It was one of those nights that the busy burrito place down the street makes you alter your seating arrangement three times. From a table that could seat eight, to the end of another wobbly legged one, to finally suggesting a back-corner table by the bathroom door. We made clumsy eye contact with those who entered the bathroom and shut the door facing outwards. Rejecting previous offers for an additional plate for this shared burrito meant that the manner in which I splayed burrito guts out of tortillas couldn’t be concealed. After the burrito slaying and the consumption of two drinks at a bar with palm trees and no olives in my San Francisco neighborhood, I asked if he would like to come back to my home.
It was the fourth date and I liked this man. He said yes and so we did. Roommates? Asleep. State of bedroom? Clean. What To Do When A Virgin Breaks Your Heart self-help books? Packed away in my closet. My naked mole rat stuffed animal? Sitting on my bed in-between seven pillows and an earplug, I had to pee as one generally does after two beers and a three-block walk punctuated with kissing and interrupted by a Chihuahua.
If you’re not familiar with bathrooms in San Francisco homes, they are not aplenty. No one has ever said in regard to San Francisco bathrooms, “There are too many bathrooms in this apartment!” Or, “That bathroom is in such great shape! It doesn’t need to be renovated for years!” More commonly, there are things peeling from the walls, vintage light switches, and an outlet that will electrocute you 89% of the times you attempt to use your blow dryer. More than once I have had to use the toilet while my British landlord was in the shower (talk about stage fright) and barfed off of a balcony because someone had diarrhea the same night that I had too many tequila shots. San Francisco bathrooms are impractical and impolite and this one that I share with four girls and the occasional boyfriend was no exception.
We kissed until I announced that I needed to pee and that I would be right back. I also wanted to brush my teeth. I felt like I had meat burrito breath, which was not conducive to making out, unless you’re kissing a canine. I peed without problem. I stood up to flush the toilet and begin brushing my teeth directly after.
The water seemed to not be draining properly. Singing a jingle in my head, la-la-la, as any carefree lady would do when she has a cute man waiting in her bedroom, I decided to flush the toilet again with my left toes, as I balanced on one leg and continued brushing my teeth. The water rose ferociously.
I only realized what was happening as it was happening. Like those women who don’t know they’re pregnant until they’re giving birth. Water poured out from the toilet, onto the tile, over my feet, and seeped into the corners of the room. I threw the bath mat into the opposite corner, balanced on my tiptoes with toothbrush in mouth, in a near inch of water, staring at a toilet that wouldn’t drain and felt like I belonged in the Titanic scene when Jack and Rose are running from a stampede of water. Except my Jack was residing in my bedroom with only my naked role rat and the mystery of what the hell I was doing in this bathroom to keep him company. My three minute projected bathroom time was gone.
I found the predicament to be both humorous and devastating. Why didn’t this happen when I was with one of the other 67 men that I didn’t actually care for? What a brilliant way to scare a person off. You wanted to make-out? I just overflowed the toilet. I guess you have to leave and then never speak to me again.
What was I to do now? I considered leaving the bathroom and beckoning him for advice. Aren’t men more versed in toilet over-flow etiquette? I decided I was in a pretty vulnerable position and it would be best to not let an individual see me soaked in toilet water before he saw me naked. If I plunged the toilet the mere action of placing the plunger in the toilet would cause another grand overflow. And who had clogged the toilet in the first place?
The actions that followed included, but were not limited to: me taking a deep breath, abandoning my toothbrush, shoving the plunger into the water, causing more water of the toilet type to overflow, successfully suctioning the issue, cleaning the plunger, using any possible towel available for mopping purposes, spraying and wiping down all bathroom surfaces, and finally stepping into the shower to rid myself of toilet water because I’ve never known of anyone motivated to dry hump after smelling toilet water.
I finally exited the bathroom, perhaps twenty minutes later, to a perplexed face in my bedroom. I knew I had to explain somehow, as disregarding a twenty minute bathroom trip left too much to the imagination. I told him I had to tell him something, that the toilet had overflowed, but that it wasn’t my fault. He seemed suspicious as I assured him I would truly tell him if I had. It was too soon to tell if I would be the girl that overflowed the toilet forever.