It is an unwritten, but obvious rule of dorm life that people do not converse in the bathroom. The only exception is if you know the person well enough you don’t care if they look at your face at 3:00, 5:00, or 8:00 A.M. Or noon.

For example, it was perfectly acceptable for me to chat with my friend about our history project while we brushed our teeth. But it was not alright for the girl who always says “hey” to everyone to say “hey” to me as I walked out of the bathroom stall.

Of course the most obvious tidbit of dorm etiquette is that at no time do you ever, ever talk to someone in the shower room. Once you cross the threshold into the land of showerdom, you don’t even so much as glimpse at the showers if someone else is using them. You stare at the ground, march forward, and mind your business.

The only time it is appropriate to talk to someone in the shower room is if you are related to them. This is why I didn’t consider it offensive when my younger sister stayed the night and screamed from the shower beside me that she needed my shampoo.

I was not, am not, and never intend to be related to the girl who lives in 117. Like the “hey” girl, only more bizarre, 117 will either completely ignore you or call you some pet name before trapping you in a pointless conversation.

She had been ignoring me on one particular day in October, which I was grateful for. After a long day I was looking forward to a hot shower and the few minutes of relaxation it would provide.

As I entered the shower room I observed that someone was in the third shower. I followed proper protocol and kept my head down as I scurried to my destination. Home free, I loaded my supplies onto the all-too-tiny shower shelves, stepped inside, and almost had my robe untied.

Then it happened.

Someone said something.

To the best of my knowledge, there were only two people in the room…and I was 99.99% positive I hadn’t said anything.

I maintained silence, figuring it must have been my imagination. No one would dare talk to someone else in the shower room! I must have stayed up too late the night before.

Just as I had myself convinced I would go to bed earlier that night, the third shower door swung open, revealing the smiling, sudsy face of 117.

“Well hi there sweetie!” she said, as she enthusiastically cocked her head to the side.

“Hi!” I said, sounding both overly chipper and tremendously frightened.

She laughed and shook her head. “These showers are terrible for having conversations!”

Then as quickly as she appeared, 117 vanished back into the confines of her shower world.

She’s ignored me ever since.


Miranda Roehler is a senior Creative Writing and History major at The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, where she serves as the prose editor for The University of Findlay’s international literary journal Slippery Elm. Her writing has appeared in The University of Findlay’s campus-wide literary magazine From the Writer’s Kitchen and the online literary magazine Insert Lit Mag Here. In addition to her passion for writing, Miranda loves all things Kennedy, Disney, and Pembroke Welsh Corgi.