As luck would have it, the bathroom at the mall we were in had 5 stalls. Given that I was there with my three sisters and mom, and we all "had to go", this couldn't have been more perfect.
When I stepped into my stall, I noticed something funny: the toilet was smaller than usual. I commented on this, and as I proceeded to take my seat, my sisters chimed in from their perches. "Yeah, I noticed that too!", "Ha! That's weird", "I feel like a giant!"
From the last stall, I could hear my mom. "Oh my gosh! This is the smallest toilet I've ever seen." And she kept going. "This is like a baby toilet!", "It's soooo little!", "I can't get over how teeny it is."
The rest of us pitched in our annoyed teenage versions of "Yes, Mom. We get it. We heard you the first time."
I'm sure I rolled my eyes through her continued exclamations. We weren't going on and on about it, why was she?
On my way to the door after washing up, I happened to glance into the stall my mother had just occupied and let out a startled chirp of laughter at the sight that greeted me. The stall my mom had chosen must have been geared for a pre-schooler; the toilet in that stall must have been at most 1/2 the size of the toilets in the other stalls. My mom had been right, the toilet was cartoonishly and ridiculously tiny! I pointed out the difference to my mom and sisters and we had a good laugh about it.
Thinking about it after the fact, I realized I had partially tuned out my mom because I had assumed her experience was exactly the same as mine. I also came to understand that there are all sorts of assumptions I tend to make about other peoples' experiences especially with regard to how they relate to mine.
This bathroom brouhaha turned into a little life lesson: remember that there is no way to know what toilet someone (even yourself) is sitting on.