Thursday, January 03, 2008

curious girls want to know

Working with guys some conversations are bound to come up. But even though I grew up with five brothers, I never ventured to ask what is the proper etiquette in the mens restroom. I've been instructed not to reveal the true source of this information so he doesn't have his man card revoked. So I'll just call him Chris. According to Chris, these are the Ten Commandments of the Mens Room:


1. Most conversations end at the entrance.

2. Don't stand with the door open before finishing a conversation with someone while entering the bathroom.

3. Striking up a conversation at the urinals is strictly forbidden.

4. Always leave an unused urinal (gap urinal) between you and the other guy.

5. Never make eye contact with someone at the urinals. Always look straight ahead or straight ahead and up.

6. Use a stall if there is only a gap urinal available.

7. If dividers are between urinals, the gap urinal may be used instead of the stall.

8. Cell phone use in stalls is frowned upon. Cell phone use at the urinal could result in damage or complete loss of phone.

9. Line for the urinals forms at the sink. If there is no room at the sink, the line should form outside the door.

10. Management must post reading material on the walls above the urinal to prevent conversations. If no reading material is provided, patrons will write their own.

There are also shake rules, but we won't get into that.

And so, now you know why women take so much longer in the restroom. There are no rules. We can talk as long as we want no matter if we're in the stall or not. It's practically encouraged to look at each other and sometimes it's even necessary to adjust each others clothing. Yeah, it's more fun in the womens room.

12 comments:

Desmond Jones said...

See, Phyllis, the deal is this - urinal time is personal and private. Having somebody at the adjacent urinal is a little too 'invasive' of the 'personal and private' space. But dividers fix that problem. And it is a major faux pas to leave two urinals between you and the next guy, because that means that both of them are 'adjacent' to active urinators, and thus, off-limits, and thus eliminating TWO urinals from use. Which is especially a problem on a five-urinal wall, because then only two urinals can be used, instead of three, which is what you'll have if guys are decently considerate, and use the urinals in the 1-3-5 positions.

But, I worked as a janitor for a while when I was in college, and one of the most fascinating things to me was the difference between men's and women's graffiti. Men's room graffiti was usually grossly sexual or scatological, or perhaps cleverly witty, but sexual/scatological. The women's room walls tended to function as something of an open forum for what to do about their troubled lives.

And I won't go into which was more, um, disgusting to clean. . .

XI Summit said...

OK, mind if xi provides some upstate-New York perspective?

First off, you can just throw #1 and #3 out around here. Oh, they would be my preference but around here the guys go all lady-like and get chatty in the john.
#2 is also no biggy, all the johns here have a snake-around entry so it just doesn't matter.
#8 is thrown out expressly for the amusement of the customers. I have 'witnessed' two cell phone washings (drownings) and it's always good for a laugh, 'specially when the guy asks YOU to get it for him! Yeah, right ....
#9, the line here always starts at the door.
#10 is only observed in the bar. Everywhere else the walls are naked and artwork promptly removed.

And the ladies room always makes the men's room look clean enough to eat in. Even if Desmond is afraid to say it ... :)

1blueshi1 said...

LOL! And your Husky sounds gorgeous AND well-trained. Have a great day.

Recovering Soul said...

I'm with you on the rules. No talking should be permitted. But, like xi, that is not the way things seem to go down around here. People chit chat, and I don't like it.

FTN said...

And we REALLY won't go into how troublesome it is to be at a large sporting event and have to use the dreaded trough. The only thing worse than the trough is the double-sided trough. Who wants to be staring at another dude while you are taking a leak? Luckily, those are pretty rare these days.

Actually, some of the rules you wrote are a little bit extreme. I have conversations here at work with guys at the urinal from time to time. Just make sure it's something manly. Don't discuss showtunes.

Sailor said...

People around here seem to be chatters, as well, much to my dismay.

The rest are pretty close though.

Therese in Heaven said...

What I don't get is why this is even an issue. Women don't have to pee in front of other women. Why must guys? Why DO guys? How come there aren't stalls around urinals?


When I was in Italy, I had to use a public restroom where the women's area was located past the men's. That means that every woman who wants to use that particular restroom has to walk past a row of urinals, which may or may not be in use at the time.

Talk about desperately needing to have stalls!

Desmond Jones said...

Well, Therese, guys grow up with a certain 'on-the-fly' casualness about peeing - I mean, you just do it quick, and move on (the whole standing-up thing, or the 'every tree is a urinal' thing). But, actually, you know, risking actual contact with another guy when you're both, uh, peeing. . . well, ewwwww. . .

There's a similar sort of functional/sexual ambiguity associated with penises and peeing as there is about breasts and nursing, I think. . . I mean, it's functional, but the 'sexual' connotations are hard to set aside. . .

Nanette said...

Ha! I think you should press him for the shake rules! :) Too funny!

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, shake rules. They are ingrained, I swear.

I've been in some women's bathrooms that seem like back alley crack dens. I've risked bladder infections to keep from using them. If men are this rule abiding in the bathroom, I'd take my chances being caught and used theirs sometimes!

XI Summit said...

Come on in, help yourself fadkog! in the men's room a stall is almost like having a private privy, once you slide past the stand-ups you're home free.

BTW- Therese, the urinal is the secret to why there's (almost) never a line in the men's room. Stop, do your businees, then move along .....

Desmond Jones said...

Oh, and the 'shaking' thing - it ain't so much 'rules' as it is 'strategies and practices', with a specific goal in mind. . .

Just sayin'. . .