Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Ramble and Public Bathrooms

Yesterday I spent a good part of the day at the DMV. It was boring. I crocheted dishcloths while waiting. One man commented, "You'll finish an entire sweater before this line goes down."



I'm going to ramble here and I trust you can connect the dots.

I consider myself a warrior on certain subjects; removing the mental health stigma and my new favorite battle, taking personal responsibility.

As we age our bodies and our minds change. This is the reality of living longer. The attitude that sheer will can (and should) push through anything is a dangerous fallacy. We all have limitations and we must acknowledge and respect those limitations.

Perhaps it's easier for me because I was hit with a major stumbling block at age 40 and another at the age of 50. I was forced to face limitations head on, acknowledge and respect them and learn to adjust my life accordingly. We must be respectful and prepared for the aging process otherwise we will find ourselves in a very unhappy place.

All the time I hear people saying, "Oh how sad, they'll lose their independence."

YES, they will. That's the price you pay for living a long time. Do you think for one moment that my father (dead at 65) wouldn't give up some independence for the chance to see his grandchildren grow up?

Will you need to make plans for when you cannot be as independent as you are today? Yes, you will.

Our friend Judy is the perfect example of someone who is fierce with the truth. At 85 her eyesight was failing and she voluntarily sold her truck and handed in her driver's license. She made arrangements, including a signed agreement, with some friends who would take her shopping and to doctor's appointments for a prearranged fee. She quickly made whatever mental adjustments needed to be made and she's happy as ever. She's one of those people who refuses to let the realities of her situation define her or affect her happiness.

Judy is an example of what we should strive for. If you don't take responsibility for your life and your situation, you will force your children to make decisions you should be making for yourself. At that point I will say, "Shame on you". Do not put your children in that position. It will cause them much pain.

Back to the DMV......... if you've been reading this blog long enough you'll know that I often review public bathrooms. Someone once asked, "Who carries a camera into the bathroom?" The answer - ME. I carry at least one camera with me everywhere. It's a habit I picked up when publishing my photoblog.

I made a trip to the bathroom before leaving the DMV. It was marginally clean and depressingly bland. Look what was under the sink.



What the heck is that? The only thing I could think of was a plumbing *jock strap*. Perhaps it's a contraption to absorb moisture on the pipe but seriously, who's going to take those off and launder them? EWWWWWWWW. That's a Dirty Jobs episode for sure.


24 comments:

Susan said...

Right on Suzanne. Public bathrooms are not a favorite of mine. With a 3000 mile trip ahead of me this month, you can imagine the fun I will be having. Just might have to take a picture for you of a "good" one.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Hmmm, you are right.. what is that and why is it necessary? Oddest looking thing I have ever seen in a public restroom.

DI
The Blue Ridge Gal

Molly said...

First, amen on the independence situation!

The public bathroom makes me laugh. My sister and I laugh at my niece because there's not a public bathroom that she's near that she misses an chance to visit. She's so the opposite of me, I avoid them at all costs.

Becky K. said...

Interesting "fix" someone came up with...

As for the DMV I want to be a contractor for the government who overhauls the atmosphere and appearance of all public buildings like these.

I just know they could be happier places...really!

dara said...

That nasty looking thing on the pipes is to protect people that would happen to bump up against the pipes.

BellaDella said...

I immediately thought sink jock strap. How funny!

Anonymous said...

I think it is to prevent major flooding should a pipe break or get jarred. The "strap" is just enough that the leak will be noticed before getting really bad. Don't know why the hot/cold shut offs are covered too. Maybe it is in a cold area of the building and insulation?

Marfa (formula for a life) said...

Ohhh I hate going to the DMV because down here that line in your photo is considered a short line. I have seen people here waiting in line for two or three hours before the DMV even opens! I'm dreading it this year because I have to renew my license. I am SO HOPING that I can do it by mail!

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that my reaction when I saw the bathroom photo (before reading what you typed) was also: WHAT THE HECK IS THAT??? And of course, I thought the same thing, jock strap for plumbing...but...huh?? Weeeird!m But funny the second time you look.

Becky said...

Suzanne....I am laughing out loud at the jock strap. Looooove it! I personally determined a pet peeve of mine on this trip we are on this week. Why do the women who stand up to pee in the public restroom, shower the commode seat and then don't clean up after themselves and leave the peed on ring for the next person! I could scream. Clean it up and then wash your hands, people!!!!!

Karen Deborah said...

EEEWWWWWW that's NASTY

Steph said...

