Please! Don't Talk to Me

Thursday, January 04, 2007
I’ve been inspired by Adam’s recent post to once again comment on the subject of Bathroom Etiquette. If you haven’t checked out Adam’s blog before, you should. You might also wish to check out his group blog, Escape Artists, which he shares with *Asterisk and Shea along with a few other extremely interesting bloggers. My faithful readers may remember that I’ve commented on Etiquette issues before, mainly surrounding reading communal magazines and newspapers in public bathrooms and odours. As this has already been commented on (and the culprit continues to do both), I will not cover the subject again. Adam’s post goes one step further and discusses the subject of bathroom chatting.

This can take many forms, usually (and hopefully ONLY) at the sinks as you’re washing up or at the door as you’re entering/leaving. As Adam points out though, this is not always the case. Go on, go read his post… Some men, it seems, feel the need to talk to other men while standing at the urinals. I can only imagine that this would make a large portion of the male population very uncomfortable. Sure, there’s the polite nod or verbal “hello” to acknowledge the other person, but when some guy is standing there, holding his Johnson, and he suddenly decides to start talking (about anything) to you as your unzipping and about to whip your own out, I’d be a bit uncomfortable as well.

Then there’s the issue of stall talk. This, unlike the urinal conversation, is something one would find in both men’s and women’s lavatories. Why do people feel the need to talk to you when you’re at one of your most vulnerable moments? It’s not really the unnecessary small talk I mind so much, but it’s the fact that I never know what to do. Do you hold off on what you were about to begin until a lull in the conversation (my strategy so far) or do you simply go ahead with your business and continue the conversation as if nothing was happening? And then there’s the issue of the flush. Do you stand there and wait until the other person shuts up or do you risk missing part of the conversation and flush at will? And what is it about the loo that makes people feel the need to chat? It’s bad enough other people will be able to hear what I’m doing in there, I don’t want to have to make conversation as well. Can’t I just pee in private? Makes you wonder what they used to do before stall walls...

And that’s not the end of it. If you finish first, and the conversation is continuing as you’re washing your hands (dear god, I HOPE you’re washing your hands!), do you politely wait around for the other person to finish and then walk back to the office together? Or do you make a mad dash for the door and hustle your butt back to your desk before being trapped into another episode of meaningless potty talk? Normally, in most other situations, I would say yes, stay. It would be the polite thing to do. But where do you draw the line. This becomes increasingly difficult to determine, especially in my case, as the only ladies who use our particular bathroom are the ones with whom I share an office. Do I dare risk being seen as rude by leaving the situation early or will they even notice that I’ve left and they’re sitting here talking to themselves?

Dear readers, have ye any advice? I mean, what's next? Blogging in the bog?

Also, as in Adam’s post, the magic number in our building is also 3. If anyone has any ideas as to why this number is so special in the realm of urinals and toilets, please enlighten me (and Adam). It’s a mystery.

5 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

I have no idea what to tell you, but that is a great picture you posted.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh the tricky question of bathroom etiquette! I'm of the school of thought that you exchange the briefest of hellos, do what you need to do with preferably no talking whilst peeing, wash up, and get the hell out of there.

I choose not to socialize in the bathroom.

kelly said...

the whole idea of bathroom chat is strange to me....its a place for business...and the accoustics are all wrong....the number 3......the only reason I would suspect is building code requirements for certain size buildings....or maye it gives you chance of a buffer space of one stall if theres only 2 people in there...
so i guess no more singing in there huh?

ems said...

I'm ever so slightly alarmed by the amount of women who carry on their mobile phone conversations while going to the loo in a pub. It's an increasing phenomenon which leaves me feeling very queasy.

* (asterisk) said...

Re the number 3: I guess 1s and 2s are already taken.

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