American women are infamous for using public restrooms in pairs, talking to one another while in adjacent stalls, and continuing the conversation while washing their hands and heading right back out to the public sphere. However, nothing surprised me more than these written words found in a bathroom stall in the woman’s room on the second floor of Pittsburgh‘s iconic Cathedral of Learning, where bomb threats had marred the bathroom walls less than a year ago.
Bathroom graffiti isn’t unusual, and the comments in this stall aren’t all pristine, but the tone of many of these words uplifts, rethinks, and inspires. Comments and artwork are added daily, and I visit this stall as much as possible. Seriously. Why shouldn’t a public restroom be a place of reflection and dialogue? A new perspective is sometimes most effective when it’s unexpected.