Think happy thoughts

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

Have you ever walked into a bathroom where two or more stalls were occupied, but nobody seems to be doing anything?

Actually, scratch that – they’re definitely doing something. They are going stall-to-stall in an unmastered battle of wills. Everyone knows it, but nobody wants to be the first to make a move or acknowledge the bizarreness of the situation.

I’m not sure what it is about public restrooms, but they seem to be alternate universes where everyone collectively decides to pretend that nobody goes No. 2. The silence and tension in times like these are so intense, you’d think people are just huddled in stalls reading a Stephen King novel or struggling to figure out which wire will diffuse a bomb.

This column is starting off a little rocky, but I promise the bathroom humor has a point.

See? I can’t even write about the topic without feeling like I’m making people uncomfortable.

Anyway, every time I unknowingly enter one of these supremely awkward and unfortunate stand-offs, I just want to announce to the room, “It’s OK. We all do it. Birds do it; bees do it – actually, I’m not sure about bees, but birds DEFINITELY do it, am I right? *pause for laughter* Anyway, let’s get this show on the road and get back to class. What happens here, stays here. Nobody has to know that you, God forbid, have normal body functions.”

People just get so focused and bent out of shape about such small, inconsequential things that it’s as silly (and unnecessary) as bathroom humor at times.

Whether it is a surreal hesitation and fear of using a public restroom or, say, losing your mind over who won or didn’t win the Super Bowl, it’s a waste of energy.

Life is too full of other injustices to sweat the small stuff.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, according to CNN, 111.9 million people tuned in to watch the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers battle it out on a football field on Feb. 7. Meanwhile, also according to CNN, ABC’s GOP debate, which occurred the day before the Super Bowl, only garnered the attention of 13.2 million viewers.

Be more clear about where you place your allegiances, America – it’s still a little fuzzy what you truly care about.

But I don’t want to turn this into a “which is worse,” “which is more important” or “how dare you” column.

If we’re going to focus on the small stuff, let’s focus on some good small stuff.

For instance, whenever you feel your blood boiling over someone not using a turning signal, take a moment to think about how penguins constantly look like they want a big hug when they hold their wings out and waddle.

When a professor switches to a new presentation slide before you can finish taking the notes, remember how satisfying it feels when you secure one of the 23 parking spaces Murray State has graciously provided for its thousands of commuter students.

Whenever you’re reminded of how terrible parking is here, picture a kitten’s cute little fluffy paws and take a knee because that image just made you supremely emotional instead of calming your nerves – oops.

Hold whatever good thoughts or images you have close because when it comes down to it, life is really just one long bathroom standoff that we’re all just struggling to get through together.