Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

If You're Doing These Things, I Have a Message for You: Knock it the "eff" Off!

As I have mentioned, I have a lot less rage than I did when I was in a college classroom. But I'm still surrounded by your average idiot and the thoughtless (and often senseless) behavior of idiots never ceases to amaze me and it (occasionally) enrages me.

Observe: As I sit this morning on the freeway - "sit" and not "drive" being the operative word, the driver behind me appears to be tailing me a little closely and as we go five feet. stop 10 seconds. go five feet. stop 10 seconds, he seems preoccupied and a bit slow with the reaction time. It's a clear morning and I've got a fairly decent view of him and it would seem he's smoking the world's longest cigarette. I mean we're talking Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tifanny's cigarette holder long. It's very white and thin and occasionally he removes it from his mouth and then wait . . . he's frothing at the mouth. This can't be good. A person operating a moving vehicle should - ideally - not be frothing.

I'm confused. Is he chewing tobacco and somehow swirling it around with this long white stick? (Can you tell how bad traffic was? Lots of time to observe and solve the mystery). But. Wait. The froth is . . . blue. Now I'm scared. Is he having a seizure? Should I dial 911 from my cell and say, what? I'm on the northbound middle lane of I-27 and there's a driver behind me . . . foaming blue at the mouth? And that's bad, right? Send paramedics, okay? 'Cause I don't think that's really supposed to be happening. Not good for him and certainly not good for any of us here on the road with him.

And then I see him . . . spit. Into the passenger seat. (I'm guessing there was some kind of spit receptacle in the seat. At least I hope for the sake of any future passengers there was a spit receptacle!) I can't decide who is the bigger idiot: Him, for brushing his teeth while navigating rush hour traffic or me, for taking a good 5 minutes to figure out he was brushing his teeth while navigating rush hour traffic. Please - don't answer that.

While we're on the subject of idiotic people doing mystifying things, here's another for you: Women who bring their cell phones into public restrooms and have conversations. This happens to me on average (at work, not at home - thank heaven for small favors!) at least once a day. I'm trying to be all annoyingly healthy and drink my 8+, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. My skin looks nicer than ever, but I'm sure my co-workers think I have a bladder infection or some kind of kidney condition. The point is - I visit the ladies' room a lot. So I have a lot of experience with this. And it is just . . . bizarre.

Maybe I have issues. I embrace that. Perhaps I was potty-trained too early (or too late as the legend goes). Yes, I could be stuck in some Freudian stage and that is why I'm all messed up. Or maybe even I was once traumatized by the sudden and unexpected flushing of one of those toilets with the automated laser/flushing thing. Fill in my sick issue of your choice here:

But. When I am in a public restroom - and yes, ladies, you are not in your own home in your own bathroom and you're not in someone else's home, so that makes work bathrooms "public", whether you like it or not - there is nothing more disconcerting than hearing a woman crash into the bathroom talking loudly about something inane, THEN hearing her sit in the stall next to mine (when I'm the only one in there and there are EIGHT OTHER EMPTY STALLS BUT I DIGRESS!), plunk herself on the toilet, begin urinating and telling her husband what's she making for dinner ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

You know what? My urethra shrieks in shame and everything stops. And suddenly I have what they call "stage fright" and now I can't do a damn thing until you've finished your conversation and who knows how long that's going to take?? Because while you don't care that your husband hears YOU going to the bathroom, I care that he can hear me. I'm sure he's perfectly nice and a very understanding, supportive man but I don't know him and I don't like the idea of the sound of my peeing being transmitted over the cellular airwaves. Really, ladies - you're taking multi-tasking much too far. One or the other. Not both. Please.

I apologize for the potentially graphic and offensive nature of this post. Believe it or not, even after teaching the kids about sex and all kinds of things most adults don't mention in pleasant conversation, I prefer not to engage in long discussions about my bodily functions. But, anonymous cell-phone-in-the-ladies'-room-users, today was the last straw!!! You pushed me too far. Please don't make me do it again. And if you can't do it for me, think of the children.

(I have no idea what that means, but as Kathy Griffin says, it seems to get people to pay more attention.)



Blogger Liberal Banana said...

Funny you should mention this. Earlier this week, Rude Cactus wrote about "WTF moments" and here's part of my comment (and yes, I actually went back to his site to copy and paste it for you):

I always think "WTF" when I come across a woman in a public restroom who's talking on her cell phone. It makes me want to make a really big farting noise in close proximity to the woman's clearly VERY important conversation (by blowing on my arm, of course, not the "real" way because girls don't fart).

Maybe you and I could start some sort of Proper Bathroom Etiquette campaign? I could design us a snazzy looking poster that includes a stick figure talking on a phone inside of a circle with a diagonal line drawn through it...

I wonder what the guy brushing his teeth in his car was spitting into...? Did he rinse at the end? Bizarre.

As far as inappropriate displays of private tasks, I have to admit, I'm guilty of occasionally putting on my makeup in public. If I'm running late at home, I grab my makeup bag and finish my face in the car (only at stop lights!) or on the bus (just begging to poke my eye out, I know!) or on the train (with 40 other people watching me out of the corners of their eyes)...

September 19, 2008 6:54 AM  
Blogger Addy N. said...

The cell phone while peeing thing is very weird. Of course, I don't currently have any friends that I would go and pee while I'm talking to them on the phone either (not my husband, either!) I only ever hear students doing that, so I didn't realize that women over the age of 22 were also doing that. Very odd. But I also find it odd that a lot of people think they are in an invisible bubble when are on the phone and that nobody else can hear what they are saying.

September 20, 2008 7:26 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

I repeatedly flush the toilet if someone is yapping on a cell in a public restroom.

And I am only slightly germaphobic, but if you are talking on a cell in a public restroom, you are also going to touch multiple unclean surfaces, and most likely switch the hand you are holding the phone with, and touch your face with all of the foul little germs. Ew.

September 20, 2008 8:38 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I was thinking the same thing that Liberal Banana posted from another blog... the urge to make the loudest fart noises ever is almost impossible to surpress.

September 24, 2008 8:47 AM  
Blogger Fraulein N said...

I repeatedly flush the toilet if someone is yapping on a cell in a "public restroom. "

Bwahaha! That's awesome. I think these people just have no home training. And yes, it is gross that they're touching their phones after they pooped or peed. That's gross, "ladies."

October 02, 2008 9:52 AM  

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