The NYC Surprise

We were driving past NYC on the way to a concert in New Jersey, so we stopped in for some “free time.” We were dropped off in Battery Park and told to be back on the bus in 90 minutes sharp. One minute later, and we would be lining Mr. Edmond’s pockets with change.

Never having been to the City before, Stephen and I weren’t quite sure what to do, out of the million possible options. However, our time constraint whittled down those options, and we settled for a quick MCA ride to Times Square and back.


On the subway, and Laura and I in front of Broadway

After wandering around Times Square for twenty minutes, we had both had enough. It was dirty, loud, crowded, and way over-stimulating. And besides, I wanted to at least see the Statue of Liberty from a distance before getting back on the bus.

So we headed back to Battery Park for a quick picture in front of the Lady. However, Stephen wanted to buy a souvenir “I Love New York” sweatshirt, and I found myself in need of a restroom.

If you know anything about big cities, you know it’s next to impossible to find a restroom. However, there was a McDonald’s across the street, and Stephen entrusted Chris with walking me there and making sure no one kidnapped me on the way.

We had about 15 minutes before we had to be back to the bus and, already having paid a fine for being two minutes late, I had no intention of doing that again. We practically ran in to the McDonald’s and located the bathrooms. It just so happened that Chris needed to use it, too, so he found the guys’, and I found the girls’ (and yes, this is significant to the story).

I opened the door to the bathroom and found myself second in line for one of the two stalls. That bathroom was tiny. We stood there uncomfortably, waiting…when a large, older woman almost crushed me walking into the room. She looked around with wide eyes.

“Is that person still in here?” she asked, none too quietly, looking around suspiciously. “That person has been in here for a long time. Something is wrong. People shouldn’t use the bathroom for this long. I have been waiting for a long time. Why is that person still in that stall?” and on and on until the other girl and I felt quite sorry for said person in stall. After commenting on how she’d been waiting outside for a very long time, we had mercy on her when the back stall opened up, and we allowed her to budge ahead and go in.

But no sooner had she stepped into that stall then she stepped back out. “I can’t do it,” she said, shaking her head adamantly. “I can’t go in that stall. Something is wrong. That person has been in that other stall for a long time!” and she promptly left the room.

The other girl and I exchanged curious and amused glances, and she tentatively walked toward the last stall. She poked her head in, looked around, then looked back at me and shrugged her shoulders. Seemed safe to her.

It was at that moment that the front stall’s toilet flushed, and I thought, finally, this poor person is finished using the bathroom. By this point, I was also concerned about making it to the bus on time.

I was not prepared for who stepped out of that stall, though. The door opened, and I looked up…into the eyes of…a man.

I must have looked at him with very wide eyes. He ducked his head and mumbled “sorry…I really had to go” and shuffled quickly out of the bathroom. The other women who had recently come in began gasping and exclaiming, and I tried to stifle my laughter as I bravely walked into the stall. After all, I didn’t have time to wait for the other to open up.

I was still smothering smiles and laughter when I walked out of the bathroom to find Chris standing there, arms crossed, waiting. He jumped up when he saw me, shock and concern on his face. “A man….just walked out of there! Are you okay?! What was he doing in there?”

I hurried him toward the door, still trying not to laugh out loud, and assuring I’d tell him everything. As we walked out, two policemen passed us, on their way up to the bathroom.

We made it to Lady Liberty in time to get two fast pictures and run to the bus. We were thirty seconds early:-)

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