Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Girl in the Bathroom

I spent a lot of time in the girls' bathroom today. Monitoring. Because we all know how much girls want to talk about the TAKS test questions when they're going wee-wee.*

Two incidents of note:
  • Girl comes out of the stall, walks up to the mirror, and fixes her hair: tucks stray strands behind her ears, brushes her bangs from her eyes... and then proceeds to wash her hands. After touching her face ALL OVER.
  • After lunch, girl with braces asks to go to the bathroom to brush her teeth. When we get to the bathroom, she says she has to go to the bathroom, too, so she walks into the stall. When she comes out of the stall, she grabs her toothbrush and toothpaste from the pocket in her hoodie and brushes her teeth. Completely neglects to wash her hands.
Am I being prudish?

I'm no germophobe (you know the 5-second rule? I like to extend it to 5 minutes. Or longer, if need be), but you have to draw the line somewhere! After you tinkle, you wash your hands, people! With soap! None of this sprinkling-your-fingers-with-water-and-you-think-you're-done carp.

Might I remind you, this is a public-school bathroom? Think of the quality of the toilet paper in public-school bathrooms. Do I still seem prudish?

The scary part is when you allow yourself to follow the train of thought... that girl is going to go back to the classroom and touch her test booklet and answer document, which I have to collect. With my bare hands. And that pencil she was gripping? I'm going to have to touch it, too, because she didn't bring her own pencil and she used one of ours (and the counselors will come after me if I don't return EVERY ONE of the pencils they LENT us).

Now you know how I built up my Immune System of Steel.

*PS: In case you want to know the details: when a student asks to go to the bathroom, one of the two proctors in the room walks the student to the bathroom. Students are only allowed in the bathroom one at a time, unless there is a teacher in there with them, making sure they don't talk. TONS OF FUN.


  1. I can top that. There is a lady at work who will *pretend* to wash her hands if she thinks someone is watching. Doesn't even wet her hands, just turns the water on and off quickly, then leaves. Even worse: She's a FINGER LICKER. You know, those people who lick their fingers to rifle through papers? EW EW EW EW EW.

  2. That is so EWW I have no words.

    And *pretending* to wash her hands? FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD.

  3. You're definitely not overreacting - that is HORRIBLE!! I don't consider myself a germaphobe either, but I am a dedicated Purell user, even after I wash my hands (especially in a public bathroom). It's especially important somewhere like a school! I had teachers who used to Lysol the desks between classes, and I'm starting to think that wasn't a bad idea! I just don't understand how these girls seem to have missed such a crucial lesson on hygiene...

  4. Now you know what their next creative writing assignment should be about. First, read about germs. Then write about the life of a germ, and all of his gazillion million friends.