I stopped by one of my favorite fast food joints the other day because I had skipped lunch and was feeling hungry. That, and I also needed to use the bathroom, to take care of some lady business. I usually do not announce my lady business, but it’s kind of the point of the story.
See, I strode into the bathroom, opened a stall, and saw it… DUN DUN DUN….. trash-less. As in, there was no trash bin at all in the stall, and as I would need to dispose of lady things, that was no good. So I went to the next stall: no bin. Surely the handicapped stall would have one, I thought, but: nope. No bin.
I panicked momentarily that I was in the wrong bathroom. After all, the only time I have ever encountered this problem has been at male friends’ apartments. But this was definitely a women’s room.
So I did my business and took care of my trash in the big, wide-open bin next to the sinks, grateful that I was the only one in there. I couldn’t help but wonder: What the devil did other women do, especially when it was busy?
After that, I ordered my junior bacon cheeseburger. And I asked to speak to the manager. I expected to have to explain menstruation to a clueless man, but to my surprise, the manager was a woman. After I suggested an addition to the restroom, she explained that the bathrooms had been redone recently, and somehow, she hadn’t been able to get the maintenance staff to supply the bathroom with trash bins in each stall. My thoughts: WTF.
They might as well “forget” to supply the bathroom with toilet paper. I can only imagine the discomfort of other women who may have not wanted to announce to all the other patrons in the restroom that they were menstruating by having to use a very public trash can (that didn’t even have a top on it). I can imagine how uncomfortable it would be as an employee to have to use that bathroom while on your period. Men may be surprised to learn that even though women discuss just about anything with one another, we really don’t gab that much about periods. We just deal with them, and we would prefer to do so quietly.
So Wendy’s, listen up:
Having a period isn’t embarrassing. Pretending you don’t know they exist? That is.
–By Tara Cavanaugh