Public restrooms are disgusting for all people, but especially for those of us who take multiple showers a day. For many of us, being clean is gift, but it can also be a burden! Below is a list of my very real struggles when contending with the stinkiness of the general public and their gross-ass bowel movements, and I bet some of you out there can relate. Like, a lot. (*Runs out to stock up on all the hand-sanitizer in the world.*)
1. Even just walking in is an ordeal.
You have to pull down your sweater sleeve to open the door without touching it and pull up your sweater neck to brace yourself for the smell. Heaven forbid it's summer and you're not wearing enough clothing. Better to just hold it until you get home and/or die.
2. Choosing a stall is hell.
You once read that the stall closest to the door is the one people use less, so you check that one first. If there's any sign that another ass touched the seat within the past hour, you methodically go down the row until you find one with a toilet seat that's white-ish.
3. You check for toilet paper.
If there is no toilet paper in the cleanest stall, you steal it from another. All's fair in love and disgusting public restrooms.
4. You've used hand sanitizer to clean a toilet seat.
Yes, you are weird, but you also don't have toilet lice.
5. You put down multiple seat covers.
Even though you read once that they do nothing, it doesn't matter. So much of surviving the public restroom experience is in your mind. You must be confident to continue and if that means six seat covers, so be it!
6. You've been known to drop a layer of toilet paper in the bowl before you go.
What? It prevents splash back! This isn't amateur hour.
7. You're amazing at hovering over the toilet.
All those terrible squats at the gym are finally good for something. If Toilet Hovering were an Olympic sport, you'd take home the gold for PHILIPPINES!
8. If you have to flush, you flush with your foot.
Firstly: Damn you, non-automated toilets! Secondly: You've perfected situating your body as far as possible from the toilet while you extend your foot out to flush. It's an art, not a science.
9. You know that the toilet isn't even the grossest thing in the bathroom.
Exiting the stall doesn't mean the horrors of the public restroom are behind you. No, my friend. You still have an entire counter of funk to contend with before your personal nightmare is over.
10. You get a paper towel to turn on the faucet.
That faucet has been touched by so many dirty hands, it might as well be the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at a strip club! *Insert Poop Emoji.*
11. You wash your hands properly!
You have the sequence down to a T. What? The water in public restrooms never gets hot enough on account of all the dirty monsters flushing away their bowel movements BRB GAGGING FOREVER.
12. You know hand dryers don't work for shit. Literally.
You read once that they just push bacteria around and so you use your own wet naps that you carry in your purse. If not, you will use the paper towels in the bathroom as a backup. If those are not an option, you wipe your hands on the inside of your clothes and pray you can get home soon.
13. You grab a paper towel for the way out.
So you can open the door, duh!
14. You know that even with all these precautions, you are now covered in a layer of feces.
You take a ~super hot~ shower when you get home, but you also operate on a certain level of denial about how gross our repulsive world is. (Because honestly, eating at restaurants is kinda the best and you're not gonna let how bonkers you are about cleanliness get in the way of a good meal!) (At a restaurant that has an A health code rating, of course.)
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.