I noticed something strange about the feet in the stall next to mine at 8am on Sunday morning. First, they were facing the opposite direction of my feet. When I blinked my eyes to rub away the slumber, I realized the feet were extremely hairy. My brain, which was not functioning on five hours of sleep, connected the dots – this was not one of the 30 women who lived on our hallway – a boy was in our bathroom! Perhaps he had wandered in accidentally, but my instincts told me differently. I had a feeling he was an overnight guest of one of the women on our floor.
As I washed my hands at the sink, I waited patiently for him to exit his stall. The bathroom was peacefully quiet at this hour of the morning, no one was in one of the ten showers and the five sinks still sparkled from being cleaned the night before. It was as if he could sense the chastizing talk I was rehearsing in my mind, and hoped instead to avoid this awkward bathroom chatter.
So, I went back to my room, and left the door open. I was stationed directly across from the bathroom. I waited for the mysterious guest to exit. Slowly, he shuffled out of the bathroom, shirtless with boxers and looking very confused. As he wandered back to his temporary room, my voice boomed from behind my door: “No Boys Allowed in the Girl’s Bathroom!” He looked around confused to where the voice was coming from, saw the sign next to my door, and nodded in a silent apology.
Now, seriously, why did I care? This was college – a liberal time for sharing space as “co-eds,” however, I had taken an oath as the Resident Advisor – which the sign outside my door indicated – to ensure all women felt comfortable on our floor, and that included the bathroom. His behavior was just not acceptable. Yes, I realize my reinforcement of this rule sounded much like the lessons taught in the classic children’s book series, “The Berenstein Bears,” but it had to be said.
I never saw another boy in the Girl’s Bathroom that semester — until approximately five years later at my college Reunion. And as my friends and I gossiped as we brushed our teeth over the same sinks, an adorable, well toned, blond haired guy waltzed into the bathroom. My friends looked at me, waiting for me to say something. However, this time around, I did not say a thing. I was no longer the RA. I just smiled at him, hoping the toothpaste wasn’t dripping down my face to embarrass me. I guess the bathroom rules were not quite so rigidly enforced as “adults” and I was actually okay with my new bathroom buddy.