I take cleanliness seriously. On a scale of 1 to Howard Stern/Howie Mandel Clean Crazy, I’m not quite there yet. I don’t freak out about shaking hands with strangers nor do I go to the ER if someone sneezes nearby like either of the Howie/Howards might. But I value clean hands and I’m willing to take the 37 seconds needed after I use the bathroom or before I eat, to wash my hands.

In a public restroom you can always tell when the person next to you hasn’t washed their hands, like the woman in the stall next to me at the gym this morning. She pee’d so fast her time there could be best described as a drive by pee’ing. I’m a quick pee, but this woman is either running from the law or determined to get the Guinness Book Of World Records Award from least time in the stall. Before I’ve even flushed, she’s done the unthinkable. She’s exited the ladies room without washing her hands.

It’s all I can do to keep myself from running after her out of the bathroom screaming, “You forgot to wash your hands!”

But I have to wash my own hands.

Fortunately, I’ve mentally stalked her shoes from our time together in adjacent stalls. Doesn’t every woman do this? From the ankle down view we have of one another in a public restroom, we can tell a lot about one another. One of the things we can tell is who didn’t get the memo at birth that we’re human beings, which means we wash our hands.

I decide that for the good of all mankind, and the CDC, I’m going to track down the lady in the black Nikes who didn’t wash her hands. Possibly she forgot or was taking California’s drought issues a little too far.

But cleanliness isn’t a personal choice. It’s a community standard. You don’t get to decide that your hands are clean enough and risk palming your Syphilis or Ebola onto an unsuspecting clean person like myself. It only takes 20 seconds for your hands to go from  being a veritable petri dish, to a safe haven for cleanliness.

The only problem with my plan is everyone in my gym seems to have worn the same shoes today making it very hard for me to tell who the culprit is. It’s like there was a communist manifesto for shoes and everyone wants to blend in. Sure there are the one or two gym go’ers wearing neon sneakers. And there’s also the obligatory guy wearing those fingers shoes that look like a glove for your foot. He’ll swear there’s research that shows those fingers shoes are much better for your feet, but truthfully all that comes to mind is he looks like a caveman on his way to spin class. And there’s the one guy at my gym who insists on wearing flip-flops on the Precor. God knows what he tracks home on his feet.

Everyone else seems to be wearing the same shoes as pee-on-her-hands. And since I don’t want to end up with egg on my face, I surrender. I’m not going to be able to find the person with the bad manners today.

I realize then and there that there is only one real option, quitting my gym. But I just signed a new contract. And it was really cheap.  So I’m not going to do that. And I don’t want to the gym’s Diane Keaton, with gloves and a turtlneck on. So I’m not going to do that either.

But one day, when I do find Black Nikes, I’m going to ask her why she doesn’t wash her hands after she pees. And then I’m going to tell her to watch this video:

And you should too.

(This post originally ran on Bad Sandy)

About the author: Meredith Gordon is a recovered actress and stand-up comic who has always been a “glass is half annoying” kind of girl. She write movies, blogs, and ad copy and you can find her inner-most snarky thoughts at Bad Sandy. She is married to the world’s most stylish straight man and they raise their children in Los Angeles. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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  1. I totally hear you, Meredith, but as you pointed out, and as we all know, there are still so many people who don’t. Bleh.

  2. Miss Pee On Her Hands….HAHA. Well I wash EXCEPT when washing will put more germs on my hands than skipping (sinks with no way to turn faucet off except touching knobs, paper towel holders you have to hand crank, and don’t even get me started on soap dispensers…. I carry sanitized antibacterial wipes in my purse and open doors on way out with elbows. Loved this! Also I hate bathrooms in other people’s homes even more because you have to use their hanging cloth towels! Why can’t more hostesses put out those individual guest napkins in their powder rooms? But this is just a casual subject for me…. Moving on now…

  3. What did she look like? Is she fairly attractive and good-looking?

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