As Seen On The Bathroom Wall

The best ideas come while sitting on the pot.

So my husband and I had a discussion the other day about public restrooms. He wanted to know why women took so long in there? What was the deal, he wanted to know.

So I explained it to him - broke it down if you will.

Women are planners. Even the spontaneous, unpredictable ones plan their bathroom trips. Even if they don't realize they're doing it, they do. There are several different types of planners, as well as their respective plans that, if you pay close attention (hello guys) will follow a pattern that you can almost always predict.

Whatever the plan, however, the formula always tends to involve three main steps:

  • Find cleanest stall the furthest away from the door.
  • Make as little noise as possible while inside the stall.
  • Re-apply cosmetic.
Now, as simple as these steps may seem, there is a lot involved in them, for each step contains within them countless sub-steps that can often times cause delays that end up creating a backlog of problems that every other woman now standing in line must contend with.

Let's start with step number one. A woman likes to be clean. This is why she wants the cleanest stall in the bathroom. However, let's face it women, we're pigs. We're sows in the pig pen of humanity when it comes to our public restrooms. We would never leave drips or floaties in the toilet at home, so why do we do it at public restrooms? It's disgusting!

This being said, when there are no other alternatives, when you cannot find a single stall that is floatie or drop free, you're stuck having to take one of those sub-steps I spoke about: cleaning the seat and flushing. Now, the former can be done with mild disgust, followed by a moment of air drying, a double layer of toilet seat cover-pseudo protection, and then...release. However, the latter of the two is a whole other story. If there's something in there that needs flushing, chances are when you flush that toilet, it's going to spray some heavily noxious liquid up into the air and...yep, you guessed it. ONTO THE SEAT. So then we repeat the entire seat wiping, drying, covering process before the eventual release. By then, you're probably well on your way to a nice, fully invested urinary tract infection. Add another strike against that whole female cleanliness thing while you're at it.

This, of course, brings us to the next step. "Make as little noise as possible while in the stall." Sounds pretty easy, right? Wrong. See, for some strange reason, women don't like knowing that other women are hearing them do their business. It doesn't really matter what it is, but there is a hierarchy when it comes to absolute embarrassment on the bodily function scale. At the bottom of the rung is urinating. Well, women don't "urinate". This is a feminine process, so it's "peeing" or "tinkling". It's definitely not "pissing" because that would imply we're masculine and, unless you're perfectly okay with that, no woman wants her down-there-area associated with anything that you can write with.

Women are mildly accepting of urinating because it's unavoidable and, for most, impossible to keep at bay. Women will often take a friend with them into the restroom and, as though it had been agreed on beforehand - silently - the friend will begin washing her hands while the other does her thing. The sound of the water helps mask the...event, thereby easing the woman's embarrassment.

Second on that totem pole of embarrassment, and something that most women between the age of 13 and 56 can relate to, is the removal of the sanitary napkin. Oh that wonderful sound of adhesive being yanked off of a cotton panty and a new one being torn out of its unmistakable packaging. All women recognize the sound immediately, and it cannot be masked by running water. Thus enters the hot air hand dryer. That ever present friend, after washing her hands queues up to the dryer and, through some unspoken signal, refuses the paper towel and instead slams her hand against that large, silver button that sends that rush of loud, hot air blasting onto her hands, essentially baking in that lovely hard water she just sacrificed her hands to.

Most women have unnaturally speedy hands during this brief, thirty second moment of distraction, and can remove, wrap, unwrap, and place a sanitary napkin with enough time leftover to flush and leave a soaking wet seat behind her. It defies the laws of physics if you think about it, but most of us don't, so let's move on.

The third, and highest place on that totem pole is the king of all things embarrassing. It makes women stutter, turns their faces a magnificent shade of vermilion, and can render even the most intelligent of women absolutely speechless. It is: crapping. Women use euphemisms for defecating as well; pooing, doing number two, having a "BM". It's basically taking a shit with lace and flowers and sparkly moon dust. Only, we women know there is no lace and the only thing that smells like flowers is the automatic air freshener that just sprayed overhead, as though it knew what was coming. Let's also not forget that the only thing sparkling are the stars in our eyes when we realized that the woman in the stall next to us can smell it, too.

For some reason, women just do not like to take a dump in public. It's the absolute holy grail of things we won't do. We'll wear jeans that bare our ass crack to everyone and their grandchildren. We'll give birth in the middle of the freeway. Hell, we'll even have sex in elevators. But take a shit in a public bathroom? Now you've gone too far!

And so, as women, when we have no other alternative, when our sphincters are simply incapable of staving off any longer the brown recluse that threatens to poison not only our underwear and outer clothing, but also our social life, we sacrifice a little bit of our dignity and take the plunge. While I cannot guarantee much about the where, when, or why, I can guarantee that this will be the fasted bowel movement that each woman ever had. She will push that bad boy out so fast she'll create dents, and time might actually begin to move backwards just a bit to accomodate such a feat. And all of this is done so for one reason and one reason only: WE DO NOT WANT ANYONE ELSE TO KNOW WE'RE THE ONE FUNKING UP THE PLACE.

