Sunday, November 7, 2010

Being Considerate vs. Being a Gentleman

Growing up with an older sister, I was constantly (and sometimes forcefully) reminded of two things as soon as I was tall enough to pee standing up:

1. Always, put the seat up when you pee, and put it back down when you're done. Do it every time.

2. Do not, under any circumstances, leave drops on the seat.  The toilet paper is your friend, so grab a few squares and wipe them all away.

It wasn't my first lesson in basic consideration, but it definitely was a prelude to being a gentleman for my future lady as well as how to properly share a commode.  Nevertheless, it was a powerful and effective lesson, but I will reserve any thank you to my sister until after I finish writing this.

Now, I have spent more time than I would like to admit going out to bars with my friends. Don't get me wrong, these outings have truly brought plenty of enjoyment into my life.  Ultimately, I am fulfilled by every experience--good or bad--because I have a great time with my friends.  I try new beer.  I network.  I share great laughs and stories.  I talk politics.  I meet interesting people (and sometimes exchange a few numbers).  I definitely flirt.  And more often than not, I watch a decent game of football or baseball.  Go Giants!

In the last few years, however, I have been constantly confronted by an interesting conundrum when I am out with my friends, and it sneaks up on me unexpectedly and all too frequently.

The right things need to be in place for this conundrum to be present: the people, the bar, the night of week, et cetera, but I have discovered the underlying cause for why I find myself dealing with it.

It all goes back to those two early lessons in basic consideration from my sister, and lately, I have found myself paying the price of being considerate in full as I am haunted by my sister's two simple rules.  It always happens when the following are in place:

--The bar will have only one or two restrooms.  These restrooms will also be unisex.

--It has to be a later in the night when people in the bar have had more than one or two beers.  You know, they've broken the seal, and coincidentally, a line has formed in front of the unisex bathroom(s).

--I will be in this line, and a girl (or two) will be in line directly behind me.  Maybe one of them is doing a pee pee dance--just for the sake of this story.

--As I reach the front of the line, the conundrum begins to take flight...

--When I enter the restroom, more often than not, the toilet seat is down.  As you can imagine, the guys before me have broken rule number two.  What I am then faced with is the conundrum because of the following options:  do I, (a) keep the seat down, do my business, and then exit the restroom--knowing full well the girl behind me in line will use the restroom in the condition I left it; (b) put the seat up, do my business, and then leave it up to show that I was not the perp who broke rule number two--leaving a flood of drops on the seat; or (c) do my business, wipe off all the drops with an incredible amount of toilet paper, and leave it worthy for a woman?

I find myself constantly doing the third option (c), but I can't figure out whether I do it out of consideration for the girl behind me or to be a gentleman.  Regardless, I'd like to think I am doing a big gesture for guys in general.  You see, when the girl goes into the bathroom after me, I personally do not want her thinking I was the culprit who left the drops, and when I stick to option (c), I help to create the illusion that guys are considerate creatures.

When I shared this conundrum for the first time a few weeks ago, I was in NYC and it had just presented itself in a bakery my cousin and I were at.  After I explained it, my cousin's friend told me that I cared too much and shouldn't think so much about that kind of thing.

I disagree.

Thanks to my sister (thank you Erin), I care about it way too much.  Honestly, I care to know that I am not the guy that women think about when they can't sit on a seat they have to share.  I'd like to think that one small, considerate gesture (with a thick layer of toilet paper) allows women to hold us to a higher standard as gentleman.

So guys, even if you put the seat up when you piss in the unisex bathrooms, you may not be doing enough.  Then again, you may not care about this at all--let alone even think of it--but trust me: it makes a world of difference to women if you do.


  1. Trev, have you been drinking already? I want to come to DC in the worst worst way. I have vacation days Dec 1,2, and 3. I should stay home and get ready for Christmas....What a decision I need to decide! Your favorite aunt

  2. Interesting Read Trevor...However to throw a twist in your proposed scenario, would you allow the gal doing the pee pee dance to go ahead of you in line?

  3. Hilarious! Your cousin's friend is right, and I see this being the bane of your existence in many areas--you care too much. But I love you for it and wouldn't want you any other way. Keep wiping. xo Mom

  4. wish the current roommate i am living with thought that way. People often take for granted things like that. Don't ever change the way you are.