Dear Wally… 137
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Dear Wally 137
When we’re out in public, my husband thinks nothing of going into to the ladies’ bathroom if the men’s bathroom is occupied or simply too gross. This doesn’t seem wrong to him in the least , but it does to me and I’ve said so. My question is: under what circumstances is it OK for a guy to use the ladies’ bathroom? It doesn’t seem fair that guys should be allowed to come in and mess up the ladies’ room. I know I sound old-fashioned.
Your husband can hardly be faulted! Ladies’ rooms are so much more civilized than men’s rooms… I know this from recent experience and also from growing up with 3 sisters. The good news (for your gender) is that most red-blooded, he-men would prefer death or excruciating, cross-legged, throat clearing outside a locked men’s room door to the humiliation of taking themselves 3 steps to the right and using the ladies’ room. Not me! I’m with your husband on this and NOT going into an empty and perfectly good bathroom because of a sign with two extra letters (wo+men) seems like arbitrary folly to this full bladder. A toilet is a toilet is a toilet (except when it’s a urinal). How’s that for 1.5 gpf of philosophy?
I do want to stress that there are certain obligations that the male interloper has if he enters your gender’s bathroom. Background fact- If you have ever experienced a public men’s room , then you know how vile it can be (and usually is). The defiling that grown men do when they think no one is going to scold them for being disgusting reminds us of the evolutionary angstrom (and I’m being generous here) separating us from the screeching, poo-flinging baboons in the monkey cage at the zoo. It is an axiomatic paradox that the more a guy’s room is used, the less it should be used.
So gents- if you are planning on grabbing a skirt and jumping the gender fence on the rare occasion that the men’s room line is longer, or that mgt has padlocked the bathroom at the Mobil Station because some budding Einstein mule-kicked the urinal off the wall in a drunken rage and caused a flood of Biblical proportions, or just because a backed up toilet has volcanically erupted like a crap-packed Mt Vesuvius and now it’s too gross for anyone to clean except the Haz-Mat Spill Response team in full SCUBA gear, you will find a radically more pleasant, clean experience in the ladies’ room. Hardly a secret. But if you enter, pride be damned, you must be a good ambassador for all other penis -wielders.
You must treat this sacred room with sisterly respect and dignity. Dig deep for it if you must. That includes lifting the lid and THEN LOWERING IT . You may think you can clear the seat with your torrent of well-aimed piss and subsequent game-ending dribble, but you can’t take that chance. Not here. The stakes are too high. Save that business for the log pile or front lawn or between cars in the Walmart parking lot.
Proper ladies’ room etiquette also requires fluffing up the potpourri with those ball scratchers of yours before you leave. It requires putting a triangular fold in the leading edge of the toilet paper roll as they do in fancy hotels. You might pluck some fresh flowers from around the dumpster and tactically strew them about. Create a lovely scene. You are visitor in a foreign country. If you are caught entering or exiting , you will bear the thorny crown of public ridicule and scorn. So the best defense is a good offense.
Invite your mocking heckler in to see what a good boy you’ve been. Make your momma proud (well, proud as she can be considering her son uses the ladies’ room).
While I will avail myself of a clean women’s room in a pinch, (for a pinch?) when rolling solo, I will only do so if it doesn’t mean displacing an already waiting woman. Operate under stealth conditions (read: no ladies in line) when no one but the heavy breather behind the KwikiMart counter is looking at the video feed from the security cam hidden behind the hand soap dispenser. (How disappointing ! A GUY!! Eeeek) . Always crack the door with your foot and send in a sing-songy “Helloooooooooo?” before fully entering or you might find yourself in perv’s handcuffs should the room not be as empty as you thought.
Besides sating my biological urge to evacuate as expeditiously as possible in whatever bathroom is available, and at whatever cost to social order or decorum, when I travel with my 5 year old girl, I feel the veil of shame lift when I move towards the women’s room door (even the handle feels pretty and clean!).
That is because we can all agree that sparing an innocent My Little Pony-loving daughter the wide-eyed, shocking experience of nine rounds with a men’s room is a developmental imperative. We protect our young however we can. Momma bear? Try Poppa bear…
So, yes. Guys who behave themselves may use the ladies’ loo. Just as ladies, if they dare, may use the men’s loo. (And good luck with that! You could pee on the walls and it wouldn’t make a difference).
Got a question for our advice columnist or have reason to believe he just might have been the person in the ladies’ room immediately prior to you and just want to say ‘thanks’? , email him at email@example.com