To Squat or Not


SPOILER ALERT: Very embarrassing and possibly unsanitary admission ahead! If you’re a little squeamish about bodily fluids, then just stop reading right now. For the brave (or just strangely curious) souls left, here goes..

I don’t always squat. Or hover. Or do that thing women are supposed to do in a public restroom to ensure those unspeakable germs are kept at bay and everyone keeps their…eeew…bodily fluids to themselves! And quite frankly, I don’t understand how this whole evil vicious cycle got started. Well, yes I do.

Somewhere along the line, a woman wandered into a public restroom and paid no real attention as she sat her ass down to do her business, and left a totally uncalled for sprinkling behind. The next woman was forced to decide what to do because cleaning up after some stranger’s pee sans a Hazmat suit was just NOT an option. This scene repeated itself in public restrooms across the land, so women, being women, came to rely on their resourcefulness, flexibility, and most importantly, balance.

Some (I would venture to say most) women straddle the toilet seat and squat without letting their tushes touch. Some women use an entire roll of toilet paper to line the seat (sooo NOT green!) and STILL hover. I hear some women even stand on the seat, and then squat. Geesh! (You see why it takes us so long in the ladies’ room, men?) Thank God someone invented those paper seat liners (another invention my mom thought of before they appeared, BTW) but sadly, the people responsible for keeping those liners stocked in the dispensers mounted above the toilet seats are apparently not paid enough, (or it just hasn’t come up in their annual reviews) and alas, more often than not, the dispensers are either non-existent or empty.

During the quality time in the stall, women are mostly trying to keep their pants somewhere between their knees and ankles so as not to touch the gross floor, or concentrating on keeping the pee from landing on their new patent leather kitten heels or splashing onto the last remaining shred of toilet paper. And to make matters more complicated, there are often already existing puddles to avoid and purses and shopping bags to contend with, so factor them into the balancing act too. This should seriously be an Olympic event. But on we straddle and squat and line and hover, and the best we can hope for is to leave the stall as dry as we entered and use these unnatural yoga-like poses to justify one less trip to the gym that week.

So yes, I understand how it all got started and why women put themselves through this. But here’s the rub (and hear me out on this): However well-intentioned these aforementioned feats of gymnastic proportions, this practice ends up just adding more to the mess — a mess that would otherwise not happen if folks would just sit their asses down and pay a little bit of attention. The way it goes now, someone squats, is less than graceful, misses the mark or splashes, makes a mess, which forces the next woman to squat…Vicious cycle, see?

Now I know I’m opening up myself to all sorts of ridicule or questions about my personal hygiene here, and germaphobes around the globe are no doubt recoiling in horror and disgust as I type this. I am not an unsanitary person. I shower regularly and am pretty committed to borderline obsessive hand washing (thanks to a sticky little ten month old in my life). And I sure hope I’m not breaking any secret code of the sisterhood type thing by (somewhat) publicly divulging these crazy restroom antics. I just want to say that enough is enough.

Sometimes, if the seat looks clean, I just, well, sit. And I do my part to leave the seat clean (read: DRY) for the next gal. It’s just my butt cheeks we’re talking here. That part of my anatomy really doesn’t come in contact with much else during the day besides some shower gel and a pair of clean undies. I’m sure we literally rub elbows with more germs than our butts would touch on one pee-free toilet seat. Yes, yes, if there’s a liner available, I use it. And if the seat’s wet or dirty, I put on my game face and do that thing women do. And I will even uphold this long standing tradition by teaching my daughter to do the same. But I won’t pretend it’s for the greater good. I think maybe, just maybe, we would be better served if women got ON their asses. There. I’ve said it.

Categories : journeys in life


  1. Minimeltdown says:

    Couldn’t agree more…I don’t squat or hover and in fact, I think it’s ridiculous that women do because it just perpetuates the pee seat cycle. Unless of course there is something NASTY to avoid but on most occasions there is not. So I’m right there with you.

  2. LeeAnn says:

    The only time I hovered was when I was in China and that’s because the toilets don’t have seats. So… Anti-squatters of the world UNITE!
    (Mom is so freaking out right now!)

  3. trogdor says:

    I try to avoid public bathrooms in general. I even plan my outings, so I don’t have to use the changing tables in public places. I know. I’m crazy. But hey, I don’t pee on seats, so I guess that’s a good thing.

  4. brewin says:

    Hilarious! I’m a sitter, I feel it to be much more embarassing to fall into the side of the stall with my panties around my ankles than to just sit on the thing. By the way, why is it that the farther east you go in this great nation, the fewer seat liners are available? I had no idea CA was so cutting edge…

  5. Kelly says:

    So good to know I’m not alone! Thank you, blogosphere!
    And yeah, I notice the east coast difference too– not sure why that is!

  6. Irene says:

    I have been saying for years, that women make a mess in the ladies’room primarily because they feel a need to put strips of paper on the dreaded seat when no liner is available, and then they fall on the floor and don’t get picked up. Personally (and note to Lee Ann) I DON’T squat either. I’ll find a clean seat, or use a liner and get on with it. Those that squat are truly the ones who make such a mess and pee all over the place. So there!