Thanks for mentioning Henry and I in your post a couple of days ago, and for doing the tag thing! I've been busy packing to go camping, and getting ready for our chickens to get caught tonight, and I haven't been able to get online! When Lance and I first got married, thanks to my Public Relations degree, I thought that I would work with the public. Where was that place?? The DMV. I worked there for a year. The sad thing is that the bathrooms were probably the room I enjoyed the most because it was the only place I could get a break from customers yelling at me, cussing at me, and making me just feel plain stupid. I hated it there.

Abbie said...

Hi Suzanne!
:) I have some catching up to do! I agree full heartedly about the impact of the elderly and how they need to adjust as they age. With my MIL still living with us, it speaks volumes. She says that in 4 years (when her license comes due again) she won't drive anymore. Well, that's fine and dandy, but with her here all day who is going to drive her? :) and yes, public restrooms are most definitely interesting. Perhaps you could photograph them from around the country and create a book for restrooms with images of other restrooms in it? Kind of like Kramer's coffee table book about coffee tables? (Seinfeld)
Take Care! ;)
xoxo~
Abbie

Vee said...

I've never seen a blog post about this topic. I think your post is excellent and should be required reading material.

That bathroom contraption...ugh. Are you sending the photo to the governor?

Cindy La Ferle said...

Wow... weird bathroom! But on another note, your post hit home with me today. We've been in the throes of eldercare, trying to find the right place for my FIL. We thought we'd had a good place for him, in a smaller assisted living place, but he peed into their piano and got kicked out for bad behavior. Dementia is a sad thing. Watching my FIL, I am reminded to make the most of the health I have now, and to care for myself as responsibly as I can ....

Tom and Cindy said...

Loved your post...but that picture of the bathroom makes ya want to vomit. Ughhhhhh....
Not been able to read your blog daily (Dad w/ cancer) but really enjoyed the post today
Thanks for sharing
Cindy

lifeinredshoes said...

My first thought was also jock strap!
And the person that asked about taking a camera into the bathroom was me.
Thank you for bringing up a touchy subject, we all need to think about this one.

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Suzanne; I have been in some very bad bathrooms that should have been blown up.... I would not even go into them. What a awful thing for a business to have such a yucky bath room.... I also agree with your comment on taking care when we are getting older, I never want that for my children to have to handle, I had to with my daddy and it was awful.

Hugs;
Alaura

Kitty said...

Your post today hit home with me--again! There are very few elderly people that are able to live independantly until they die. Hooray for those who do! But, leaving all the details to your children, when they are getting older and starting to slow down, seems a little unfair. My husband and I are making an effort to think about this now (in our 50's) and not put it off until we can't manage decisions and our children have to pick up the slack. It's not that I mind helping out an elderly parent--and I have that responsibility now--but not making any plans for your old age and thinking you'll always be able to make rational decisions is a mistake! A strong will and striving to maintain independance is admirable, but will alone cannot keep a person independant. Live for today but make plans for your future, people!

Bathroom comment: I will "hold it" before I will use some bathrooms. That looks like one of them...

Heidi said...

OMG!! I laughed SO hard at plumbing jock strap....
As for mental adjustments... I am in need of one. :) Hope you are well - have missed you!

Jan - Big Brown Dog Primitives said...

Don't know about where you are, but in California where we previously lived, those padded wrappings on the sink traps were required to prevent the chance of any wheelchair bound person using the sink being burned by contact with the hot water pipes. And you're right, they are a pain to keep clean, so most places don't.

Mary Rex said...

Argh! That picture is disgusting. But on a happier note...all of you with bad DMVs with long lines should send your public officials to the PA DMV for a field trip. It is organized and fast. You take a number, and different windows service licenses, registration, plates and title transfer. I have never spent more than 15 minutes doing whatever had to be done.

Lyn said...

So funny -- plumbing bra is what popped into my head when I saw that sight under the sink! I also check out bathrooms alot - probably cause I use them so much.I have travelled to alot of places around the globe and for me Germany and Switzerland win the most pristine bathroom awards ... without fail -- even the grungiest gas stations had super clean bathrooms. Really enjoyed my first visit to your blog.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't take responsibility for your life and your situation, you will force your children to make decisions you should be making for yourself".

That is so true in the case of my sister and me at the passing of our mother. Grief was compounded and a bad situation with our brother ensued. Such good advice always, thank you.

Louise said...

Inspirational post--except for the bathroom jockstrap. EEEEWWW!

I love the way you think. I wish more would think like you. One of my major goals in life is to take care of myself as best as possible and face reality so I can be a GREAT parent to my adult children, not a constant source of stress.