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Woman With Upset Stomach Called Out For Stealing Handicap Bathroom Stall From Elderly Lady

Woman with upset stomach in bathroom
Antonio Hugo Photo/Getty Images

We can all agree on how important it is to be polite, especially in social situations.

We’ve likely all had a day ruined or at least impacted by someone who was rude to us, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Unusual_Parsnip_6601 recently had to be the rude one in public when she had a sudden bought of indigestion and needed to immediately use the restroom.

When her only options were to cut in line and use the handicapped stall, or make a mess in the public restroom, the Original Poster (OP) did the only thing she felt she could.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for cutting the line and stealing the handicapped bathroom stall from a disabled person?”

The OP was recently out shopping.

“I’m not kidding: On Friday, I was shopping at this Ranch99 store and it has restaurants in it.”

“I’ve been having some stomachaches but not sure why, thought maybe it was my period soon. It’s an Asian shop and it was also the autumn moon festival so it was crowded.”

But then the OP experienced something she definitely wasn’t shopping for.

“Suddenly, I HAD to go. I left everything in a cart in the aisle and ran for the bathroom.”

“There was a decent-sized line but I just ran forward and cut in front of everyone.”

“There was an elderly woman who was about to make her way to the handicapped stall but I rushed forward, and blurted out, ‘I’m sorry, I really need to go.'”

“She tried to protest (along with other people in line), but I disregarded them and ran in and locked the door.”

“It was followed by explosive diarrhea that was very audible to everyone.”

The OP wasn’t sure what else she could have done.

“The grandma and all the other guests were hurling insults at me for being disrespectful and saying I was horrible for cutting in line but honestly, it felt like an emergency.”

“I didn’t have time to stop and think. I just acted because I couldn’t hold it anymore.”

“She was a grandma, whether she was disabled or not is unknown. She was going to the disabled stall since that was the only one open.”

“This is an Asian place, and hugely taboo to do that to an elderly… so I got a ton of heat. They all were yelling at me and I was yelling back, ‘I’m sorry!’ in-between the other sounds.”

“Was I an AH for cutting all the people in line to the bathroom and essentially stealing the stall from the grandma?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some YTA

“YTA, and I say this as someone with IBS. Everyone in that line was there because they ‘had to go,’ and it’s very possible that at least one of those people was sweating and gritting their teeth, praying they’d make it in time. I’ve been one of those people.” – Shalamarr

“YTA. Maybe others weren’t feeling well either, but they were waiting their turn.” – Vinnie-Vega

“YTA. The other people in line may have the same emergency and they’ve waited their turn. I can’t believe you’re asking if you’re the a**hole when this is common sense.” – not_ya_wify

“YTA. Even though I get it, think we’ve all been there, but it doesn’t make what you did any less rude or offensive. There were other people who could have been seriously struggling, too.”

“Sadly, had you asked, they probably wouldn’t have cared. I’ve been on both ends and everyone has always been understanding.” – Usual_Bumblebee_8274

“I voted YTA because the grandma was already going into the stall, and since the OP didn’t let anyone know (in another comment, she said she had to wait a little for a new bathroom to open), she should not have cut in front of her.”

“If she had let them know, ‘I’m having diarrhea, (please) let me go first,’ that would have been different, but in the time she stood there waiting, she said nothing of that effect and cut in front of a grandma who might very well have incontinence problems of her own, not to mention that it was the handicapped stall and people need that one specifically. Probably grandma needed that one specifically and couldn’t wait three more turns for OP to come out.”

“OP could have waited another few seconds for another stall to open up as they already said they waited a bit. Clench your butt and tell people around you what’s happening and don’t cut in front of a grandma who might very well s**t her pants because OP didn’t wanna wait a few more seconds.”

“Trust me, I have IBS and regularly have sudden onset explosive diarrhea; if she was able to stand there waiting for several seconds without pooping her pants, she could have waited a few more and not cut in front of a grandma literally making her way into the same bathroom.” – Acher0nitaAtr0p0s

Others agreed the OP was the AH but felt the moment was justified.

