The following post is dedicated to the exposure and shaming of people who vomit/defecate in inappropriate public places and leave their mess to be cleaned up by someone else and the celebration of the people who do not.
It is almost impossible to encapsulate the intense emotions I experienced when I entered the bathroom in my hall last night and surveyed the carnage after the initial feelings of shock have worn off, so I won’t try. Instead, transcribed below is the word-for-word text conversation I had with a friend who has seen his fair share of unwelcome surprises in his dorm’s bathroom and the weirdly formal e-mail I sent my RCA.
Me (3:27 AM): OH MY GOD THE SITUATION IN MY BATHROOM RIGHT NOW
Me: Ok so [my roommate] told me someone vommed and the vom spreads to multiple stalls
Me: And I saw a little bit of it when I went in and it just looked like yknow a regular streak of vom
Me: And I didn’t want it to smell so I just went to go put some Clorox wipes on it to cover it up idk
Me: Then I push open the door to the second stall
Me: Start dry heaving, because I’m not sure of [sic] the material on the floor and the seat is vomit or shit
Friend, being helpful: I bet it’s diarrhea
Me: Oh my god
Friend, being mature: Poooopy
Me: It actually might be.
Me: I ran back to my room coughing and gagging ugh I hate people
Me: Should I send an angry email??
And below is the e-mail I sent my RCA:
It has come to my attention (by first-person witnessing, unfortunately) that there is a disgusting amount and spread of vomit/unidentifiable human waste in the 2nd floor women’s bathroom of Blair 8. Seeing as this is clearly unacceptable, inconsiderate to our custodian, and just plain unhealthy, I’m writing to you in the hopes that you could send an email around to the residents/possible culprits urging them to clean up after themselves and reminding us all to contain ourselves as best we can in dire times such as the one one of my hallmates evidently experienced tonight. It is also possible that the offender was a guest of one of the Blair 8/9 residents, in which case I would hope their host will take it upon himself/herself to take responsibility.
After speaking with some of my male hallmates on this topic, it has also come to my attention that one of the regular patrons of the men’s bathroom on our hallway has a seemingly incorrigible penchant for vomiting in one of the sinks.
I’m sorry that this topic has to be the bulk of the content of my email to you. I want to thank you for your warm presence in the dorm this year, and for your attention to this email.
Best wishes to you and yours,
His kind response, if you were curious:
Subject: Re: Vom.com
Thanks for the heads up Liz. I’m sorry that your bathroom’s in such a bad state. You’re completely right, of course – it’s unacceptable both for the other people in the entryway and for the custodians. I’ll send out an email to the people in the entryway. Hopefully it won’t happen again. If it does, though, we can take further steps.
After this grueling experience, I couldn’t help but recall times in the past when people have recklessly abandoned their waste in inappropriate places. Like the time last year when my entrymate threw a pregame, during which one of her guests became so inebriated that one of my roommates opened our door to him, dick out, peeing on our door. This same night, someone (presumably the door-urinator) also attempted to expel their vomit out of a second floor window in the stairwell, only for it to be blocked by a window screen and somehow drip down the ledge, onto the floor, and down the stairs (!), leaving a trail of chunks of what were clearly poorly-digested chunks of bacon (?!) all the way down to the basement (?!?!).
This crime scene, including the drip marks on our door and sticky puddle of dried urine next to it, lasted for at least four days and inevitably gave rise to a heated discussion on our entry Facebook group, in which residents urged the pregame hostess to take responsibility for her guests’ destruction (construction?).
One resident’s post:
If someone wants to step up and claim responsibility for the state of our entryway I will be happy to help that person thoroughly clean the entryway. but it is fucking disgusting in here and I dont want my mom to have to walk on some college kid’s vomit and piss when she is helping me move out this weekend. Again, im not trying to point fingers, but we’re effectively college sophomores now, and we should be mature enough to own up to our own mistakes, and resolve the situation and move past it.
An excerpt of the hostess’s response:
1) I have been trying to figure out if anyone knew anyone here who may have done it since Sunday. 2) I started cleaning it myself this morning. 3) If you were all such “mature sophomores” you’d realize upperclassmen puke everywhere all the time and the janitors clean it up, were in college. You’re lucky you saw this only once or twice this year.
To be as fair as possible, I should note that the hostess went on to say that she had recently heard some troubling news about a family member’s health, so she had been preoccupied that week.
Clearly, however, the claim that “upperclassmen puke everywhere all the time and the janitors clean it up,” is no excuse for the perpetuation of this type of behavior and is, thankfully, not factual, although my recent experience makes me begin to doubt that.
And so my message to you is this: if you find yourself about to be sick, please try to contain yourself. Do the right thing and do what I did during frosh week: bring your trash can into the bathroom to vomit (?), get locked out of your room without pants on in the process, and sleep on your neighbors’ window seat for the remainder of the night. If you find the urgency of your situation has prevented you from taking the tactful, logical steps I took, please do the right thing and at least try.
Try taking a note from the girl my dear friend Melissa and I encountered in a bathroom stall while on “safety patrol” during eating club formals weekend last spring: vomit on the floor while sitting on the toilet, see the error of your ways, and attempt to clean up your regurgitation with your bare hands, performing for others a sort of dance, framed by the floor and the bottom of the stall door, of just your hands fruitlessly swiping at a vomit-covered floor, like two malfunctioning window wipers.
The poor girl meant well, and I like to believe that deep down, beneath the lapses in judgment such as those my hallmate, the door-urinator, and the door-urinator’s hostess experienced, we all do.