Have You Ever Wanted To Give A Time Out To An Adult?

I was sitting with my husband and kids in McDonald’s stealing their fries, when I nearly gave my first adult-to-adult time out.  This is akin to a citizen’s arrest but much scarier to administer.

This is what happened: A woman passed by our table and went into the lady’s room hastily. The odd part is that she had her fountain drink in her hand. I shuddered a little at the thought of taking your beverage into a public bathroom, but then convinced myself that she was just dumping the ice in the sink and throwing it away.

She exited the lady’s room in a rush, and I had to look — drink in hand. I had alerted my husband to the situation, so he was also on alert as she exited the facilities. We gave each other a mild look of disgust. He then said to me (with a tone) “And now you know why I won’t touch pot luck!” (because apparently all meals at pot luck events have been prepared on the unwashed counter of an interstate rest stop).

There was still time for her to throw the drink away without further mouth-straw interaction.

And then it happened.

She approached the self-serve fountain and REFILLED the offending cup. There was definite cup/dispenser bar contact.

I know this probably won’t kill anyone, and is probably less disgusting than going back for refills after your mouth has touched the cup, but in that moment, all I could think about was WHERE the cup was sitting while she did her business.

Was she still holding it with one hand while wiping with the other? I’m pretty sure getting toilet paper from those chintzy dispensers requires two hands (at a minimum).

Perhaps it was on the counter? But if she was okay leaving it unattended on the bathroom counter, why wouldn’t she just have left it at her table?

Was there actual drinking going on in there?

Please, please tell me that she didn’t set it on the floor in the stall.

What kind of water pressure are we talking about here?

Was there any flush spray??

My mind jumps ahead to what has escalated to a public toilet spray-related outbreak requiring its own 20/20 expose’.

I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to handle this situation, and my typical attempts not to judge other people went out the window. I fantasized about issuing her a firm time out. I looked to see if she had any electronic devices I could confiscate for the remainder of her stay at McDonald’s. I braced myself for a tantrum, projectiles and a declaration of her hatred for me (you know, the usual time out backlash).

Unfortunately I quickly realized that I am terrified of conflict with other adults, and resolved instead to write a blog PSA to warn other moms. While we have all heard the term, this incident brings new meaning to the term ‘potty mouth’.

Be warned.

Have you ever wanted to give a time out to another adult?

This post was originally featured on Susan’s blog, Pecked to Death By Chickens.