Thursday, November 4, 2010

Public Bathroom Etiquette, Part II

I asked a guy friend of mine to enlighten me on how things work in men's bathrooms. And here is the result:

Before the dawn of time, the first man paved the way for every man after by setting the Bathroom Code of Men.  It is an unwritten law that every guy intuitively seems to know when using a public restroom.

In general, whatever conversation was happening just before must end as you enter the restroom.  The basic rule of thumb is that if you do anything in the bathroom that draws attention to yourself, you are a pervert.  If you talk to another guy, you must be perverted.  If you make eye contact, you must quickly avert your eyes.  If you don't, you are perverted. 

Ignore any and all sounds in the bathroom. 

The biggest stall is the first to fill, then it doesn't much matter which someone chooses next.  The only thing is that no one chooses the stalls that have even a hint of the feces of the previous user (or yellow water, both are a no-no).  There have been cases where a line forms when there are still open stalls, just because someone dropped some toilet paper in those toilet bowls.

Urinals are different.  Given their open nature, you must choose wisely.  It is worked down to a science.  If someone has taken a urinal in a row of urinals, you need to maximize your distance from them.  But you can't choose the furthest one; that would be rude, and probably imply that they stink.  You must choose the one that puts you directly in the middle of the other person and the next occupied stall.  It's a lot like choosing a seat at the movies.  Scenario: There's a row of 6 urinals.  Someone is in stall number 1. Which do you choose?... If you chose number 4, you're right!  That leaves two open stalls on either side, giving you your space while not offending the other guy. Also: death before eye contact. 

If a man is in a bathroom, and no one is around to see him, will he wash his hands?

There are basically three schools of thought on hand washing.  There's the obsessive hand washers, the casual splash-and-go type, and the kind that will wipe his hands on his pants, check that they look clean, and go.  Most guys will at least splash some water if someone else is in the room, just for appearance sake. 

Men and mirrors are interesting.  Guys do preen in front of the mirror.  But they can't let anyone else see.  If you're checking yourself out in the mirror and the door opens, you must either start washing your hands or drying your hands.  Wait for the person to enter a stall or leave (inevitably drying your hands for a suspiciously long amount of time) then continue to preen.  You go, guy.

Understanding Human Behavior (2nd Edition)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Public Bathroom Etiquette, Part I

People are so interesting in public bathrooms.

Of course, there are always exceptions. But really, no one likes the people who don’t follow these customs. I don’t know why, but it seems to be true. Feel free to comment with any corrections you might have for me, this is just from my own personal observations (also meaning that the following is all about women’s bathrooms).

The stall at the end is most valuable, unless you’re in a hurry and just grab a middle stall in your rush. It is very rare that the line up begins with the first stall in the row. After the first stall is taken, the next one to be chosen will be 1-2 stalls away. The row continues to fill up in a staggered order. 

No conversation unless you’re family or REALLY good friends. And even then it’s likely to see odd or awkward- if not for you, than for others in the bathroom.

Anything said in the bathroom is listened to by everyone else, whether they know you or not, whether they’re in a stall or not.

Even if you have a pleasant conversation with a stranger while washing your hands, or waiting, it will cease immediately when you part ways, and even if you run into each other in the building later, you pretend you have never seen them before in your life and keep on with what you were doing.

Women do skip out on washing their hands when they think no one is paying attention, or at least I’ve seen this done a fair amount of times.  But if they skip out and start towards the door, and realize someone else is there, they will either turn right back around and wash their hands or get out of there as fast as possible.
If you make eye contact on accident through the mirror or some other means, smile in greeting and drop your gaze immediately.

Now, in high school, things tend to be a little more routine for women. You hit the hand dryer before you go into a stall, to drown out the noise of your bodily functions. If you happen to forget, or for any other reason don’t press the hand dryer button, then another person in the bathroom will do it for you. If the hand dryer turns off while you are still in the bathroom, you then proceed with the utmost caution in attempting to make as little noise as possible. If you see someone writing on the walls of the stall, it’s death before comment. Also, if you are using the mirror and someone new wants to use it, you move over just barely enough to let them see themselves and resume your primping (women can cram a lot of faces into one mirror). If a person walks in for the mirror, but there is no room left, you pretend you don't see her until you're finished, and then pretend to be surprised that you were in her way and act apologetic. If a girl is sitting on the floor skipping class, pretend you never saw her. Also, if a girl is crying in a stall when you walk in, don't be alarmed. It's normal.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kid at Heart

This is more of me going off about the world. Consider it my word of advice for the day.

Do you ever watch Saturday morning cartoons? Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you rolled down the hill, or laid in the grass and watched clouds roll by? Honestly, sometimes I can't handle being serious with others. I always have to make a joke somewhere, find a reason to smile. To me, a successful life is simply being happy. Not having money, or power, or fame, but knowing yourself and who you are. Being successful is being comfortable in your own skin during any situation, living a life that suits you. Why don't people understand how much happier the simple things can make you? Like ice cream. As a kid, could you ever eat ice cream and be truly angry about something? People should just enjoy the natural highs of life. Make the most of what they are, develop their talents and just learn to have fun.

