Life Advice



Ask Amy: Pandemic stress is a risk to health

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Got to Go’s question is: After you have used a public toilet, should you leave the seat up – or down?

I promised to conduct an informal poll and to tally the results.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really think this through.

I’ve received several hundred responses – some containing lengthy narratives – which means that I have spent much of the last week reading about toilets.

My favorite response is below, because it comes from someone with a wealth of knowledge, who I assume has seen way too much, toilet-wise.

Dear Amy: With 35 years of experience as a flight attendant, I know something about gender nonspecific bathrooms. Although my airline had no policy on this subject, I have thoughts about this, which follow:

1) If there is a lid and a seat, always lower both before you leave.

2) If there is just a seat, raise it, simply because there are enough men out there who do not think to raise it if it is down; and a missed approach is highly likely.

3) If you are a dude, consider sitting so as not to splatter, and always wipe the rim with paper before washing your hands and leaving.


4) And women should never use it as a squat toilet. Ever!

For everybody, please just tidy up as a sign of respect for your fellow humans. – Cleaned Up Enough

Dear Cleaned Up: I can only imagine the stories you and your colleagues have stored in your (neatly packed) roller bags.

Thank you for your service.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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