Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ladies Room Etiquette: Response to Dan's Urinal Etiquette Blog

Dan from Dan's Blah Blah Blog, has challenged me to write a post to accompany his own hilarious "Emily Post Never Used a Urinal." Knowing little to nothing about The Ladies Room, he has called on me to pick up where he left off.

I responded to the call by first polling a few friends. I swear to god, everything I write here is taken from only 7 e-mail responses I got within an hour of putting out the Ladies Room Etiquette APB on Friday morning. These are actual concerns of my actual friends.

Brace Yourselves.

Rule #1: Don't talk on your cell phone while you're on the toilet. Says one poll-ee, "who talks on the cell phone in a bathroom? The entire conversation is magnified due to all that porcelain. A runner up was women having conversations with other women across or outside of the stalls. I guess these annoyances mirror Dan's "no talking." We're on the same wavelength there.

Next up: If you're going to hold the door open for the next chick in line, please at least wait until your flush is finished. No one wants to walk into a stall with a still-swirling toilet. Wait just a second. Oh, and flush again if necessary.

Third: One respondent commented, "Please ask your children not to crawl under the stall and look at me while I'm peeing." If good manners isn't a reason enough for you, think about the fact that your kid's hands and knees are covered with enough e-coli to warrant a hazmat suit for the entire family.

Gentlemen, if you're still brave enough to be here, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Although we carry on like prim little girls about how disgusting the men's room is, here's a surprise for you: Women can be Pigs.

There, I said it. I said it and I ain't takin' it back. If you don't believe me, I'll refer you to a girlfriend of mine, a maintenance worker at world-renowned fine-arts theater in this town. There are super-cool aspects to her job like setting up stages and meeting celebrities and royalty. Alas, once she gets that Baby Grand into position, her next job is to clean the restrooms. I now know more about a filthy restroom than I ever thought I would. But I'm also much more edumacated as a result of her response. Read on.

World Cultures Lesson I

Did you know that women from some cultures stand on the seat and squat? Apparently footprints on the toilet seat were a big give away. I researched this further to find that not only is it true, but folks from squatting countries have, as the research says, "more complete elimination" and have virtually nonexistent cases of colon cancer. Think about it. If you're considering it, I have kindly found this sitting-to-squatting conversion product, which, it says, "can be set up in 3 seconds."

Yes, but can it fit in my purse?

Anyway, all you squatters—and you know who you are—clean up after yourselves, for heaven's sake! You wouldn't want to stand on a wet toilet seat; can you imagine how the "sitters" would resist sitting on it?! Be polite. Bring a pocket-pak of clorox wipes.

Cultural Lesson II

Another company is this town is currently trying to figure out how to accommodate the toilet habits of some Islamic women, who do not use toilet paper, but instead wash up with a water vessel called a "Lotah." Apparently the maintenance folks at this company were befuddled and frequently trying to figure out the source of wet floors in the ladies room, though no leak in the plumbing could be found. My source told me, "we had to get on the internet and try to find ways to accommodate folks using this custom, without offending their religious beliefs and without spreading infections, etc. etc." If you're captivated here's an interesting article to check out.

Last Rule: Not for the Squeamish

I think I speak for the general population when I say, Ladies, USE THESE THINGS!!:

They're right THERE! You're sitting right next to it! Wrap it, toss it, it's that easy. And then, especially in the work place, take a look around before you exit. There's no excusable reason to leave any stall, public or private, looking like a forensics team should be called in.

Clean all the blood off the floor, and, for the love of GOD, don't leave anything that remotely resembles a slab of liver lying around. Go find a freakin' shovel, I don't care, just do what you got to do!

Of course, Empathetic women that we are, we recognize that accidents do happen. Accidents beyond our control.



One respondent to my poll has allowed to let me tell the tale of her freak accident, which occurred in public restroom at the beach. Or at the hotel pool. I can't remember, I remember only that she was wearing a bathing suit when she joined the long line to the ladies room....a wet bathing suit.

