Sunday, October 25, 2009

Urban Survival Tip #1

In my experience, if you find yourself in a pinch somewhere in the middle of civilization, a willingness to forego some of society’s more frivolous conventions can be a real advantage.

For instance, I packed a yogurt in my lunch recently and found that the kitchen at my school was out of spoons. In the wilderness, I would have simply picked up a stick and whittled myself a utensil. Since there is a dearth of woody debris just south of Times Square, I peeled off the tinfoil cover and fashioned it into a scoop. Worked like a charm. Then there was one morning last week, when I got out of the shower and couldn’t find my hairbrush. In a rush to get to class on time, I pulled a Little Mermaid and used a dinglehopper. Effective, efficient, and probably caused less breakage to my hair.

Today’s urban survival tip is one I’m sure most women will be able to relate to. You’re at a concert, or a bar, or an airport, and you have to pee. Bad. You’re at the point where you’re even breathing carefully, lest a particularly jolting inhale cause you to wet yourself. You waddle up to the ladies’ room – and alas! There are twenty-five women ahead of you in an unmoving line.

And -- naturally -- there’s no line for the men’s room.*

We’ve all done it. We’ve all stood in that interminable line, shifting our weight and stealing resentful glances at the occasional guy who breezes right through the door. We’ve all ground our teeth at the sound of that merry stream. 

My advice to you ladies? Do what I did at an Arby’s somewhere between Boston and New York this afternoon and tell that long-suffering line of women, "I'm going in."

1) Maybe I’m unusual in this respect, but after months of playing fart baseball in the wilderness with a bunch of teenage boys who subsisted on a diet of whole grains and rehydrated chili, I just can’t get too worked up about bodily functions, mine or anyone else’s. So if a dude wanders in to use the urinal while I’m in the stall, I’ll just wait patiently for him to do his thing, zip up, and depart before I mosey on out. (You don’t want to startle the poor guy into early-onset prostate issues.) 

If a man walks in just as you’re leaving, give him a saucy smile. If you’re shy, you'll save face because you seem confident.  If you’re like me, and find that an irrepressible streak of mischief surfaces in such situations, you can delight in his discomfort when he stammers out a “Sorry!” because he thinks for an instant that he’s the one in the wrong place.

2) The other women won’t judge you. In fact, they’ll probably thank you for it. I guarantee you that most of them have been eyeing that door the whole time, wishing they had the nerve to just go for it. They just need a little push. You can be their William Wallace. (After I emerged from the little boy’s room at Arby’s today, the next girl in line smiled at me and was in there before the door had started swinging shut.)

#3 Public men’s restrooms aren’t that bad. Okay, sure, some of them are atrocious. But there’s a rule I just invented that says that on a scale of one to ten (if one is a bathroom at the Ritz Carlton and ten is a Tau Kappa Epsilon bathroom on a Saturday morning), the men’s room at a given establishment will be only one or two points more disgusting than the women’s room. Girls are gross, too.

Try it. It will set you free.

*Sporting events are an exception. Often the line for the men’s room will actually be longer because of all the beer that has been consumed since 8 a.m. Guys, crash the ladies' room at your peril.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea for a blog. Love the Little Mermaid reference. I've added you to my google reader. :)