Public restrooms can be a challenge.
First, consider sink faucets. They vary greatly from restroom to restroom. One type has a cold knob on the right and a hot knob on the left. Another type has a single lever in the center. A third type has a push button on the top.
A push button faucet, according to advertisements, “helps save water, energy, and money.” As long as you hold the button down, the water flows freely. When you remove your hand from the button, the water stops. To wash your left hand, you hold the button down with your right hand. To wash your right hand, you hold the button down with your left hand. When you only have one hand, how does that work? I’ve tried to push the button and then get my hand under the water before it stops. Occasionally, a one or two second shut-off delay will allow me to get my hand slightly wet. But most of the time, the effort is futile.
Second, think about hand-drying devices. They also come in a variety of possibilities. Remember the cloth towel roller system? Sick! Paper towel options include single-fold, C-fold, multi-fold, and roll dispensers. Electric dryer options include push button and hands-free. Now there’s even a turbo dry-your-hands-in-three-seconds dryer.
The hand-drying device I dread most is a paper towel dispenser that says in bold letters on the front: PULL WITH BOTH HANDS. If you pull on the center of the paper towel, a little piece tears off. If you pull on the right or the left, you end up with a small corner of the paper towel in your hand. Clearly you have to place your right hand on the right edge of the paper towel, place your left hand on the left edge of the paper towel, and pull down with both hands simultaneously. The bold letters might as well say: BECKY—WIPE YOUR HAND ON YOUR JEANS TO DRY.
Now I know it’s a little strange to get excited about public restroom equipment, but motion-sensor devices make me really happy.
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. Psalm 24:3-4 (NIV)