“YTA. However, I think you still did the right thing. Sometimes being an AH is justified.” – Ok_Loquat8678

“I mean, YTA for cutting a line, but I think it’s a bit justified. Hopefully, people were understanding.” – TryIllustrious6718

“YTA, but sometimes you just gotta be an a**hole. F**k them. These are the good YTA moments. You’re valid in your YTA moment, though; explosive s**ts are terrible.” – The_PE_Scientist

“YTA. As someone with IBS (often resulting in explosive diarrhea that leaves my a**hole long before I get to the toilet), I would never cut a bathroom line. Everyone there has to go; everyone else was more polite than you. It’s a line for a reason, not a competition of who has to go the worst.”

“Also, the disabled stall? Come on.” – 2bciah5facing

“Well, yes, YTA… But it was justified in the fact you’d have been a bigger AH if you’d crapped all over everyone when you could have done something about it.”

“Sometimes you just gotta doo what you gotta doo.” – Healthy-Judgment-325

But some felt the OP had only done what she needed to do in that moment.

“NTA, specifically because it was audibly and odorously obvious to everyone WHY you did it, so continuing to insult you was unnecessary.”

“Civility requires flexibility when need surpasses want.” – kblank45

“I’m going to say NTA. You didn’t cut in front because you were entitled, you had an emergency situation. I have been in a similar situation and if I had to choose between doing what you did or unloading in my clothes, I’d do the same thing. Glad you made it to the stall!” – BurritoBowlw_guac

“As a disabled person who sometimes really suddenly needs to GO, and who hates people taking the disabled stall just because they like the extra space or because they have kids, I have no problem with a person taking the disabled stall because they’re about to have explosive diarrhea.”

“OP can think of it as a temporary disability if she still feels bad. NTA.” – BluePencils212

“Was she supposed to sh*t all over the floor or something? This is a clear NTA. Does it suck for everyone waiting in line? 100% yes, but no one wants anyone sh*tting themselves in the bathroom line.” – Chagdoo

“I was at a state fair years ago. Before I left, I ate some yogurt and drank some orange juice. I did that every morning. About two hours into the fair, I started feeling sick. It’s extremely hot and humid outside.”

“I could feel that I was going to throw up. I ran to the bathroom and said, ‘Excuse me! Please! I’m going to throw up.'”

“I never realized just how nasty some women can be. One grabbed my arm and the others were yelling at me to get to the back of the line. Just as I was going to repeat myself, I vomited all over the floor (the trash can for paper toweling was on the other side of the room; otherwise, I would’ve puked in it).”

“Some women started gagging, and others were in disbelief. I finally got into a stall and continued to vomit. Finally, when I felt good enough to exit the stall and rinse and wipe my mouth, everyone stared at me.”

“I said, ‘I told you why I needed a stall.’ And then I pointed at the lady who grabbed my arm, and I said, ‘Don’t you ever touch another person! If I didn’t feel like crap, I’d knock you on your a**!'”

“So, no, NTA.” – Significant-Egg6426

“To be honest, I’m going NTA. I’ve been caught short a few times (when ya gotta go, you gotta go!).”

“I mean, to be fair, I don’t just run to the front but I do plead to be let in front, and as everyone can see the urgency on my face, they let me. Once, I was trying my best to hold it, but once others saw me doing the pee dance, they told me to go in front and use the disabled stall.”

“Given that they ran into the toilet (and the sounds that came after!), it’s clear this was an emergency and I don’t know how cold-hearted the others in line have to be to care more about line etiquette than somebody having a bathroom emergency.” – Just_Raisin1124

“I’m going to have to go with NTA. This was a genuine emergency and how humiliating on so many levels. All those people could literally HEAR what was going on and yet they continued to yell, even as you were apologizing.”

“If you hadn’t made it in time, there would’ve been a huge horrible mess and smell, not to mention the bathroom would’ve been closed down for hours so no one would be able to use it. You made the right decision that preserved your dignity, kept the bathroom clean and usable, spared fellow customers the sight and experience, and spared the cleanup person a horrible mess.”

“I feel for the elderly person, but d**n. In this situation, no one really wins.” – SilveryMagpie

This was one of those tough situations where it feels almost impossible to do the right and polite thing, and the subReddit was hugely divided on how the OP handled it.

Some believed that she was clearly the AH, but others argued that social etiquette does not exist above all in every situation, and this was one of those examples where an individual person’s needs needed to come before being polite.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.