A smiling face is half the meal.

~ Latvian Proverb ~

You’ve Made It! Congratulations on Your Bathroom Success

December 26th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 15 secs

Sometimes even the smallest successes matter.

Well success comes in all forms, doesn’t it? Some dream of going to college or university, while others think of a better job. Though, these days, more and more simply wish they could get a job. But I’m not talking about those kinds of success. I’m thinking of something far more mundane. It’s the success of finding a suitable toilet in time.

Okay, this isn’t necessarily dinner conversation. But it’s something that’s part of daily life, and on the scale of little successes, it’s an essential. After all, when you’ve got to go, there’s no turning back. So it comes as a major relief when you find an available toilet that’s open, clean, functioning, stocked, and safe. Surely that’s not too much to ask is it? Yet these days, for various reasons, it’s a rarity worth mentioning.

Success and convenience don’t tend to go together, but this is definitely an exception. When you’re out, finding a suitable bathroom can be an awkward challenge, can’t it? No doubt in desperation, you like everyone else, have been forced to put up with an awful lot.

Whether you call them bathrooms, toilets, WCs, privies, loos, cloakrooms, powder rooms, conveniences, comfort stations, or restrooms, one thing is certain. These facilities have an important function. Successfully finding them in time is vital because the alternative is simply too distressing to contemplate.

Given their importance to our comfort, it’s worrying that the number of public toilets is declining. Travel anywhere and you will not only find less of the best but, alarmingly, very few of the rest. That means discovering a toilet in any condition when you really need it is still something of a minor triumph; a small moment of unscheduled success amidst all your planned priorities.

Prevented by snaking queues, vandalism, and surprise cleaning closures, successfully finding a functional bathroom remains one of those private anxieties you just have to grin and bear. That’s because, bottom line, what other choice is there?

Despite their expense, every community needs its share of public conveniences. Like roads, seating, and safe places to walk, they make life more comfortable and civilised. More than sanitation, public toilets reduce people’s stress. So by looking after everybody’s needs, such civic thoughtfulness makes it easier for people to get out and about and share public spaces.

Which means toilets are more than handy. They are a practical measure of community care and consideration.

So here’s to the sainted planners who insist that any successful public place needs facilities. Aside from being flushed with pride by their achievements, they also deserve our gratitude. For without them, you can be sure that many of our minor successes would never be made in time.


Footnote: Now I know many folk will think talking about restroom success is a bit much. But I am conscious that there are many people in the community who suffer considerable anxiety about this very issue.  A successful approach to planning public places needs to consider this silent minority who suffer great indignity because restrooms have been eliminated or fallen into disrepair. Though it’s a civic issue, it’s also a caring issue worth speaking up about.




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