Dear Annie: My wife and I and four friends went out to dinner at a new restaurant. They had a ladies’ room and a men’s room visible from where we sat. After the meal, I needed to go. The men’s room was locked (it was a single-stall situation). I walked around for a bit and came back after nearly 10 minutes. The door was still locked, and I continued to wait. Finally, I couldn’t last any longer. The women’s room was unlocked and vacant, so in I went. When I came out, everyone said that I was rude and out of line. I said that they were being overly sensitive! What should I have done?
— Almost Up a Tree
Dear Almost Up a Tree: You did your due diligence in waiting for the men’s room. Next time, I’d caution you not to wander around the restaurant, in case the person emerges and you miss your opportunity. And I’d encourage you to go to the restroom preemptively, before it’s an emergency. That said, I don’t think anyone can fairly call you rude here. It was a single-stall bathroom, and you ensured that it was empty before entering. If your wife and friends find that so uncouth, I’d ask them what the other options were in that moment. Sometimes, when nature calls, you have no choice but to answer.