And no, by fun I don't mean to party, use drugs, drink, and do unspeakable things. Think back to what made you happy as a child. THAT was fun. Making forts and sleeping in them. chasing animals, building sandcastles, playing 007 with dart guns, having pillow fights and dancing like an idiot in the street. Why can't people do that now? You're never too old to be a child. Enjoying lemonade and playing in the sprinkler doesn't make you immature at all. Trusting people once in a while and saying hello or smiling at strangers in the street doesn't make you stupid. Yet people hold back. Why is that? Why do we care so much what other people think or do? Does your self-image really matter that much?

When you read this, I want you to go get the biggest, fattest, brightest markers you can find and grab a piece of paper and draw something silly. Maybe a dog, or a house, or some clouds, or a tree. Draw some stick figures, and make everything bright and colorful. It doesn't matter if it looks realistic or not. You are never too old to draw on the walls or pick flowers. No matter how old you are, playing in a playground can still be the most fun you'll have.

What do you want? Right now, I want gumdrops. I want to go bowling with friends and just forget the stress of the world. I want to go to a party and do THE SPRINKLER in a huge circle of people and not have people everywhere grinding or trying to look "sexy" (actually, old dance moves are really fun). I want to wear a Tshirt and Bermuda shorts and throw my hair up in a ponytail and run after the icecream man. Even if you refuse to be "innocent" anymore, why shouldn't you let yourself enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Eat a box of chocolates and don't worry about the calorie intake. Girls, don't care about makeup. Boys, wear jeans that actually fit you and stand up straight-be confident in that good side. Girls like nice guys.

Go hug a tree. You think I'm kidding? I'm not. The extra oxygen will give you a natural "high" as long as you do it without feeling stupid or embarrassed. SMILE FOR NO REASON! Dance in the rain. GO TO THE STORE IN YOUR PAJAMAS! Buy apple juice instead of energy drinks! GET HIGH OFF OF LIFE INSTEAD OF CIGARETTES! Say "Jeepers Creepers" or "cripes" instead of cussing. It'll make you smile. Let your natural hair grow out. Shop for meaningless trinkets that make you smile instead of a "hot" dress you'll probably only wear once. Instead of getting on the computer, go on an adventure. Meet new people. Build card castles. Watch a disney movie. Forget about who's right and who's wrong. Screw the politics. Screw being "rebellious" or "cool". Stop acting like TV is honestly more important than school. Go on a picnic. Watch the clouds or the stars. Camp in your backyard. Take a picture of the sky instead of one for myspace or facebook. Write in a journal. Seriously. I'm not even kidding. Think about what was fun to you as a kid, and go re-live it. =] It'll feel awesome, I promise.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When Women Want You To Argue

Today's post is going to be short... I'm tired.

Alright boys, face it- if you argue with a woman, chances are, you'll get in trouble. Right? If you argued with your mother as a child, you got punished. Argue with your sister, you're met with a screaming torrent of hormones. Argue with your girlfriend or spouse... it's not typically pretty. Or at least, that's the stereotype.

But, believe it or not, there ARE times when a woman would want nothing more than for you to argue with her.

So here's a rule of thumb:

If you don't argue, she assumes you agree with her.

Although this isn't always the case, it is very frequently the case. If a woman says, "You're mad at me." And you don't say, "No."... she assumes she was right. If she says, "I talk too much." And you don't disagree, she assumes you agree. Whether you say so or not.

This isn't the case with every woman, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?

I would say more.. but I'm tired...

Until next time!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Let's Get Started

With the advise of a dear friend of mine in mind, I have decided to start my own blog. I assume I will probably have no more than three readers, but I don't particularly mind. I figure just a place to write will be very helpful to me.

So before I really start, let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm Lara. I recently began to attend college. I'm a writer and I love what I do, but don't get the chance to do it as often as I wish. And I love playing mind games. Not in an evil, screw-you-over kind of way. But in a fun, interesting way. I spend much of my time watching people and how they behave, and I like to think I've gotten a pretty good handle on the matter. So that will probably have a lot to do with what I'll be writing about.

So, I figure I'll give you a little story from my childhood to kick things off.

In one of my gradeschool art classes, the teacher wasn't exactly what you'd call nice. And neither was the guy sitting next to me. I won't mention any names. But I got really sick of the kid next to me always making fun of my religion, my weight (which used to be a problem), and other things. And we sat directly in front of the teacher's overhead, so he'd always get me in trouble by talking. So I figured I would at least give him an excuse not to sit next to me.

So one day, when I arrived in class a little early, I started playing with some of my school supplies. For those of you who don't know, here's a fun little trick: If you take an eraser from a mechanical pencil, and stick in straightened staples or paperclips, it makes a little spiked ball that (when thrown right) will stick right into the ceiling of the school. I made one of those with my little bit of spare time, and when the one kid came in to sit next to me and saw me throw it into the ceiling, he thought it was THE COOLEST THING EVER. He asked me how to make them, so I showed him. He made three or four and had them sitting on the desk.

A few minutes later, the teacher got up behind the overhead and started talking to the class. Now remember, we sat right in front of her. And I didn't exactly throw the ball straight up... and they don't stay in forever. So when the evil little trinket decided to drop, it fell right onto our teacher's head. That was the only one I had made. But when she looked down at our desk, she saw a nice little group of them sitting in front of the-boy-who-must-not-be-named.

Let's just say she wasn't very happy with him. :)