The Social Jungle: Clever Commodes

This weekend I was in Houston, Texas (gun show recap to come, I promise!) and found myself at a local watering hole directly following a several hour open bar rehearsal dinner, so you might say I was mildly to extremely in the sauce. While there I stumbled upon one of my greatest real-world peeves – I didn’t want to forget to blog about it, so I tried to make a note for myself  in my new phone but I don’t know how to use it yet, so I just emailed myself the following message, while on the john:

Complain a.out bar bathroom names, or squatters and standers

Made a LOT of sense in the light of day.

So here we are – Social Jungle Week 2, brought to you by the letter P, which is what I was doing when I came up with the idea: Clever Commodes.

It is considered common courtesy in our modern world that most public venues will have separate bathrooms for men and for women, so that women don’t have to smell men’s gross poops and men don’t have to stand in line for 45 minutes while their female counterparts take for-fucking-ever to pee. In and out, gals, in and out. Sometime over the last hundred years or so, I don’t really research these pieces, just complain, some jerkwad decided it wasn’t enough to just label these rooms Men and Women. Oh no. We had to get cute.

Lads & Lasses, Sheilas & Blokes,  Dames and Dukes,  Boys & Gulls, the particular bar that inspired this labeled their bathrooms Standers and Squatters (Um, ew) and some places just use pictures, for crying out loud!

Listen, we all know I love a pun as much or more as the next gal but there is a time and a place. A bar bathroom is not one of them. If I’m at a restaurant or pub and have been eating and drinking for a while, the last thing I want to spend my time doing is figuring out whether I’m a picture of a rooster or a hen before I can go potty. This is not clever – in fact, it is dangerous.

One time in college I was like, sporadically making out slash totally obsessed with this guy I worked with and we went to trivia night with a bunch of his friends who I didn’t really know. It was an Irish bar so the bathrooms were labeled in Galeic – Fir, which means men and Mna, which means women but looks EXACTLY like the word men. I took an educated guess on which was which, and guessed wrong. And oh, I didn’t just walk in on any old fir at the urinal, but opened the door to see my makeout buddy’s best friend with his drawers unzipped taking a mighty piss. There are some thing you can’t unsee, friends. And this was one of them.

So, my sweet Standers & Squatters, I ask you: if I made a petition to ban clever commodes, would you sign it? If not, tell me your very best clever bathroom label idea – if it’s good enough, you might just change my mind.

The Social Jungle: Drugstore Philanthropy

Listen, guys. It’s a dangerous world out there, socially. So many interpersonal encounters to bungle, situations to ruin, scenes to make, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Except complain on the internet. So here’s a new little series I’ll give a try, every week I’ll walk us through some of life’s most harrowing social situations. I’m calling it Social Jungle. Eh? Eh.
Today I’m going to discuss something I’ve been encountering quite a bit lately which is drugstore philanthropy. You know what I mean, every CVS, Duane Reade and grocery store in town is in cahoots with some charity or another, their windows plastered with paper badges praising good customers who donated to the cause.

I am never one of those customers. Whoops.

Allow me to stop right here and remind the world that I am actually a reasonably good person and I do care about the souls and bodies of the less fortunate. Just not while I’m shopping.

Not to sound like some bananas conspiracy theorist (though let’s all agree this KStew & RPattz reunion is a total publicity stunt) I just really feel like stores are using guilting tactics to convince their customers to donate to their charity, probably so they can win some kind of blue ribbon for being the franchise with the most donations. Not on my watch.

I feel like every single time I go to a drugstore, which is almost every day (I don’t know why, maybe I have some larger problems to deal with but that’s not what we’re talking about right now) I am asked to donate money to some organization. It’s always the same scene, you know? Ring up your purchases with the cashier and just as you’re handing over your credit card they sweetly ask “Oh, would you like to donate one dollar today to the New York City Fund for Saving Starving Babies” and then stand there, card in hand, waiting to see what kind of person you are. The really good ones swap the sentence structure so it’s like “Would you like to save starving babies today by donating one dollar to the New York City Fund?” and then you’re just straight up trapped – I mean, how do you answer that? Just like, “Nah, I’m good” and then grab your purchases, which of course are always something completely idiotic like back issues of OK Magazine and a pound of peach rings, and peace out.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BABIES?

I can’t even handle it. As I’ve mentioned before, I have severe guilt problems (on top of my seeming addiction to drugstore shopping, I might need therapy) and my self worth is greatly determined by what people, even strangers, think about me. But I can’t donate to every flipping cause on the planet every time I go to the drugstore. I just can’t! First of all, I need that dollar for better stuff like Diet Coke and gum. No offense, dying babies. Second of all, what do I know about this “charity” you’re running here, CVS? If I’m going to give money, even just one dollar, I need to know what they’re really all about. That’s not me being a conspiracy theorist again, that’s me being a realist. I’m the kind of moron who would accidentally find herself as the lead donor to some kind of neo-nazi, geo-terrorist organization that was also somehow behind the Amy Poehler-Will Arnett breakup just because I thought they had a cute name. I can’t risk that kind of stress. So I have a strict No Tolerance for Drugstore Donations Policy.

Of course, as previously noted, I feel guilty as shit about this, so every casual shopping spree is fraught with anxiety. Sometimes, if I’m feeling bold or sassy I can answer their pleas for money with a calm “Not today,” which I think implies that I’ll be donating very, very soon. Other times I lie and say I already donated, which seems savvy but, bitch are you surious? You can’t give more that one dollar to feed these starving babies? So, that’s not a great answer. Usually I just start to sweat and mumble for a while until the sales person gives up and assumes I ain’t giving up the cash. Sometimes, though, I do say yes, but only when I’m at the front of a really long line so everyone behind me can see what a great person I am.

Do I know that none of these people actually care about me, my purchases, my measly dollar donations or lack thereof? Yes, yes I do.

How do I sleep at night? Not great.