Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mystery Of The Bathroom Door

What's This Crap About The Door?

I've never made even a casual study of it, but it occurs to me from time to time, when I have guests or when I am someone's guest, that people have different habits associated with the bathroom. I promise I won't go into any gross details about people's habits beyond the bathroom door. I'm just concerned today about what happens on this side of the door!

Dirty Habits

In my family, I guess, we were taught the habit that a closed door meant "occupied", whether locked or not, and that an open door meant "ready for use". This seems logical and intuitively sensible to me, but I guess that's just the particular mode I learned in my youth. Everyone isn't the same. In fact, potty-training isn't immutable, I realize, for my sister, who has grown children, has a household that has long been run the opposite way. Her bathroom doors are closed all the time and therefore it has no interpretable meaning. I'd ask her to enlighten me as to how that happened, but you know how families are—it might be interpreted as a criticism and start a big shittin' ruckus!

I remember during my formative years our one bathroom having a lock and a "skeleton" key and I also remember years when there was no lock. Since then I have noticed that some people do what they like in the bathroom and expect you to read their minds about what they're doing and how to interpret it.

Why Duh Don't We Do It In The Road?

Some odd people don't even close the door, they just kinda pull it in the direction of the doorframe and presume you'll sniff the answer out. I can only presume they want to be seen doing what they do in there. Other folks think you'll recognize a closed door as the equivalent of a locked door—that notion is problematical, though, since other people close the bathroom door completely when they exit, causing others to assume it's occupied when it's not and forcing you to either waste your time trying to outwait that Silent Shitter in there or else just be uncouth and holler loudly, "Anyone in there?! I'm comin' in, buddy-boy!"

No One Will Be Watching Us…

In some households I've learned to just be uncouth and loud, to not even listen for evidence of occupancy on the other side of the door. I never understand the people who create this dilemma by not using my simple "closed door=occupied" theory of bathroom door etiquette. I wonder very much what keeping the door closed at all times means, don't you? Are they hiding it? Are they so ashamed of the smells therein or are they are in fact embarrassed that they have a bathroom? Does the elimination of human waste make them blush?

I admit to having various forms of shame, but I've never been embarrassed about having bathrooms in the house! I might be embarrassed that some of my friends and relations poot out clouds of stuff which suggests they've swallowed a bagful of dead rats, but I ain't ashamed of the household plumbing! If you've got a vent fan, turn that on, too, but just let that room air out a little, I beseech you!

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