I had the good fortune to spend a day at Disney World with family over the weekend. At one point I herded 4 young girls into the ladies room. Two were mine, two were nieces.
Once safely inside, and while enjoying the echo afforded me by a public tiled restroom, I used my best announcer voice, “LADIES, PLEASE KEEP MOVING ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE END OF THE ROW SINGLE FILE. KEEP YOUR HANDS BY YOUR SIDES AND DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. AND BY “ANYTHING”, I MEAN NOTHING AT ALL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR ATTENTION.”
I could sense much eye rolling and heavy sighing that is linked with embarrassment. These are moments that I live for.
When we arrived at our destination, I gave an impromptu speech and demonstration as to the art of properly administering the handy seat cover to the toilet.
The “feathering of the nest” as it were.
More eye rolling, sighing, and self conscious giggling.
I smiled to myself. My mother would be so proud.
When I was growing up, long before the invention of the disposable seat cover, my mother was militant about arranging the toilet paper over the public toilet so that not one centimeter of flesh should ever come in contact with the seat. It was an art form, really. As it took two layers to properly ensure a sanitary seal.
Three layers if the toilet paper was extra cheap in nature.
Whenever we had the misfortune of visiting the public lavatory, my mother would holler into my stall, “DID YOU FEATHER YOUR NEST?”
Utilizing her best southern accent.
She did this every. single. time. And every single time, I died a slow death of mortification. She continued this ritual until I was well into my adulthood.
And I have to admit, that as soon as I was out of my parent’s house, I threw caution to the wind and NEVER feathered my nest again.
Until I became a parent, that is.
That little rebellious spirit is one reason that I still, to this day, spend a good deal of my long distance telephone conversations apologizing to my dad for everything I put my parents through.
At one point during my demonstration, Emme entered a stall and asked, “Mom, what if I DON’T feather my nest?”
“Well. Then I’ll have to disinfect your hinny right here at Disney World.”
The thought of this amused the other 3 girls. And then I heard the distinct removal of the disposable seat cover and sensed it was put in place after all.
As all 4 girls were washing their hands as if preparing for surgery, Emme noted to her cousin, “My mom is embarrassing.”
You ain’t seen nothing yet, sister. My fun is only just beginning.
And so the tradition continues.
And truth be told, I would give nearly anything to hear my mom’s voice once more echoing over the stall.
“Did you feather your nest?”