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The Bathroom Reviewer: Whatcha been Eaton?!?

Arts & Culture | February 28, 2011

Hailing from sunny Los Angeles and soggy Seattle, we’ve noticed a few problems with how Tufts does winters. Buildings are always heated to 100 degrees instead of a cool room (ROOM!) temp, and what’s even worse is when you run into a building with a full bladder and five layers of clothing and find nowhere to properly relieve yourself of either. A hook (if it hasn’t been ripped off the door by God knows what) is only so big. C’mon Tufts. Give us the space we need to do our business! In this vein, we find particular fault with the Eaton first floor bathrooms and their wretched McStalls.

MEN

On the outside, Eaton is a beautiful building—Corinthian columns, cornices, and aegises abound. On the inside, things get strange. Narrow, sloped hallways and brown heather carpets do little justice to the beautiful neoclassical exterior. What lies hidden behind the dark wood grain doors of the men’s Eaton bathroom is similarly odd. The aforementioned bathroom contains the following: three sinks, three stalls, two soap dispensers, one paper towel machine, fifty three instances of graffiti, and one large-ass pillar.

Entering the bathroom, the first thing a man encounters is a single pillar. Despite lacking the neoclassical adornment of the pillars outside Eaton, this pillar is the focal point of the bathroom. It gives the bathroom a unique character. If you ask someone to describe the Eaton bathroom, they will probably say, “Oh yeah, it’s the one with that huge pillar right in the center of the bathroom,” or they might mention that the bathroom has a sink to stall ratio of 1:1. Three sinks for a mere three stalls—what is this strange overemphasis on cleanliness? You might say that, in a bathroom, there cannot be an overemphasis on cleanliness. I would counter your claim by saying, “Yes, there can be.” More sinks do not clean hands make. Be honest, have you ever been in a bathroom with two sinks and thought to yourself, “Damn, I really wish there was another sink.” Nope, ’cause three sinks is just strange. Eaton’s men’s bathroom is fine, but if you don’t like the heebeegeebies, I would not recommend it for more than an absolutely necessary urination.

WOMEN

Aside from freshman pre-registration and a few overcrowded meetings, I’ve only entered Eaton on my own accord twice—each time an attempt to pull an all-nighter. (Consequently, Eaton is both my least-visited academic building on campus and probably my most slept-in academic building on campus). And when do you gotta go more than when your hydration station consists of water, Snapple, and the all-powerful bowel-flushing coffee?

My normal public bathroom routine is to make a beeline for that big ol’ handicap stall, and that’s that (though I swear if I heard the roll of a wheelchair or the clickety clack of crutches I would stop mid-pee to give that woman her rightful toilet!). However, in Eaton, it’s more like a Goldilocks and the Three Bears routine.

First, I go to the Papa Bear stall, where up until recently, a huge chunk of ceiling was missing. This kickstarts my Jewish (Goldilocks the schlimazel) neurosis, and I start to consider the ceiling people who may be watching me, the camera that may be feeding to a television owned by the ceiling people (or worse, AEPi), and, of course, the rats and/or snakes that might attack me whilst I am in a compromising position. If you travel to the Papa Bear Stall today, you’ll notice the ceiling has been repaired, yet other problems have arisen. The toilet seat has been mysteriously detached from the toilet itself. Though I am a pro-squatter and have the thigh muscles to prove it, I still wouldn’t take a chance on that dodgy-ceilinged stall.

So, like Goldilocks, I go down the line to the Mama Bear stall which, more often than not, is backed up (whatcha been Eaton, Mama Bear? Fiber-rich porridge!).

If only the final stall was juuuuust right.

In reality, it is anything but(t). A discussion with guy friends and a quick bout of investigative journalism has confirmed that the Baby Bear Stall exists on both the men’s and women’s sides. You know what I’m talking about. That itsy bitsy stall that has literally been built for Baby Bear and assumes that his growth will be severely stunted to runt status. If you walk in there with all your winter gear, very little space is left for your actual body—especially if said body has been contorted into squatting pose. My face is all up in my down (coat), my hands are holding onto my backpack, and my eyes are looking at the hat unsteadily balanced upon the hidden tip of the hook. Jewish neurosis, welcome back.

Alas, Eaton doesn’t provide Goldilocks with a happily ever after. And you have to admit, that’s a super sneaky defense mechanism. My advice? Defer to the fancy one-seater upstairs.