A wet, slippery bathing suit; you know how easy those are to maneuver in the restroom, especially the one-piece ones. Anyhoot, when it was her turn to use the restroom, after wrestling with the wet bathing suit...well, let's just say tampon removal went awry.

Remember the scene in Pretty Woman, when Julia Roberts shoots the escargo across the room?

Same for this tampon, though it took an odd hop under the bathroom door and landed at the feet of the next women in line for the next stall.

God, that's funny. It's also one for Emily: I have absolutely ZERO advice on how to handle this etiquette-ly speaking. I'm just happy I finally worked that story into a blog.

I don't want to give a lot away because I want you to read it yourself, but Dan's tips for Urinal Etiquette can be pared down into three: (1) No looking; (2) No talking; and (3) No smiling.

We ended up with only a few more. In summary:

  • Do NOT talk on the cell phone while you're on the toilet.
  • Finish your flush before holding the door open for the next occupant.
  • Mind your toddlers.
  • If you're a squatter, clean your footprints off the seat.
  • If you use a lotah, bring a mop, or a handy pop-up cone, to caution the next occupant. You don't want to be liable.
  • Dispose of hygiene products properly, and shovel up any livers.
  • If you accidentally toss your used hygiene products under or over the stall wall...well, I'm leaning towards just locking yourself in until the place closes. At the very least, introduce yourself using a pseudonym....
...but not Gnightgirl.


  1. Oh boy! After reading this post I'm almost thankful I'm a man. No ... not almost. I am thankful I'm a man. :)

    Thanks for taking up my challenge and writing a very funny post in response!

  2. "anything that resembles a slice of liver"....LOL!!! God, how true is all of that?!

    I hear women talking on the phone all the time, and it's just gross not to flush AT aLL!! I don't want to know if you ate corn for supper last night, ya know?

    Funny post!!!

  3. Anonymous10:59 PM

    oh jeeeez. im naive. what looks like a slice of liver?

  4. God I HATE the cell phone conversations in bathrooms. What does anyone have to say that's so important it must be said while peeing?

  5. I hate wet toilet seats. Women are slobs int he rest room.

  6. Wow! You really did your research, Hot Chiky! My god this is funny, especially the flying tampon. A well-written public service post with lots of giggles.

    One more suggestion if you don't mind ... What about the chiks who use those paper toilet seat covers and don't bother to flush them? They just leave their nasty used paper germ shield dangling half in and half out. Why can't they just lift one of their $9.99 Payless pumps and kick that badboy all the way in before they flush? Is that too much to ask?

  7. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Very informative. So true about women being bathroom slobs. Well, some are anyway. I was going to share some stories from our work bathroom, but you pretty much said it all.

    The flying tampon story was hilarious. Reminds me when I went to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival years ago. It's all outdoors, camping, communal outdoor showers, etc. I was rinsing off my feet under a communal spigot, and this free spirited little creep came up to the faucet, reached in and wrung out her menstrual sponge on my leg. I've never gone back to that festival, btw.

    thanks for the laughs, km

  8. God dammit! I wrote a lengthy comment and this STUPID blogger thing lost it! I hate the beta.
    Friggin thing. You are as always funny, talented, informative and wonderful. The slice of liver comment made me throw up in my mouth a little though. Just sayin...

  9. well Thank You I am more edumacated now!

    I almost stopped at the blood on the floor BUT sad to say I "read" on right into the flying tampon story(((((sigh)))))))))

    why couldn't I stop reading, ahhh this POST didn't go to well with my coffee & hangover :-(

    I really needed to read this late last night when I was loaded after watching the super bowl game.

    Overall was some funny chitt and I did learn also, I will stay a man now and save the operation to go female for someone else--haha

    Thanks for keeping me a man and peeing in the men's room, ladies restrooms are nasty--lolol


  10. Dan: Thanks for the opporutnityt to share YOUR post!

    Beth: Ugh, corn. Chew, chew your food!

