Some people poop in the bathroom, some people peep. I used to shoe peep. In the bathroom. As of earlier this year (and by the way, this is the first time I have talked publicly about this) I have confirmed that there is at least one other person in this world – in Chicago, no less! – who also shoe peeps in the bathroom.
Before you start assuming I am some deranged deviant that peeked over the top of the partitions or hid in the vent ducts, let me explain shoe peeping. When I went into a public restroom and entered my chosen stall, I always did a quick peep sweep under the stalls. I didn’t crane my neck trying to see faces or ascertain whether my neighbor was perpetrating a number one or a number two. I just liked to take a quick inventory of the shoes because (a) I like shoes and (b) I liked to play the Match the Shoes to the Coworker game.
WELL, several months ago I was doing my quick sweep and ahhhh!! Another peeper sweeper was peeper sweepering RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Like, our faces were inches apart. We both screamed. Then there was silence and it was like, “*&$%@#!!! Now what?!” I was slightly panicky and I’m not sure why because it’s the equivalent of a guy ordering a prostitute and when she shows up it turns out she’s his wife. You can’t be mad at me, but I can’t be mad at you, either, sort of deal.
Thankful it wasn’t a coworker, but embarrassed that it was likely someone who worked on the same floor and I could possibly run into again, I decided to weather the storm in my stall. So I just kind of sat there, waiting. Well, apparently that was the other chick’s game plan, too. After several minutes had passed I decided I sure as hell wasn’t venturing out. She could damn well go first. What if she was really just waiting until I left so she could run out and confront me? She was probably sick like that, I thought.
I don’t know how long it took but she finally cried uncle and left. Without washing her hands, I might add. I can’t really blame her; I would have hightailed it out of there too. So you might think I left shortly thereafter but you don’t know how my twisted little brain works because now I was terrified that she was either waiting outside the door with her filthy unwashed hands or she had run back to her office and gathered up her coworkers to come confront me as a group, conveniently leaving out the part of the story where she was also peeper sweepering.
I finally made it back to my desk and, unsure of how long I had been in the bathroom, promptly began to worry that my coworkers had noticed my extended stay in the washroom and concluded who knows what.
That was the last day I ever peeped and I haven’t looked back. Actually, in hindsight (and having now been peeped myself), I guess it really is kind of creepy.