I wonder how the Virgin Mary would have fared had she been required to look for a bathroom in New York City. Finding a bathroom is like a rite of passage. One that’s only meaningful if you’re surely and truly desperate to go. On those occasions, you’d welcome a manger to squat in for a moment.
I’d picked up a cafe au lait and a sweet treat at Amy’s Bread in the Village and had already paid and taken a bite before I realized their bathroom was out of order. Nevermind that I just saw an employee come out of there.
If you’re serving coffee along with treats laden with chocolate and milk and nuts and butter, it’s an absolute sin to not have a bathroom. Moses told us so. Those words weren’t the least bit moving to the less than enthusiastic baristas, and like Mary, I was forced to move on.
I mentally clicked through my usual standbys for a public toilet above which I was willing to expose my bottom.
- Hotels are one of my favorite options. You just stride right in and acknowledge the bellhops as if you’re a guest. The bathrooms are usually near the elevator, and are oh so nice.
- Fitness centers — My membership had lapsed at Equinox and I wasn’t prepared to suffer the embarrassment of submitting to the fingertip scan only to be denied entry. And, I no longer have a membership or my New York Sports Club keyfob, so that wasn’t an option either.
- Starbucks used to be acceptable in an absolute pinch. They are now the litter box of the world. Plus, I was clutching a coffee from somewhere else making that even less of an option.
The Village is one of those picturesque neighborhoods that sometimes makes you feel like you’re on a movie set. Suddenly, I realized I was on a movie set. I couldn’t make out any the names on any of the trailers and none of the trees bore the usual production or No Parking signs. I didn’t know if they were star-quality or the usual Law & Order nonsense that takes over our neighborhoods on any given day.
I did, however, spot that one of the trailers was the women’s restroom! There was no one around. Not even any clipboard-wielding PA — the bane of any movie set. These young Production Assistants typically work the hardest and are given the worse jobs in keeping the set together. To the public though, they are assholes, wielding their power like Attila the Hun; only the result of their empire may or may not make it to the cutting room floor.
“Oh come ye,” the toilet called. I wasn’t going to stand there and keep looking around. Up the stairs to the trailer I went and the door was open! It didn’t even smell like a porta-potty. Hark the herald angels sing.