Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

To Pee or Not to Pee

To pee or not to pee…That is the question that is dominating the internet, news programs and dinner conversation this week. I understand that some may have concerns, and I won’t judge or speak to their convictions, because I truly believe everyone is entitled to their own reality. Even if it includes being creepily concerned with other people’s body parts.

And, to be honest, I have had concerns about the bathroom situation in the United States for quite some time now. Peeing is something we all have to do.Most of us are lucky enough to have access to a bathroom, but I often wonder about the homeless man who gets a ticket for peeing in the corner of a parking lot. I have no answer for managing bodily waste from homeless people, but should it be illegal to perform the most basic of human functions?

As for discrimination, I think all women can agree that we have suffered from unfairly long lines for the ladies room. Especially at any kind of large event, when we start plotting before half time/intermission. Should we leave a few minutes early and try to beat the rush to the bathroom? Or should we wait until the break is almost over and hope the line has dwindled? There’s something disturbing about standing in a long line, doing the pee pee dance, waiting for the next stall to open up, all the while seeing that there is no line for the men’s room. I don’t think it makes any sense to have ANYONE doing the pee pee dance when there is an empty toilet anywhere within use. Why have we segregated ourselves this way? Why are there not just bathrooms. Bathrooms for peeing and pooping. No matter who you are, when a toilet opens up you should be allowed.

And then there’s the dilemma of the handicap stalls. Going into the handicap stall often brings judgement, even if there is not a handicapped person waiting. Should we leave that toilet empty, just in case? I do not. No disrespect for the physically impaired, but I think standing in line is part of life, impaired or not. So, given the chance, I will use whatever toilet is available, as soon as it is available, and the only situations I’ve ever encountered in a public bathroom is the errant toddler who breaks away and peeks underneath all the stall doors, or the newly endowed drunk woman who feels the need to flash her new breasts to every woman in the bathroom. I wouldn’t necessarily call either harassment.

I remember the bathroom on the hit show Ally McBeal was a unisex bathroom, and that seemed like a radical concept at the time. Now, I think it makes perfect sense. No his, hers, theirs or others. How about just “bathrooms.” Doing your business next to another person with just a thin wall separating you is pretty gross in general. Does it really matter if it’s a woman or a man doing the deed next to you? I think not. If everybody used the same bathroom it would cut down on the concerns of many. If mom, dad and child were all in the same bathroom, there would be little chance for abuse. If we were all in it together we could police ourselves, and cast out any pervert who may be lurking in the stall next door.

So, instead of using bathrooms to divide us, let’s use them to unite the poople, I mean people.

 

 

 

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April 30, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Shame on Me

It is a common occurrence when venturing to downtown Denver to be repeatedly asked for money by panhandlers. When I lived downtown the first person who asked me usually ended up with the little change I had in my pocket. I used to write profiles of homeless people who were vendors for the Denver Voice newspaper, so I have come to not judge anyone, since many of their circumstances were tragic and unavoidable. There are of course always a few youngsters who are clearly on the streets because they can’t be bothered to get a job, or are living “free” like America promised them.

This day was no different. I was headed to Longmont to spend the day with Jess and Petra, and boarded the free mall shuttle to take me to Union Station, where I would catch the L bus. The shuttle has a row of seats that run along the back, allowing riders to look toward the front of the shuttle. I took a seat near the back, but along the side, and made myself comfortable. Shortly into the ride, an older man who was sitting in the back seat, looked directly at me and I prepared myself for my defensive response.

“Do you have anything to eat?” He asked quietly.

“I’m sorry, I don’t,” I responded automatically. He gave the tiniest nod and looked away.

The problem was I DID have something to eat. I had a whole lunch bag full of homemade pizza with chicken and artichoke toppings. I had an entire baggy full of fresh grapes, and I had a couple of cookies and a yogurt. I had plenty of food, and it certainly wasn’t the only food I would have access to that day.

I felt horrible. I watched as he lowered his head to his chest and appeared to fall asleep. He hadn’t asked me for cash. He had only asked me for the most basic of human needs–food. I tried to remember the last time I was hungry. It was a few weeks ago, and I was certain I would faint doing the most mundane tasks around the house if I went another moment without food. I wondered if sleeping abated the pains of an empty stomach, as I watched him and fought back tears. His clothes were mostly clean, as well as his gray hair and face. He didn’t appear to be homeless, perhaps he was just hungry.

Even after these thoughts, I am ashamed to admit that I still debated at all whether or not to give him some food. I thought about what I was willing to part with. The pizza was not that great, but was homemade and looked impressive. The grapes are natural fruit, so that seemed like the best idea. The yogurt and cookies I intended to share with Petra so I ruled them out.

I continued to watch him until we were two stops away from Union Station. Sad and ashamed, I moved into the seat next to him, and pulled the pizza out of my lunch bag. I touched his hand lightly and he lifted his head, opened his eyes and looked at me. They were the watery, cloudy eyes of an old man, like those of my grandfather. I fought back tears and tried not to think about what circumstances had brought this man to the point of asking for food from strangers.

