Thursday, September 17, 2009

Potty all the time

I realize this is a delicate subject, one that most of us don't really discuss with each other, even though we deal with it several times on any given day. But, here we go. I'm here to talk about bathroom/restroom behaviors/rituals. 
I've been thinking about this subject quite a bit lately, simply because I've encountered some strange occurrences, both at home and at work.
The home bathroom situation is less than ideal. Our house has a single bathroom containing a single sink, a single toilet and a single shower. Therefore, there tends to be an abundance of, shall we say, "multi-person-multi-tasking," among the members of the family. And since my older daughter is now fourteen, our paths tend to cross at the least opportune times. Suffice it to say that I've suffered quite a few near-whiplashes from jerking my head in the opposite direction of my line of sight. That's as far as I'll go with that one. 
The other problem is our bathroom's location. A plaster wall is all that separates the dining room from the bathroom. In the all-too-frequent event that someone leaves the dinner table to use the facilities, this is the cue for everyone else to pick up their color-coded sound proof ear muffs. Of course, that's not true, but we do have one rule regarding going to the bathroom in the middle of a dinner-time conversation: no participation is allowed from the person on the toilet. We've experienced too many instances of one of our household's younger members chiming in at a voluminous pitch from the echo chamber that is the bathroom. Just bad form.
The men's restroom at the office is a completely different animal, so I'll just lay down a few common sense rules based upon behavior I've actually witnessed at work:
1) It's okay to talk to each other in there. Sometimes I feel like I'm breaking some weird male code of silence if I ever acknowledge a coworker. I'm not saying you need to walk up to the guy while he's experiencing stage fright at the urinal and give him some relaxation pointers, but it's okay to say hello as you pass each other.
2) When you wash your hands, use soap, too; not just water. I think some guys think water is all you need to wash up after an "express" visit, but go ahead and dive into that soap as well.
3) This should go without saying, but I'm going to say it. If you're doing something that requires a visit to a stall, washing your hands with soap is mandatory. No ifs, ands or butts. I have personally witnessed, three times, the same dude walk out the stall door and on out the bathroom door. Nasty.
I'm not really sure what I've accomplished by writing this post, but I do feel quite relieved...you know, in an emotional sense.

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