The other day I was searching for a new 80s outfit to wear out for a birthday in the city, and decided to check out Forever 21 in Times Square. (For you locals, I hear you cringing, but I was close, and it’s huge and it was in the afternoon on a Thursday so it wasn’t overwhelming).
I of course get sucked into trying on some larger pieces for make-shift maternity clothes – when it hits me. Right in the fitting room. The heavy-baby-on-my-bladder-I’m-about-to-pee-myself feeling. I run out and ask the girl where the closest bathroom is, shoving my clothes into her arms (This store is 4 FLOORS btw). She looks at me dead serious and says, we don’t have any bathrooms, the closest one is 3 stores down the street – at McDonald’s.
Now even for a NON pregnant woman, this isn’t exactly the news you want to hear. Let me recap. I am 7 months pregnant, in TIMES SQUARE, and I’m about to pee myself and NOW I have to run out of a store, in TIMES SQUARE, and down the street and into the McDONALD’S. In TIMES SQUARE. I am not a violent person, but I contemplated smacking her with my large clothes pile in the face and just popping a squat right there in the fitting room, but then came to my senses and ran (more like hobbled) as fast as I could up the stairs and out the door to McDonald’s, near tears. I am sure this was a fabulous sight to see. I already hobble because I’m HUGE, now add the feeling of a full bladder hobble to the already pregnant hobble – all while dodging tourists. This could have been the worst 5 minutes of my life.
I finally reached McDonald’s and their women’s room is on the second floor. Now, I am hobbling and panting climbing stairs in a frantic attempt not to ruin my maternity jeans. (Yes you know the story!)……
…. and this no joke. A 10-person waiting line. My heart drops. I must’ve been standing there with a look of fear, defeat, or pure fury that I might terrorize that whole line, because the lady in the very front of the line immediately signaled to me to just take her place (A SAINT! TO WHOEVER YOU ARE!). As tears were forming in my eyes, I didn’t even hesitate and ran into the open stall.
I have never felt such relief.
So the point of my story is…. WHERE THE *&%$ are the bathrooms in NYC? Well, my friends, as you can see above- I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE. AND I KNOW if they’re clean, there is room to even sit down or you have to squat sideways (oh yes), and if you’re going to make it in time. I know which hotels you can sneak in and get a mini pampering session, and I know the delis that you should probably just keep walking past. I know which ones you’re going to have to pull, sheet by sheet, the toilet paper off because it’s so cheap it breaks every time. (HUGE PET PEEVE – as Janna and I also incurred on our drive back to NYC from Pittsburgh last week).
I know so much about bathrooms that I feel I need to do womankind a favor, pregnant or non pregnant, and create a website that reviews them, complete with an app on your phone. SO when you’re in my predicament, you can hit the app and find the cleanest, nicest bathroom – all within hobbling distance, of course.
***I really am working on this – if you want my list, email me 🙂
As for FOREVER 21 – If you’re pregnant – I recommend you AVOID THEIR STORES. Their loss. Cause H&M down the street has one. BOOM!
Author: Stephanie Barnhart
Stephanie Barnhart is Author/Founder of Footballfoodandmotherhood.com, New York Editor for Mommy Nearest Magazine, and Founder/Social Media Strategist of SocialmindedMediaGroup.com. Stephanie is also a speaker of best online practices for small business and soloprenurs, as well as an educator to parents on social media monitoring. She has also been seen in the New York Times, PARENTGUIDE News, NY Metro Parent, ABC News, and been a contributing author on various websites.