“I have some homemade pizza,” I handed him the bag. “I’m not the best cook, but it’s fresh.”

He took the bag eagerly, and carefully opened the ziploc.

“Thank you, it looks really good.” He took a bite and looked at me with those watery eyes, and praised me as if I had just served him some filet mignon. I was a fine cook, he said, in between bites, which he truly savored–I like to think it was really delicious, and not just his extreme hunger that fueled his compliments.

We chatted as he ate a piece of pizza, then it was time to get off the shuttle. He thanked me again and disappeared into the crowd.

 

 

April 21, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blasted! How embarassing

Today was a perfect day in every way. I was enjoying the incredible Colorado sunshine, with temperatures hitting above 70. The sky was clear, with a smattering of fluffy clouds, and I had been incredibly productive with my morning. I had filed stories, done some paperwork, cleaned up around the donation center, and had finished  my lunchtime errands with time to spare.

I was driving up Hampden on my way back to the office with the windows rolled down. The cool breeze was blowing my hair around, and I just got a  nice  haircut a few days ago so I was enjoying the hair blowing more than usual. I was feeling great and lookin’ hot, and to make things even better, the Pina Colada song came on. Actually, it’s a 1979 song by Rupert Holmes called Escape, but most people refer to it as the Pina Colada song because of its lyrics “If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain…”

One of my favorite songs, it brings tears to my eyes then makes my heart swell every time I hear it, which isn’t often. I turned the radio up so I could hear and sing along with the lyrics as I cruised along. I wasn’t disappointed when I hit a red light, it gave me that much more time to listen to the song. I pulled to a stop alongside a garbage truck, and saw that the driver was getting back in his truck, after stepping down to give the homeless guy on the curb some change. The garbage truck didn’t have doors, and I thought he must be lucky to get to enjoy so much fresh air on a beautiful day.

Life was good as I sat waiting for the light to turn, halfway through the Pina Colada song. But then, I suddenly heard the sound of loud, thumping rap music. And it was coming from the garbage truck. Immediately offended, I considered rolling my window up, when I realized, the garbage man was “blasting” me. He was doing to me what I had thought of doing hundreds of times whenever a young “Punk” pulled up alongside me with his music blasting, having absolutely no consideration for me or anyone else and forcing us to listen to their horrible music. He was overriding my music with his own.

Aw Crap. I was now the “punk.” Only I was blasting sappy, 1970’s love songs for everyone else on the road to hear. I nonchalantly reached over and turned my music down, then, without making eye contact, slowly rolled my window up and waited for the light to change.

 

 

April 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Touch Anything

The great thing about being a grandparent is that I can take the time to appreciate and marvel at everything little Petra says, as opposed to when Jessica was little, when I was always in a hurry to get somewhere. Petra is a mini version of Jessica, so in a small way I feel like I’m getting a second look at what I missed as a busy parent.

Recently Petra and I loaded into Jessica’s car for our Grammy day errands, she climbed into her car seat and started shaking me down for a treat. She had a direct line of sight to my purse, and knows that’s where the treats would be. I quickly tried to stuff the chocolate bark into my bag and zip it up.

“What are you hiding in your purse grammy?”

“What?” I played dumb.

“In your purse, what are you hiding in your purse?”

I told her it was a treat for later, and she let it slide until we had finished our errands. We got back in the car and she remembered.

“What about the treats in your purse grammy?” I couldn’t put it off any longer, so I handed her a piece of chocolate coconut bark. She took it eagerly and kicked her feet in joy, then silence set in as she enjoyed her chocolate and I drove down Main Street. Soon I heard her confused voice from the back seat.

“What happened to my hands Grammy?” I looked in the mirror to see the chocolate had melted in her hands, and she was wringing them in confusion, fun and general curiosity, watching the chocolate smear even more. Her face was covered as well.

“Oh sweetie, the chocolate melted,” I explained. “We’re almost home, just don’t touch anything.” There was silence for a few seconds, and we were literally blocks from home. Then I heard her mischievous little voice from the back seat.

“Grammy…I’m…touching…everything!”

I looked back in time to see her grab her car seat, leaving chocolate hand prints. Then her legs, then her chest, then her face and lastly, her hair. She giggled and bounced her legs in delight at her new-found power of leaving prints wherever she touched, and I couldn’t help but laugh at her antics myself.

We got home and I climbed into the back seat with tissues and a bottle of water, insufficient weapons to battle the mess that was now Petra, but I started wiping the chocolate off her face. She wasn’t done yet.

“No Grammy. I want to go touch my Mommy!”

Hehehehehe. It is great to be a grandma.

April 6, 2016 Posted by | The Corset Chronicles | , , , , , | Leave a comment