There’s a guy at work who, when he needs a pee, will stand up in one of the stalls with the door open, or at least unlocked, rather than using one of the urinals. It can be a little awkward when the door is unlocked but closed and there’s no sound and you walk in on him.
There are lots of other little pieces of etiquette when using the little boys’ room. We all know the rules about choosing a urinal. But there are also rules about conversation i.e. don’t talk. Eye contact with another man peeing should absolutely minimal. And never, ever, look sideways.
Then there are the bizarre things. The men who have to spit in the urinal before or while peeing. The one who has to drop his pants to ankle level at the urinal. The one who has to put his hand on the wall. The one who, rather bizarrely, puts both hands on the wall. And I’m sorry, but if shaking is more than incidentally utilitarian, that’s just weird.
But back to that cubicle… Men will openly walk in to a room and take out their penis to pee with a load of other men stood there with their penises out peeing. There aren’t many people who would choose to have a poo without privacy, though.
A friend of mine once said that some of the satisfying things in life involve things leaving the body – he was citing toilet visits (especially when you absolutely need to go), popping pimples and his sexual gratification. In that sense, there are many human functions that we don’t mind doing in public, some of which (such as blowing our nose) can be as “yucky” as excretion, and there are many that involve sharing of bodily fluids that we even look forward to.
Granny Weatherwax once advised to “never put your tongue where you wouldn’t put your toothbrush,” and there are some places and instances we’d far rather break that rule that also provide levels of limited of wrongness if not cleanliness if not for a rather specific context.
Psychologists study eating, sleeping and sex and our attitudes towards them, but one subject remains taboo despite a known common anxiety around having to poop in public, despite it being a common bodily function. We’re socialised from an early age that pooping is done in private. Of course, most psychology focuses on things entering the body rather than leaving, because the latter is waste that is supposed to disposed of, despite the fact it’s natural and we all do it and we can feel better after doing it.
This is one that genuinely worried me when it even crossed my mind! Wondering why men poop in private but pee in public, but there is a metaphor there that we all have some shit that is better out than in, however embarrassing that it might be to discuss. The release can be amazing!
My colleague should definitely start locking the door, though. Definitely ain’t no need for the sort of behaviour he exhibits.
This post was part of my Forced Metaphor series which, after that, I feel absolutely the need to explain is a result of me overthinking and turning every day occurrences in to metaphorical lessons that they probably shouldn’t have been!