been a crazy whirlwind for me. In a good way, I mean. I’ve had a lot of meetings, a lot of intros, a lot of excitement career-wise and relationship-wise (ten years with my boyfriend! Holla!). All in all I think 2016 has been a very good year for me.

And while it makes me feel guilty to be writing about it (I mean, have you read the news lately? STOP SUCKING, PEOPLE!), I also cannot deny that I am experiencing some great, overwhelming changes, and I have to process them. I have to acknowledge that they are happening, and not immediately go into the television writer’s brain of “wait, wait, wait, things are almost too good, yo. Am I… reaching an act break? Is everything going to crumble right in front of me like every character on Game of Thrones who has been doing too good for a while? AM I GORDIE’S BROTHER IN STAND BY ME?”

But I digress. Good things have happened, and now I’m being thrust into a lot of opportunities where I have to be a god damn professional, and not act so god damn intimidated all the time.

I have to convince myself that I belong here.

And that is what I want to write about today.

I’m sitting in a fancy schmancy lobby. It’s marble, echoey. There’s a ton of skinny men in suits playing on their phones. And this is before Pokemon Go came out so I know these men are doing some serious cell phone bidnaz business.

The guy next to me has a leather briefcase. I have my old, falling apart backpack that my boyfriend got for free at a CU Buffs basketball game eight years ago. Outside, the valet lot is full of sleek, shiny Mercedes and also my dirty, 2009 Kia Spectre with a Kermit the Frog sticker on the back. I text my manager (because I have one now, which is unreal) that I felt like I was on the set of Ex Machina, only I wasn’t a robot, but a crew member who wandered on to the wrong set. He arrives and I notice he has a really nice watch. Mine has Mickey Mouse on it. Baller.

A girl comes down the elevator, an assistant. She has cool pants. She says it would be a few more minutes. She offers me water. I take it but then I worry that in the meeting I would have to pee. Shit, I should go pee. I excuse myself to use the bathroom.

Here’s my advice to anyone who has an important meeting. Use the bathroom. Yes, there’s the practical reasons of emptying the bladder and checking your hair. Of course. Duh. But I think you should use the bathroom for a whole different purpose.

I think it’s important to remind yourself that even marble, echo-ey, ex machina, suit saturated buildings have bathrooms. After all, everybody needs a place to pee. Everybody needs a tiny, silver contraption to dispose of their tampons. For every glass countertop, there’s that sink that won’t turn off. For every futuristic automatic hand dryer, there’s that paper towel dispenser that’s jammed.

Every scary building has a place for a person to go take a dump. Because we are all human.

Bathrooms are my Hoosier’s measuring tape.

I go to the meeting. Everyone has cool, polished outfits. I am wearing a blazer that was from Buffalo Exchange. If I sweat too much, it gets a real bad BO smell. But it has flowers and makes me look hip.

Everyone is chill. And nice. Because they’ve earned it. It makes me chill and nice. It makes me feel like I’ve earned it.

I have to do everything in my power not to press the button on the big speaker phone in the conference table and shout, “JOHNSON, GET IN HERE.”

I’m wearing a necklace that’s a Goya painting of Saturn devouring his child. It’s vulgar and jarring and it makes me feel strong and it’s a nice contrast to my Mickey Mouse watch.

Every year that I get older, I feel too young to be the age that I am. I remember in high school thinking “Man, I’m a senior? But the other seniors looked so much older and wiser than me.” Then college, then early 20’s, then late 20’s.

And I feel the same way about being a resident of LA. “Man, I live here? But people who live here are so much more legit and wiser than me.” And before I lived in LA, I felt that way in Chicago. And before Chicago, I felt that way about Arizona State. (“But tan people go here!”) And before Arizona, yes, I even felt that way about Colorado. Which is actually where I am from (“They are all so outdoorsy!”) so I don’t even know how that works only to say that everywhere I go, every age I am, every building I am in, I always feel slightly out of place. Like I don’t belong. That it’s only a matter of time before people realize that I’m the imposter.

And it’s at those times of massive insecurity that I excuse myself and go to the bathroom. I see the empty soap containers, hear the whirr of the stupid toilet flush, smell the mixture of urine and bleach, and suddenly… all is right in the world.

Even CEOs need to poop.

Part of why I think this year has been so successful for me is because, for the first time ever, I’m starting to like that I don’t belong. I think it’s fun being the weird square peg trying to fit in the sophisticated round hole. 

Being an outcast has become my secret weapon. I like that when I waited for my Kia at the valet I complimented a famous stranger whose movie I obsessed over in college instead of playing it cool, cool, coolcoolcool. Obnoxious? Yes. Genuine though? Yes again. I like my Goya necklace and my thrift clothes and my shitty backpack and inability to tan.

I like that I think the bathroom is the great intimidating building equalizer.

In summary:

I took the toilet less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.


“I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo, What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.” – Radiohead



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