Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Zip, pull and pee

Did you know that there are transgender folks in the public restroom with you? There are.

Don’t know what that means? It means if you are female, there are men in the restroom with you. The confusion here is that they believe they are really women. They dress like women. They go into the ladies bathroom. If you are wondering, the opposite also occurs.

I know this because I read about it on the internet while researching this article. If it is on the internet, it is certainly true.

Have you ever gone into the wrong bathroom? Nope, me neither. I am so absurdly obsessive compulsive that I read the sign on the door twice. Once I’m inside, I go back out and look at it again. Yes, I know that is a problem. You are also a judgmental smartass. That’s more than you need to know about me anyway.

Let’s start over.

I was having dinner with friends in Dallas some years back. We were at Dick’s Last Resort in the West End. The time arrived for me to pee.

Off I went. I swung the door open (this time I didn’t read the door because alcohol is the prescribed medication for my previously discussed disorder) and the first thing I encountered was a strikingly pretty blonde lady. She was slim, standing around 5’-5”. Her hair was shoulder length and glowed under the fluorescent lights of the vanity. She was brushing her hair. I froze. Recovering, I went out and checked the door. It said ‘restroom’. How in God’s name did that get by me! That is pretty vague so far as restroom signs go. I went back in. She was still there!

I was on my way back to read the door once again when she stopped me. “It’s OK, she said, you are in the right place, both sexes come in here. Really, it’s OK.”

Not in my entire lifetime had I been subjected to this test. Let me get this straight, you want me to come in here and pee while you brush your hair and put on lipstick?

Besides being unisex, what made this restroom different is that it had stalls only. No privacy problems, the stalls went to the floors.

No urinals. Now that would have been the ultimate test.

I don’t think unisex restrooms caught on, and I haven’t been back to Dick’s Last Resort. My ceiling research for this blog led me to a handful of examples of unisex restrooms. No lazy reader, no links, do your own research. By the way, “ceiling research’ means not very much research. I doubt this surprises you.

Let’s go on.

Everyone is familiar with the long lines women suffer waiting to pee at sporting events, shopping malls, theatres, etc.

Everyone knows the reason. First you have to pick the cleanest stall. Then you have to inspect the seat to make sure it is particularly free of, well, anything. Then you have to decide if you are actually going to sit on the seat or if instead you will use the ‘hover’ method. Of course, if you use the hover technique, it immediately renders the first decision for the next person moot. So, if it is late in the day and the stall has been used, then everyone uses the ‘suspended bottom in the air method’ anyway. You need a place to put the purse and a place to put the coat. Now you have to pull down the pants or pantyhose, blah blah. It just takes time, they say. I’m sure it does.

Architects are now designing restrooms for women that have rows and rows and rows and rows of toilets and stalls. This is mandated by new building codes. The ratio of required men’s toilets to women’s toilets has become downright silly. However, we all know about women coming to the men’s toilet at a ball game because they are tired of waiting in line. I guess the problem is real. And besides, the seats in the women’s side have pee all over them. Refer back to the ‘hover’ technique.

This catches my attention because it mirrors another one of my peeves, design for the handicapped and the limitations of the wheelchair.

There are billions of dollars spent every year in the public and private sector on handicapped provisions and toilet construction. Combining the two; that is designing toilets to handicapped codes and gender appliance codes, has created toilet spaces rivaling the Roman Coliseum in size.

What I am inarticulately telling you is that we are addressing the wrong problem in both cases. More on the wheelchair in later articles.

For now, let’s concentrate on peeing. You see, I just don’t think we should be spending all this money so the girls can ‘not sit down’ to pee. All they are really doing is peeing all over the top of the seat because none of them want to sit down on a pissy seat.

Here is an idea: http://www.goyourway.net/ This a ‘stand-up and pee’ playing field leveler for the ladies.

You see, this is not a biological problem. It’s a cultural problem. Women absolutely DO NOT WANT TO BE BOTHERED with learning new public peeing skills. Believe me.

Just ask them. Apparently, they enjoy their long line misery.

Show your wife or girlfriend this ‘standing up’ device and they will resist.

I tried.

The first friend I suggested this to looked at me as if she was thinking “Are you freakin nuts!”

She confirmed this seconds later by exclaiming, “Are you freaking nuts!”

Admit it girls, you have always been jealous of our ability to zip, pull and pee.

I am told by a reliable source that with a little practice, you can easily zip and pee. Fake the pull if it makes you feel happy! The transgender male next to you will have to pull, so keep them guessing.

Maybe zipping and peeing like a man is a cultural sea change worth examination. It would save a lot of money for shopping!

As a side note, I read a story while researching this article that was written by a transgender. This was a woman using the stand up device to pee adjacent to men at the urinals. She was extremely proud of her ability to ‘blend in’ with the men, undetected, ‘just being one of the guys.’

So……men……..next time you are at the urinal in a public place, zip, pull and pee as usual….but keep your head down and try not to think about that lady with the glue-on mustache next to you. Yes, the one with the red fingernails.

I’ll get to the wheelchairs later.


Fork said...

Oh...oh my!

Being able to pee standing up is a privilage, not a right!

Hodge Stallon said...

I'm with you on the unisex bathrooms...in that case I think I have the right to pee all over the seat. If there are enough complaints, they'll make the switch, or start having the men pee out back with the weeds and winos.

Great post!