Our department just recently moved into a new area at our office. Whereas we had a private, one-stall bathroom in our previous area (unisex, mind you), we are now directly located next to the three-stall version on the upper floor, where most of the women congregate (we have wheelchair accessible single stalls elsewhere, much farther away). Out of convenience, we now mostly use this more "communal" version nearby.
What I've noticed since using this bathroom is the amount of chit chat and useless banter that happens between the women in there. To me, the bathroom is a sanctuary, a quiet place. But to other women, they seem happy to talk about the weather, or whatever happened at morning devotions, or to ask questions about one another in an effort just to keep it from being awkwardly quiet. It's like they can't stand being alone with their own thoughts. It seems they also often think I must be dying for someone to talk to me because it never fails that I get cornered by one of the many coworkers I don't know too well (we have an 80-person office) wanting to know when Wayne will be home, when my baby's due, how I feel, or how our department likes the aforementioned new location.
Maybe it's because I've gotten used to living in solitude, with only Dora to chat with in the mornings while I primp for work. Or maybe it's my hormones (another preggo lady told me recently it's normal that EVERYTHING irritates you in the third trimester...which I'm finding true). Or perhaps, it's because I was a contented only child for my first nine years and value quiet more than others. Regardless, restroom small talk is not for me. When I'm in the bathroom, it's my small sliver of time in the day when I can remove my work face and pay attention to myself for 2 or 3 minutes. Not pay attention to YOU, whoever you may be, talking to me from the next stall.