Advice #8: What To Do When Your Friend Falls Asleep In The Bathroom

Hello? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody in there?

Hello? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody in there?

As we travel through this magical journey we call life, sometimes a thing will happen to you where all of life’s charming clichés just don’t apply and you find yourself wondering what common sense and good taste dictates you should do, as you’ve never heard anything one way or the other on the topic. Last night, a good friend was staying over and mentioned he needed to use the restroom. I didn’t find anything odd about this until about two hours later, when I noticed he was still in there. You might be sitting there, reading this, thinking you know exactly what you’d do in this situation, but are you sure? It’s easy enough when you’re talking about a hypothetical situation, but what happens when it happens to you and other people in the house are asleep? I’ll tell you what happens: You pace back and forth outside the bathroom and try to figure out what the hell to do. Allow me to explain.

Imagine where people's hands have been right before they put them against that wall to get up.

Imagine where people’s hands have been right before they put them against that wall to get up.

When someone goes to that bathroom, that’s their own private time. I hate people who try to talk to me through a bathroom door. It’s the worst. If you’re listening through the door for a response then you’re also hearing the other sounds of the bathroom that you really shouldn’t be hearing at all. If you have an overactive imagination such as my own, these noises are in no way pleasant and the images they evoke can often make me dry heave like whatever Tim Horton’s is currently calling “sugar” in their coffee. Once the bathroom door is closed it’s your duty, as a friend or family member, to respect that closed door and wait until the person who locked it is ready to unlock it and face the world again. If they’re not ready yet then I believe it goes against a certain code to try to rush them, even if they’ve been in there for two hours already. You can count, on one hand, the number of reasons it’s acceptable to talk to a person through a bathroom door. The house is on fire. You won the sweepstakes. Macgyver is on and it’s the one where he flashes back to shooting his childhood buddy in the stomach and killing him (check the facts, that actually happened). In this case, none of those things were happening.

I can only take so much, though, so I finally started to knock on the door. I didn’t want to do it, but I also didn’t want to face my friend the following morning and explain that I left them to sleep in the bathroom because I couldn’t be bothered knocking on the door to see if he was okay. I started to get visions of him slipping on a wet floor and falling, bashing his head on the dreaded toilet slab, possibly falling, unconscious, into the toilet itself. Then I imagined myself laying comfortably in bed while my friend slowly bled to death into a toilet. I was wondering if I was going to really have to cross some lines and actually try to open the door. This is the sign of a real friend, by the way. If someone is willing to unlock the door and make sure you’re still alive when you’re unconscious in the bathroom then you should know that what you have there is a real friend. Someone who will go Above and Beyond. Someone who is willing to take one for the team. Someone who doesn’t Let Down The Side. Luckily for everyone involved, though, he began to snore through the door.

Oh dear..

Oh dear..

I’m not a doctor, but I will tell you that people who are dying horribly seldom snore. There are way too many other things they’d rather be doing. He was clearly alive and asleep, but did that leave me, as a friend and ruler of that particular bathroom, in the clear? I think not. I recalled that he was wearing his jacket when he went in which meant his phone would be in there with him. People might not wake up when you knock on the door of the bathroom they’re sleeping in, but a person’s ring tone usually has a little bit more power over the sleeping individual, and so I called the phone, waiting to hang up as soon as he answered. I had no problem with the idea of facing him when he emerged, but I was not going to talk to him while he was in there. Isn’t there some kind of rule against that? There should be. It doesn’t matter, though, because the phone didn’t wake him either. If you don’t have any friends who drink alcohol then you might be doubting the sincerity of this story, but you would be completely incorrect to do so. Anyone who has friends who drink knows where I’m coming from here.

So what are you supposed to do when your friend falls asleep in the bathroom? Well, you’re supposed to try to wake them up, even though you don’t want to and you’re fairly certain there are unspoken rules about trying to do something like that. He wouldn’t wake up, no matter what I tried, and so I finally went to bed. Not to sleep, though. I started thinking about various parties I’ve been to where one of the two bathrooms was occupied all night until someone finally just went and opened the door, revealing an over-intoxicated party-goer passed out with their pants around their ankles and their head in their lap. How does it happen? I mean, I’ve had a lot to drink in the past. I went through a period where I was having blackouts (as a diabetic this is very dangerous. I no longer drink alcohol this way, worry not!) and even still I was not sleeping in any bathrooms. I’ve fallen asleep on the train standing up, and once crouched against a wall beside a club I was waiting to get into. I’ve never fallen asleep in a bathroom, though.

For what it’s worth, with all the questions that were raised, I’m pretty sure he ended up sleeping better than I did last night. The world is a fabulous place.

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