We will get this part over as quickly as possible because logic dictates that if a woman is spending more time in the stall than the other, then SHE must be the ones causing that foul odor. We forget, however, that if we're thinking out this strategy, then the other woman has thought that as well, and might have even pulled something like that off herself. The plots are ever thickening in a restroom, people. Even if no one is talking.

Hey, I forgot to mention one important piece of information that is extremely vital to the entire process and also helps to explain why some of us take longer than others. Many stalls do not come with locks on the doors, and for some reason, women can't function without that door being closed. This is where the foot-lock method comes into play. We raise one foot and press it firmly against the door, holding it shut against intrusion from any other clean-stall-searching woman who passed over the drippy, floater-having stall we did moments earlier. And yes, we women do bend down to see if a stall that is locked is occupied, and being women, we know when we see a one-legged woman sitting down without a cane nearby that she's probably got the one with the broken lock and so we say a silent prayer of thanks that, if we have to flush and wipe before we sit, at least we can do so with both feet on the ground.

Now, these two things usually proceed without much in the way of interruption, but should one occur, it usually - okay ALWAYS - comes in the form of the most annoying and absolutely inexcusable offense in bathroom etiquette: THERE'S NO TOILET PAPER.

We women are greedy when it comes to toilet paper, so we use a lot of that stuff. Women could wipe out an entire forest with just toilet paper alone because let's face it - we gotta wipe! So you can imagine what happens when we reach for that ubiquitous little square of white and find that there is none. A prepared woman won't panic, of course. She'll simply reach into her purse and pull out her trusty little pack of facial tissue. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the industrious women who MacGuyver themselves a couple of usable pieces of paper from the leftover cardboard roll. (That's where those callouses come from, by the way.) And then there are those in the middle. The ones who come neither prepared nor capable of jury-rigging themselves a square or two of emergency vag-wipes. These women take bathroom personal space to a whole new level, taking it upon themselves to ASK the woman in the next stall if she has any toilet paper that she could use.

Now, many of you might remember the scene in Seinfeld where Elaine went into the restroom and discovered that there was no toilet paper available, and when she asked if she could have a square, the response that met her was "I have no square to spare." We didn't know if she did or not. Well, the men didn't, anyway. But we women, we knew. We knew that by saying "I have no square to spare", the woman was really saying "Ew, I'm not sharing my toilet paper with you!"

Toilet paper is a commodity. You don't give it away for free - not when you have yet to wipe yourself. It's a matter of restroom survival - it's every woman's sanitation for herself. Granted, most of us WILL pass over a wad because we've been in that position ourselves before - it's why we started carrying around that purse-sized pack of kleenex - but some will refuse because, yet again, we've been in that position before and we were burned. We were burned - hard. And those scars haven't healed yet. And never will. But oh, do they feel better when we're the ones doing the burning...

Moving on, after our business has been concluded, toilets flushed, packages dumped, lingering funk trapped between stalls for the next occupant to expire from, we arrive to our last step. The reapplication of the cosmetics. Now granted, not every woman wears makeup, but don't let the name fool you. Cosmetic merely applies to the outward appearance. Hair, lips, eyes, clothes - whatever is outside is part of the reapplication process. We wash our hands and we dry them, then we return to the mirror to make sure that we look okay, because the last thing we want is to leave the restroom and face our impatient and upset significant others looking like we'd just taken a warp speed dump with one leg up in the air.


Rape Should Never Be Arbitrary

Take a look at these names:

Richard Burr (R-NC)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
John Isakson (R-GA)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Thune (R-SD)
David Vitter (R-LA)

Remember them come election time next year if they happen to represent your districts. These 9 men are part of a larger group of 30 who've chosen to take the side of large corporations who deem rape amongst employees to be something not worth criminally investigating but rather handled in-house via arbitration.

In layman's terms, they condone rape.

How? By believing that making contract clauses requiring victims of rape by fellow employees to not report said rape to the police illegal is wrongful governmental interference. Oh yes. The same individuals who went on for hours regarding ACORN, and how the government needs to get involved, are saying that the government should not bother with these corporations, that government shouldn't...well...govern, and that the Senate doesn't do things like that.

It's laughable, to be sure, to hear such a thing being uttered on Capitol Hill, but the sad reality is that there's nothing funny about rape. There's nothing amusing, enjoyable, or pleasant about it. How would any of those men feel if it had been their wife or their daughter who had been raped? How would they feel if their loved ones had been raped by a trusted co-worker, after being harassed without rebuke from supervisors, only to then be raped again - figuratively - by their employers who tell them that they can either handle it in arbitration or lose their job?

Well, I can probably guess, judging by their voting record and their speeches just what they think.

Tom Coburn, for example, condemns abortion in all cases - including rape - because his grandmother was raped.

It seems quite ironic, doesn't it? The Republican party strung up Bill Clinton by his balls in front of all of the world because he had consensual oral sex with an intern and set forth the only Impeachment ever to occur in the history of our country, and yet non-consensual sex, aka RAPE - RAPE-RAPE if Whoopi is reading this - is supported and protected! Who wants to be the person who voted in someone who condones rape? You? Do you want to be THAT husband? THAT father? Brother? Do you want to be that wife? That mother? Sister?

There are 30 men who run this country who condone rape, and we now know their names.

If we can't force them out, then let's vote them out.