Part of New Normal is developing new rituals and processes for stuff you never even thought about. You just do it, you don’t think about it, until you can’t do it, and then one day you’re sitting there and realize how strange it is, to have to do what you do now to do the thing you did without even thinking before. You can’t remember creating that ritual and routine, it just organically developed when you lost the ability to do it the ‘normal’ way. One day you realize you’re sort of dancing in place to remain upright because you’ve lost the ability to stand still without losing your balance. One day you realize you’re gripping the fork like a savage because your hands cramp if you hold it like a human.
One day I realized I use my head as a fifth limb.
…Like, all the time.
How? What? Well you know how when you’re done in the bathroom, you just kinda clean up, and move on? Pants up, flush, wash hands, leave? Well let me walk you through the steps, my friends, the Dance of the Public Restroom that I now realize I do.
Step 1) Do the thing like you do, clean up, like normal.
Step 2) Do they have bars? I hope there’s bars. There are. Grip those bad boys and haul yourself to your feet. Bonus point for restrooms NOT designed by imbeciles, like the one downstairs at work where they put the toilet paper dispenser RIGHT where your elbow hits if you use the bar to pull yourself up, hitting your funnybone if you’re lucky and hitting your funnybone AND scraping skin off your elbow with the sharp little cutty edge for ripping the paper off the roll if you’re unlucky. Bonus BONUS points if they did not put the ‘feminine product’ bin EXACTLY where your knee hits it when you try to stand.
Step 3) Don’t fall over.
Step 4) I’m serious, don’t fall over.
Step 5) Using the bar with one hand, swivel your body to face the wall, flush the toilet.
Step 6) Press your head against the wall so you can have that point of balance while both hands reach down to pull up your underwear.
Step 7) Don’t get your panties caught on the cuff of your braces.
Step 8) Grab the bar with your right hand, and lean to the left to extract your panties from being caught on the cuff of your braces.
Step 9) Resume head-to-wall balance and pull panties on properly.
Step 10) Sigh heavily, get your breath back, cause we’re going back in. Head to wall a little lower, scootch your feet back a little so you can reach down further without falling over, and grab the waist of your pants with both hands.
Step 11) Don’t get those caught on your braces either.
Step 12) Did you seriously step on the cuff of your pants when you stepped backwards in Step 10? Really?
Step 13) Hold on to the bar with one hand and try to babystep off of the cuff of your jeans without falling over. Good job.
Step 14) Pull pants up with both hands.
Step 15) With your head against the wall still, do a little turn, so that your back is now against the wall, and hope that leaning against the wall didn’t pop the door open. Try to forget how many times that’s happened to you.
Step 16) Button your pants.
Step 17) It’s okay, sometimes it takes more than one try, button your pants.
Step 18) Seriously relax, deep breath, try one more time. There.
Step 19) Zip up. Don’t fall over.
Step 20) Grab your cane, unlock the stall, and go wash your hands.
Step 21) (OPTIONAL) Lean against the bathroom sink for balance while washing your hands and get water all over yourself at around crotch level because some jerk got water all over the counter and didn’t wipe it up. Seriously this is a sink, not a birdbath, how did they even splash so much?
That’s it! You’re done! Now use hand sanitizer on your cane handle cause you touched that with your dirty bathroom hands. Gross.