Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who Are the People In Your Neighborhood? - Leah

Over the four consecutive years Charmin Restrooms have graced Times Square, more than 1.5 million people have passed through the doors. Each person with a unique personality and story to share. The past few weeks have been no exception, and as I spend chunks of time on the floor and out and about in the city, I now have a few favorites. Some stories have been unreal in humor and some with inspiring human spirit. All have moved me to laughter or misty eyes, due to the amazing openness of strangers, and their ability to entrust me with their personal experiences.

"The Funnest Moms Ever"

We were having a fairly calm afternoon when a hurricane that started in Florida blew in ... Enter Meghan, Amy, Shay, Nicole, and Janine, Five amazing moms who first met at The MOMS Club of Valrico-Bloomingdale. Moms Offering Moms Support is a chapter of International MOMS Club ® , a non-profit organization with over 75,000 members in seven different countries. The club offers women "the chance to build lasting friendships with other moms," and witnessing these ladies in action, I can say there is truth to that statement. Their energy was contagious and I couldn't help but want to hang with and find out all about them. Now living spread out across the US, the women gathered in NYC to celebrate Nicole's 40th Birthday. Between them, they have 13 kids all under the age of 10! Janine, with loving exasperation and the attitude of a well seasoned veteran, said she has been through "lots of butt wiping." All the moms chuckled, but shook their heads in vigorous agreement. They were nowhere near shy or embarrassed about the subject matter, and mentioned that you simply get desensitized to the last leg of the digestive process. Meghan didn't even flinch in telling us that she helped her kids go on-the-go by keeping a portable potty and all the necessities in her van! After competing in line to create the best Designer TP Dress, Janine proclaimed that they were the "funnest moms in the funnest bathroom ever!"

Her joy was made evident in the Head over Heels rating and cartwheel she did after her chance to go.

Even more impressive than being devoted mothers, they were amazing woman who knew how to seize the day and celebrate life and the supportive friendships they had created along the way. Amy told me how her boys won't do their "business" in school, because much to their chagrin there aren't flushable wipes like Charmin freshmates available to them. Nicole told me about a code that her family uses to signal internal distress. CODE 29. CODE 29 gets it's name from the last row in an aircraft that resides directly next to the toilet. Nicole confessed that she once had the bad belly blues and had to potty hop from rear to mid, to front cabin pots to get it all out in time for her landing in NYC! With close quarters, and no good way to disguise the problem, she and her family nick-named the intestinal drama CODE 29! Now anytime her kids have to go, they shout out "Mom I gotta CODE!", which Nicole feels is a little more polite than shouting out an alternative. Hilarious!

After spending an hour with us, we took their picture on the Royal throne, and they were our queens for the day! I hope their families continue to treat them like royalty, because each and every one of them is truly a rock star mom. Charmin salutes you, ladies!

Charmin's Angels

Dorothy Millen. M-i-l-l-e-n. Priceless. I am telling you, there are times in this life where I feel so privileged to interact with certain people, that I literally get choked up. Dorothy Millen is one of those people. She strolled in with deliberate determination, her rolling walker and a smile that lit up the room. Her aura was infectious and as I looked up from my blogging station, I was riveted by this angelic woman. She told Antonio and me that she lived in Atlanta, Georgia now but used to reside in the NY area. Without hesitation or second thought, she dished the dirt. She was staying in a suite at the Waldorf Hotel. (Forgive me Waldorf, no disrespect intended, but she asked me to relay this message. : ) To Dorothy's surprise the toilet paper in her room was the worst she'd ever encountered! She described it as the thinnest tissue, lacking gentile softness, then burst into fits of laughter! Her companion was aghast with the giggles over Dorothy's candor! I'm telling you she had everyone in stitches! Strangers were snapping pictures of her boisterous display! I kept thinking can I PLEASE adopt this woman as my Grandmother?! I bounded out of my seat determined to rectify the uncomfortable situation for her immediately! I disappeared backstage, and on the down low gifted her with a roll of Ultra Soft! Shh! I simply could not bear the thought of this darling woman torturing herself even one more time with anything less than the best! Through chortles, she blessed my heart, and began her story. "Have you ever heard of a Bucket List? Well this trip to New York City was number one on my list! This is my neighbor from Atlanta (angel Number two who somehow managed to remain anonymous!), and because I couldn't go it alone, she came with me back to New York!"

Folks, Dorothy is a spry 90 years old!!! Just a side note: She was 90, friends, and did not complain once or ask for the special treatment in line that people less than half her age sometimes do! The two women appeared to be having the time of their lives tripping the light fantastic, seeing a slew of shows and doing everything except sitting still. It seemed as if they belly laughed throughout their entire tour. After their joy was frozen in time by a photo at the throne of honor, Dorothy's trusted companion remarked that this was the best entertainment of the day! Disgruntled that she couldn't give a gratuity to Tashawn a sweet young employee that had initially helped her upstairs, Dorothy settled with showering us with hugs and well wishes.

It probably sounds silly, but I was genuinely bummed to watch her disappear behind the closing elevator doors. There was such a great display of generosity and kindness that afternoon. The kind that restores my faith in human interaction. Dorothy is a remarkable inspiration. Thank you Dorothy. You left me with a lasting impression of a life well lived.

Check out her interview below!

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