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7 Ways I Deal With Public Restrooms, A View From A Germaphobe

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

I admit that I have a problem with germs.  I’m not a perfect person, and perhaps this is one of my biggest flaws.  I’m unreasonably afraid of germs.  There are far more severe cases than myself, but I had a moment of clarity the other day and realized I definitely do things differently than other people.  Here’s a list of things that I do that are out-of-the-ordinary.

1.  I didn’t really use public restrooms when I was a kid. Up through high school, I would do everything I could do to avoid using a public bathroom.  Now that I’m older I’ve overcame this, but still hate doing it.  How do I manage?  Pretty much the rest of this list.

2.  I have become amazingly coordinated lifting toilet seats and flushing the toilet with my feet. I’ve never touched a public toilet with my hands.   Ever.

3.  At work I will use disinfectant spray on our toilet. Not even a joke at all.   I make our cleaning guy’s job much easier.

4.  Damn, I guess I use it on every toilet, even in my own home. Ask my wife, every bathroom in the house has a spray bottle of bleach, 409, or some other product.  I like a clean seat. Is that a crime??? But I only use it if it looks dirty.  We have a 3 year old that isn’t the cleanest potty user.  Enough with toilets now, I know…

5.   I never touch a door knob into/out of a bathroom with my hands. I use a paper towel on my way out, or my shirt sleeve or whatever, but not my hands.  I absolutely hate it when they have the air dryers in bathrooms, and not paper towel.  And they should always have the door swing out when you walk out of the bathroom, so you don’t have to pull it open on the way out.  Come on!  It’s common sense.

6.  I keep a mental list of national franchises’ bathrooms and how clean they are. If I do have to stop and go somewhere at least I know that their company has a good track record of cleanliness.

7.  I’ve actually brought my own toilet paper into a restroom. Who doesn’t keep their favorite roll of toilet paper in their car?  Just in case?

Lastly, I’m going to pat myself on the back here for a minute.  I have had to overcome my phobia many times, and like I’ve said, I’ve always managed.  Outhouses don’t scare me like they do some people.  Going in the outdoors while camping doesn’t bother me either.  But a gas station bathroom?  Get real.

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