Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why Does Europe Get All the Good Hooks??!

Look closely at the photo above. It's my handbag precariously perched on . . . yes, a giant toilet paper dispenser. You may ask why? Why is my bag on the yucky public TP holder? Or, why did I take a photo of it? (Yes, that's a new low for me - sneaking pictures in the restroom and hoping the person in the next stall doesn't think I'm a pervert. But, at least I wasn't talking on the phone while in the stall - that really is creepy . . .)

Here's the answer:

No hook!! Why wasn't there a hook? This wasn't a ratty, unisex, gas station bathroom; it was a large bookstore in a nice shopping area. To be precise, it's the book store where I once saw Rachael Ray (who, by the way, is much prettier in person - imagine that). One would assume a book store that can attract Rachael Ray, Emeril, and Libby Langdon could keep working hooks in the restroom. I mean what if Libby Langdon, the Small Space maven, needed to hang her coat on a hook? How embarrassing for the store then - its only small space is not even functional. Because without a hook it's hard to function - there's no place to put your coat, if you have a big handbag (like this one) it's tricky to hold it, and if you have shopping bags they have to go on the floor. I just can't put my handbag or coat on the floor, though. Can you? Some people use the paper seat covers to make a clean 'landing pad' on the floor. That's not really great, either, because it's wasteful and who's going to pick them up? Probably not a person who's too squeamish to put her stuff on the floor . . .

This all made me wonder why public restrooms are so shoddily constructed. I've traveled and worked quite a bit in Europe and their restrooms are always intact - real hooks and doors that latch and sometimes even a handy shelf for packages. And, not only do the door latches not break, they usually have an ingenious design that tells people outside the stall whether it's occupied. Often a little window displays either a red or green bar when the latch is closed or open - no peeking under the door. Why can't we get that here? Is this some EU conspiracy? If we adopt the Euro can we find out the Secret? Or is it just that builders here cut corners in the restrooms? We used to have sturdy restrooms. Visit old buildings that have the original restrooms intact - train stations, office buildings, department stores - you'll see heavy doors with working latches and big hooks. (If you're in the Raleigh area, go to Logan's - it's a great nursery with a yummy cafe, all housed in a former train depot - original marble restrooms, with big hooks and door latches that say 'vacant' or 'occupied' - still working perfectly after 60+ years!)

So, now you probably think I'm obsessed with public restrooms . . . I'm not. Most days I don't think about them at all . . . but, I do long for the good old days of reliable hooks!

Stop by tomorrow to meet our Slumpkin and chat about the Kreativ Blogger award.


  1. I've seen a few posts somewhere about the most gorgeous public bathrooms ever (and some were really that gorgeous) but all in all, they are pretty bad, which I cannot figure out. Haven't traveled extensively in Europe, but it can be pretty bad here. Cute handbag, btw!


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