Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back on board

In three years of blogging, that was pretty much the worst month I've had. Looking at the list, I realized that I only had 10 posts all month, which is not even half my usual amount of self-obsessiveness. It's just the normal stuff we all go through on occasion: big work deadlines (and realizing that there's no way I'm going to make them this time around), group activity stuff with friends, guests in town, and lots of stuff with the TheaterCo as we get ready for the new season. Frankly, I was just exhausted for most of the month.

And in only a couple weeks I'll be taking this blog on the road, across the pond to Europe for two weeks as i attend a trade show for work and tend to some other business trips while I'm over there. I think that my hotel has internet access for the first week, and I haven't finished booking hotels for the next week yet, but I'm optimistic.

The one mildly interesting issue that kept popping up over the last few days will probably not interest most of you - men's room etiquette. There were two events that happened to me since Friday that are of note in that regard. First, on Friday I walked into the men's room at work to discover that one of the contract guys from the shredding service* was standing in there with his pants around his knees - exposing his tighty-whities for all the world to see. Mercifully, my man-reflexes kicked in ASAP and I immediately averted my eyes, pretending that he didn't exist. I'm not sure if he was trying to wash something, or having issues tucking his uniform into his pants or what. I don't ask questions abut things that scar me emotionally. I washed up and left as soon as I could.

Then, last night, GrrBro**, the GF and a friend of hers went to a movie at the local restored vintage movie house. After the film was out, I went to use the restroom and found myself faced with an old man standing in the front of all three urinals, undoing his pants. This is a *clear* violation of the man-rules, which dictate that a man must select a urinal first and then step up to said urinal prior to any undoing/unbuttoning/unzipping action occurs. There are actually many rules about behavior in the men's room, but most of them are unspoken and simply understood by men. I think it's in our genes. Any way, I had to wait until he had gone through his machinations and chosen one before I could do anything. Needless to say, it was a bit uncomfortable, as there's no way to politely say "Excuse me sir, would you mind not whipping our your little buddy in the middle of the men's room?"

Right?

* My company has an outside service come and do large volume shredding of documents. Pretty much every day these guys come in, roll out the locked document boxes and bring in empty ones to replace them.
** My little brother, who is in town this weekend visiting the big city.

4 comments:

Spice said...

The guys in my previous department used to have all sorts of issues with the men's room in our building. Apparently the urinals were too close together and there were only two of them, so you'd often end up uncomfortably close to a faculty member. And some of them liked to chat/gossip or read or do other strange things while taking care of business. The end result of this was that most of the grad students ended up using the basement restroom, which had cockroaches but also a more friendly setup and far less faculty traffic.

The women's restroom was fine - as they usually are - except that the stalls were a little short. So sometimes you'd stand up and be looking at your adviser or something. Also, with all the privacy in women's rooms, our reoccurring issues seem to be people talking to people they think are in the restroom but aren't ("Susie? Susie? You're in here right? Susie?") or people simply starting up conversations when they're well aware it's you, but you're both in stalls. As far as I can tell, neither is as uncomfortable as what guys go through!

Also, welcome back to the blogosphere!

towwas said...

So many rules - what would I do if I woke up tomorrow and I was a man?? I'd be lost!

Grafs said...

Speaking of rules, I really broke a huge on in college when I most accidentally used the men's bathroom instead of my own assigned bathroom. The look on the faces of these guys was priceless. I was embarrassed forever.

J.Bro said...

Spice stole my thunder - I have nothing to add, except to say that we're talking porcelain-edge-on-porcelain-edge close here.

I wish there was a central clearinghouse of men's room rules, not only so TOWWAS could feel less nervous about the possibility of waking up a man, but also so I could petition them to add one about not talking on the cell phone. I make it a point to flush as loudly as possible (which I suppose I rarely have control over), hoping the person on the other line would be offended that they're having a conversation with someone who is urinating.

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