Photo: AMLBox (iStock), Graphic: Nicole Antonuccio
The Salty WaitressSalty Waitress is The Takeout’s advice column from a real-life waitress that will teach you how not to behave like a garbage person while dining out—and maybe in real life.  

Dear Salty: Quick question. Can I use the men’s bathroom if the women’s one is in use? (I’m a lady.)

Signed,
Gots2Go

Dear Gots2Go,

Sure, I’ve got no problem with this. I assume you’re talking about those single-room type setups, in which case, who cares which you use? Is some dude going to be bothered by the fact that a lady peed in the bowl before he did? Let’s hope not.

Since that only took about four seconds to answer, ol’ Salty has some additional thoughts about bathroom she’d really like to get off her chest.

  • This is just one reason gender-neutral bathrooms are better. They’re important to customers who don’t feel comfortable using the male/female-labeled bathrooms, but they’re also good for just… letting people use whichever one is open. If there’s no difference between the men’s and women’s single-stall rooms (except for possibly a urinal), why bother putting signs on them in the first place?

  • Put changing tables in men’s bathrooms. Either have one of those “family” bathrooms, or put fold-up changing tables in guys’ bathrooms, too. Like dads don’t change diapers these days?

  • Don’t waste your time judging other people’s bathroom use. I personally don’t give a rat’s backside who I pee next to—when I have a two-minute break from my tables, I don’t care if it’s the King Of England in the stall next to me. In single-room bathrooms especially, why bother worrying about who comes in and out of which bathroom? That person coming out of the women’s bathroom doesn’t “look like a lady?” Who cares, sonny, mind your own dang beeswax.

  • In an emergency, all bets are off. Some people have medical conditions or get sick or what have you, and I’d much rather a man use the women’s room than puke on the restaurant’s floor waiting for his to open up.

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Happy tinkling, folks.


Got a question about dining out etiquette? Or just a general question about life we can help you with? Email us: salty@thetakeout.com

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