Since our strawberry bed is so old and we didn’t get around to planting new ones until this year, we set off to Plainfield NH to Edgewater’s PYO strawberry orchard. Typically, we’d barely begun picking berries when Bundle I started doing a telltale dance which only ever means one thing. “Do you need to use the potty?” I asked her. “No,” she said, her typical response, “I’m just doing a dance.” A few seconds later she thought better of that answer and said, “Mommy…?”
We made a trek to the Porta-Potty, and it dawned on me that any 4 year olds coming to our PYO would also likely be doing the same dance, and therefore we would need to supply a similar service.
So I went in search of Porta-Potty rentals. And was struck, once again, by just how much information I’d missed on that fateful day, that day somewhere in fifth grade when they separated all the girls and the boys, and somehow imparted to them the esoteric knowledge needed to function in their respective genders, a day called “How to Be a Girl/Boy Day.” I can only assume that such a day exists because while I am clearly a highly functioning, heterosexual person of the female persuasion, there’s so many things my fellow gendered individuals take as read or as obvious about their or the other gender that I just don’t get. In many cases, I don’t even think about them. Take for instance the other day when a colleague expressed concern that my various cards had fallen out of my “purse.” I was genuinely puzzled about what he was talking about, until I realized he was pointing at the vague pile of cards I had made next to my black backpack, as I was missing the most important one and was frantically searching all pockets, drawers, nooks and crannies for it. I don’t consider my backpack a “purse,” but I guess since I’m female it could be construed as one.
Anyway, I innocently entered the Porta-Potty foray simply looking for a place for people to do their business, and was surprised to find that there’s a whole industry around making a Porta-Potty palatable for my fellow females, who obviously know something I don’t, because I always thought one Porta-Potty was much like another.
But then, I often pee in the woods, so what do I know? Wait, is that Too Much Information?
For a while I worried about whether we actually needed two units, one for men (urinal, toilet, hand sanitizer… otherwise known as a “standard unit”) and one for women (no urinal, “hover handle”—so you don’t have to sit down!, hand sanitizer, a mirror, Koala baby changer—because only women have babies!, pinkness—apparently serves as a “man-repellent” which is necessary for some reason, courtesy lighting and in some cases a pretty picture), but then I decided that any woman who came out to a PYO expecting a luxury bathroom unit was likely to trip over her high heels on the way to the berries anyway and therefore we probably wanted to discourage that kind of thing. Then I decided that was pretty stereotypical and sexist of me, or maybe it was, but I wasn’t sure, because I personally trip over high heels just trying to put them on, so again, what do I know? Maybe it’s necessary to have a mirror in the bathroom of a PYO so you can apply your SPF 15 lipstick evenly before you venture out to get the knees of your high fashion designer jeans dirty. Maybe all the men who come to a PYO deliberately pee on the seat and fart loudly in the chamber of the bathroom because they’re in the outdoors and suddenly can’t help reverting to their primitive, unclean, territory-marking selves, making the bathroom unfit for consumption by (discerning) female parties. Or maybe it’s a marketing gimmick. Who can tell anymore?
Can’t anything be simple? And why does everything I do always go back to that fateful day in school that I missed? Why do I always get embroiled in these weird gender things? Why can’t we all just use a Standard Porta-Potty (with urinal) without falling back on time-honored stereotypes of women versus men…. and do I have to cater to y’all who have this problem or can we all just forget about it and just pick blueberries?