Think back to K-12, when you had to ask permission to go to the bathroom. You needed a hall pass, so you’d say “Miss, can I go to the bathroom?” and she’d snidely reply, “I don’t know, can you?” Then everyone would laugh and laugh and laugh.
It seems that the fellas have been able to let that neurotic bathroom conditioning (and a trumpeting fart) slip much better than the ladies. The Daily Get Up’s Kelaine Conochan and Justin Wright describe bathroom etiquette from their respective perspectives.
This is the sitting down and standing up to pee showdown.
Fart one of a two-fart series. Excuse me. That’s Part One of a two-part series.
Kelaine Conochan, 27 year-old female. Sits down to pee.
Rule #1. The Nineteenth Amendment should have included rights to poop freely.
When I dormed at college, I would turn on the shower as white noise before I pooped. That’s how paranoid I was that someone would pop-in and hear the plop-in. For some reason, women (and some men) are mortified by the fact that, like every vertebrate, women actually poop. You want to know why your girlfriend is so uptight? Maybe it’s because she hasn’t pooped in three days.
Our shame is the same reason that every woman who needs to poop enters a public restroom like she is embarking on a covert operation.
Enter slowly and quietly, and make sure no one is trailing you. Upon entering the restroom, pan for bystanders in plain sight.
IF NO BYSTANDERS: Proceed into the farthest stall from the entrance quickly and safely. This is the designated”invisibility stall” where no one can see you. Be aware of whether your shoes are distinguishing – if you decided to wear orange pumps today, be extra careful.
IF THERE ARE BYSTANDERS: Greet them casually and assess if they are just entering or just exiting the restroom.
IF SHE IS ENTERING: Pretend you’re looking for something you left on a previous trip to the bathroom. Shrug your shoulders while saying “I can’t seem to find it,” and exit. Find another restroom or come back in 5-10 minutes.
IF SHE IS EXITING: Remain outside a stall until she leaves.
Once the coast is clear, you may enter a stall. Poop quickly and quietly. Wash your hands and exit as surreptitiously as you entered.
IF SOMEONE ENTERS THE BATHROOM WHILE YOU ARE IN THE STALL: Pause and assess the situation.
IF YOU HAVE ALREADY COMMENCED POOPING: Hold on tight. Do everything you can to prevent all sounds. If you feel a sound coming on, give a nice cough or a flush.
The intruder is aware of this sacred code and will do her business and exit as quickly as possible. Remember, she has already done a full bathroom scan and knows someone is in here. I hope you’re not wearing distinct shoes that give you away.
IF YOU HAVE NOT COMMENCED POOPING: Consider flushing and exiting nonchalantly. If that’s not an option, hold on tight. Yes, I’m talking about your sphincter. You must wait until the intruder leaves, then poop quickly and quietly.
Justin Wright, 25 year-old male. Stands up to pee.
Rule #1. Beauty does exist. It should be lauded.
There are times when you unleash an entire opera’s worth of sonic bliss into this world, and sometimes that is really fucking funny. It’s OK to laugh. There are terrible, mystifying noises constantly occurring in The Men’s Room, but we all know what a good pooter sounds like, and we all know how to swell with pride when we really get a hold one. It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve been seen entire compounds of stalls burst out into laughter after a particularly good one.
Go ahead and laugh. You’re in a safe place.
But, you can’t just be a Laughing Larry all the time. You need to make sure you’re adhering to the decorum expected.
Sits down to pee.
Rule #2. Not a peep while you peep.
You run into Melissa from accounting, and girrrrrl does she have a story for you! She starts to tell you all about it as you walk into the restroom. You both take a quick scan of the landscape and head into a stall. Conversation continues as the stall doors swing shut. Then, you turn the lock and something magical happens. Like clockwork, Melissa ceases conversation mid-thought.
Why in the? How in the?
Well, what kind of listener would you be if you were distracted by the sound of pee? Just wait a mere 30 seconds until you hear the flush. That is your cue that it’s acceptable to resume conversation.
Stands up to pee.
Rule #2 – Shut up.
This isn’t news. To me, there is nothing worse than my enjoyment of a wonderfully silent Men’s Room being ruined by two jack-asses yammering about their horrendous marketing jobs, lat workouts or some girl named Skittles. I need 4 minutes max to be in and out of the bathroom. I don’t care what Twitter makes you think, your blathering can wait.
Whoever’s idea it was to design these things like a damn echo chamber ought to be slapped in one so I can hear that puppy ring for days. It’s like sitting in a concrete stairwell with 30 trumpets; the only place the sound can go is through your soul. I do not need my beautiful thoughts interrupted by your wordspew bouncing off the walls 50 times. Why don’t we make these things out of felt?
Walking in with someone sitting in a stall talking on the phone has happened to all of us, but the problem is that all of us haven’t reacted with an aneurism.
What the hell are you doing on the phone?
Forget the fact that there will not ever be anything important enough to your business that you need to talk about it while doing your business. It’s a respect thing. If you call me on the phone, that time is to pay attention to what I have to say to you. If you call while on the shitter then you can die because fuck you, that’s why. If you’re equating that very special time that should be set aside for yourself, you’re not respecting yourself. But you’re a piece of shit, so really it’s fine.
What other unspoken rules are there in the Men’s and Women’s Rooms? Stay tuned tomorrow for move coverage from the throne.