    Anon:...come here, I'll whisper it to you.

    Jazz: right; the person on the other end has to share that too...

    Little lamb: Perfect your hover!

    HotT: The flying tampon's a classic. And you're so right about that paper cover thingy! It hangs there serving as a wick, soaking up water...

    Andy: Sorry about the throw up. I tried to warn you.

    km: OMG, that's unbelievable...and

    Bob: Hungover...were you crying in your beer or celebrating that game? Either way, sorry for this morning's news...

  11. gnightgirl I wanted the COLTS!! so it was a good hangover...if there are any nowadays... my rebound is getting worse & worse every year :-(
    I am going back to bed now!!

    I am a GIANTS fan who moved from NJ to WARM FL about four years ago but Manning has put in his time and is an awesome quarterback so was hoping he would win, even though last night he did look like he was whining a little bit but nonetheless Glad for him and the Coach...

    OK gnightgirl I need you HELP to GET WEIRD with US!!!!

    From what I read You will have NO problem with this--HAHAH

    "LIST 6 weird things about you!!"

    See my BLOG for complete details but I am on a QUEST to prove the word WEIRD is NORMAL...also you will love a POST written by LISA B to get you in a WEIRD MOOOOOD, it is SOOOO Funny.

    anyways, GET WEIRD ummm I mean NORMAL with us WEIRDOOOO's thanks,


  12. FABULOUS post GNG! You definitely got it right!


    WAAAAy more than I ever wanted to know.

    I would like someone to tell me why women must all go to the restroom together, though.

  14. Love it, love it, love it! That said, I'm always on the phone when I'm on the toilet at home: does the same rule apply? What about blogging (yep, done that too - why waste the time doing nothing)?

  15. Very funny indeed, I think it translates across the pond!

  16. HA HA HA!

    I'm off to Singapore again on Friday, and your post reminds me of the one stall you always find in every women's toilet in the Singapore airport. It's labelled something like Caution (or Careful) - Squatting Pan.

    And I'm BOUND to end up in that stall's vicinity when I'm washing my hands after using a normal toilet. And it STINKS in there!

    VERY VERY funny post!


  17. "Shovel up any livers"...

    Oh my god..that is hilarious...
    That is so true...I've been to bathrooms that have made me embarrassed to be a woman...

    this was so funny..and yet...sadly so true....

  18. #1 - wow - you know Dan? dang - I met him elsewhgere- how cool

    #2 - in general TMI

    #3 - my dad owned a gas station - the ladies room was ALWAYS more of a mess than the mens room when we (OK I) had to clean them!

    Not a lot of new info - but wierd how you mentioned Dan...

  19. I hate it when people talk to me while I' know. I usually flush the toilet just so they're shut up.

  20. I realize I don't go many places, but I've never been in a bathroom with blood on the floor. How in God's name does THAT happen? How gross.

    Very funny though! Love the flying tampon!

  21. Yeah. Talking while you are in the stall is no good. I hate that. Talking on the phone or to a person in the next stall...all bad!

  22. This isn't etiquette but I just saw something bizarre in a bathroom.
    I went to the restroom of a very nice resturant and when I sat on the toilet I was of course looking at the back of the stall door. On the door in three areas, top, mid top and middle, were clumps of fuzz and long blond hairs. How did it get there? Why was it there? Did something sticky get on the door and then a girl rubbed her sweater and head against the areas? I am baffled. I so wish I had had a camera to give you a visual.

  23. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Late to the party here, but here's a mystery that never got cleared up for me. Years ago, I was a lifeguard at a pool that had a grassy area that people laid out in. We would pick up litter there every night and several times would find used tampons laying there in the grass. What the...? When you are laying out in the sun, do you just get the urge to yank your tampon out? We never figured this one out. We called them candy canes.

  24. Hey:
    I found your blog through Dan's. This is an absolutely funny post! I might blog about my own anecdote sometime.


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