I like weird bathrooms.
I like using grocery store bathrooms designed decades ago. Newer grocery stores are designed to have restrooms easily accessed and these don’t do much for me. I like the bathrooms in grocery stores from the 60s and 70s, the kind of bathroom tucked away in the depths of the building. The kind you have to use a compass to find. The path is a labyrinth. If you ask an employee where the bathroom is, the directions go something like this:
Go through the double doors. Take your second left. Go up the stairs. Pass the employee lounge. Make a hard right. Take forty-two steps. Go down three stairs. You’ll see a door. Don’t go through that one. Find the next door. It’s unmarked. That’s the bathroom.
If you find it, you know you're a good detective. Your need to pee was so desperate that your sleuthing skills cranked up several notches out of sheer necessity. Finding the bathroom in old grocery stores takes more endurance and commitment than finishing the Iron Man.
Bathrooms from this era are not glamorous. They may still have their original look, including terrible lighting. Like the one I used recently, they may have duct tape holding the threshold stable under the door.
I love stuff like this! It’s the behind-the-scenes stuff I dig. I like funky and mismatched much more than perfectly polished. Sometimes these bathrooms have several different kinds of linoleum on the floor, cobbled together when there was a need for a patch. It's fascinating--like an archeological dig.
Most people would find my interest in these fixer-upper bathrooms quite odd, if not symptomatic of a need to get my head checked. Nope, I cheerfully reassure you, I’m not delusional. I just like weird stuff. I love the treasure-hunt aspect of finding such bathrooms.
It’s oddly exciting to me to see the back rooms of grocery stores. They are the complete opposite of the store itself. The store is bright; the backroom is dark and dungeon-like. The front is neatly divided into aisles; the back is a mish-mosh of stacks of products. You see crates and boxes and work gloves and towers of water bottles. I love behind-the-scenes stuff.
So there you have it. You know one of my secrets now. Hope that wasn’t too much of a shock to your system—after all, it is Monday morning, which is usually a rude awakening under the best of circumstances…