A couple years ago I had a semi-traumatic experience in a public restroom. Naturally, I’ve been a little skittish ever since. Recently this skittish-ness has carried over to changing rooms as well. I guess I have an adverse reaction to stalls in general.
I was trying on bras at Macy’s (I promise this is a necessary detail), and my sister was in the stall next to me. We were chatting about something when out of nowhere a lady walks into my stall. I’d locked it, but you know how those locks can be.
So I was standing there in my religious underwear and a bra, and she’s not just peeking in–she has walked inside my stall. It’s one of those big stalls.
“I knocked…” she says as she makes no move to leave my stall. I had not heard a knock–I’d been talking to my sister. But… the general rule of thumb is that if you can hear someone talking, someone is probably in there.
I grab the door of the stall and use it to push her out, completely baffled as to why she’s continuing to stand in my stall while I’m in this vulnerable half-naked state. I mean, she’s got a scarf covering her hair. Surely she of all women understands my need to be covered in the presence of strangers.
But as I push her out she protests, “The trousers!”
I continue to hold the stall door closed. I am not confident she won’t try to come back in. I glance around the stall and see a small pile of merchandise unceremoniously heaped on the bench. I locate the pants and hoist them over the stall door. But she’s still hovering outside my stall.
“And the blouse!”
I fling the blouse over the stall door as well.
Finally she left, forever violating any trust I had in the privacy of changing rooms.