Urine Luck | Northwest Family Recreation Center

by Emily Dressler

The Northwest Family Recreation Center bathrooms are some of the most chameleonic bathrooms I’ve experienced. Bold statement, I know. 

The bathrooms are easy to find: Enter from the parking lot side of the building, make a right down the hallway and you have three choices: Women’s, Family, or Men’s bathroom. For this adventure, I chose the women’s room. 

Experience has shown me that the day and time of your visit determines the condition of the bathroom. Typically, I use these bathrooms on Saturday morning during what I call the ballet class derby. On these days, the bathroom, which consists of two standard stalls and one large one, is busy but surprisingly serviceable. A lot of kids use the bathroom to change in or out of their ballet clothes, and their parents usually wait outside so they don’t have to see them sitting on the bathroom floor in their underwear. 

On Saturdays, the bathroom detritus typically consists of bits of toilet paper and the stickers that kids get during their dance class. There’s usually some water splashed around the sink and floor (a major no-no if you’re in ballet slippers). This is in stark contrast to the weekday bathroom visits I’ve experienced. 

I was here on a Thursday night a while ago and the bathroom detritus was not as innocent. There was toilet paper, yes, but way more of it and in weird places. There was litter laying about. There was an item in the toilet — let’s be frank; we know each other well enough by now — it was a turd, and there was some splash on the toilet seat. I honestly thought I had mistakenly wandered into the men’s room due to the mess. When I washed my hands, there was no soap or paper towels. Maybe I had unlocked a rec center portal to hell. Apparently they really clean the place up for the Saturday ballet dance derby. 

My suggestion is that if you are at the Rec Center during the week or in the evening and the library next door is open, just go there. (The paper towel dispenser in the library bathroom looks like a 1990s printer. It’s sweet. Both bathrooms have the same tetris-type tile design.) 

As another aside, I have been to the playground and baseball/softball field in front of the NW rec center at all times of day or night and have not once been able to use the bathrooms that are accessible from outside. They are always locked. And that always sucks. 

Some days, the bathroom is a solid ⅗, but other days, the bathroom drops down to a ⅖. Let’s go with the average of 2.5 toilets. The fake flowers on the sink aren’t helping.

Also: Shout out to Mrs. Lee’s newswriting class at Ellet High School. You guys rock. Did your school administrators ever take that garbage can out of the bathroom ceiling? If not, it’s a pretty good metaphor for high school, in that I don’t actually know what it means but it looks kinda cool and maybe dangerous.

Emily Dressler has been writing Urine Luck with Marissa since 2015. She is also now on the Devil Strip Board of Directors!

Photo: Emily Dressler