Thursday, September 17, 2009

Private Male Behavior

Being a guy and using public bathrooms from time to time, I consider myself ‘well-exposed’ in terms of what does and can go on in there. Male behavior in the restroom is interesting to observe. And I’m not talking about actual defecation or urination techniques, but rather everything else.

Granted, the majority of people don’t particularly like public bathrooms and probably try to spend as little time there as possible but they are a necessary evil. We are intelligent human beings and in an attempt to maintain a civilized society they serve an irreplaceable role.

To the actual behaviors: first, there is no talking in the restroom; it’s just an unwritten rule that must be followed. Some men like to camp out in the stalls as if it were their personal happy place. I can understand where this may be one of the few places they can avoid phone calls, emails, and people dropping into their offices. But this is all negated once I begin hearing texting or even talking (yes, it does happen and I can only imagine what the person on the other end of the line must be thinking). There are those who feel that the restroom is a place to forget all socially accepted norms; they spit in the sinks and urinals, fart loudly, and pick and blow their noses in plain sight. Lastly are those who want their presence to be known. They make loud noises (all kinds, use your imagination), place their hands on the wall above the urinal as if to support themselves in the labor that is peeing, slap themselves, grunt self-gratifying bits to themselves (oh yeah!, all right!, and the like), and spend an abnormally long time in front of the mirror so as to create a jam in hand washing traffic.

I’ve always found myself interested in why people do what they do, which is probably why my wife gives me a hard time about stalking our street activities. Perhaps I should have pursued sociology, but for now just doing what I do and paying attention to what goes on around me will have to suffice.

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