There are some places where men and women just don’t mix.
Some years back I worked in a place where they had a common loo for men and women. It was a nightmare. Not just because we were three women to thirty guys but because I learnt that holding your pee till you get home is pretty torturous.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a pee trooper. I have peed behind a solitary rock in the hills. I have sneaked up and peed behind people’s tents, homes and once even got caught doing so. I am also proud to say I peed in the men’s loo at the manali bus stop. And at every halt on road trips to Nepal, Bakhali, Manali, Mc Leod Ganj, Goa, Coorg, Pondicherry... I held my breath, I squatted, I peed.
But, the office loo. That’s a different story. First of all, like every other woman I’m a pro at the hover over the toilet seat, with your bum in mid air and pee technique. But what if you feel crappy in office? How can you get your bottom to rest on the same spot that countless men have liberally sprayed and splashed?
And ya, I tried what you are thinking. Put up countless posters and send numerous mails asking them to please try and pee into the pot. Begging them not to consume too much beer in the afternoon, because a frothy toilet is not an indication of a clean, shampooed toilet. But no, men will be men. And the drizzled loo, with soggy shoeprints and little bits of curly hair sticking to the toilet rim continued. And we lost the only seat that matters in men-women politics – the toilet seat.
So it is possible that the experience has left me scarred. Which is why I so dislike unisex parlours.
Really, how can it be soothing or relaxing? The same towel that fat man is using to steam his pimple and white heads off, will sooner or later land up on your face. And is the cutter they are using to cut some black toes with nails that have turned green and warped going to be used on you?
And do you really want to get your hair oiled while the man on the next seat is getting his. Because he’s snoring louder than the TV, and little bits of sleep spit are collecting on the corners of his mouth.
Okay, so now I know what you’re thinking. Hey, this doesn’t happen in fancy places. All the guys are tony in Toni and Guy. And they’re all metrosexuals who don’t snore and drool and have pedicures all the time.
Still. Imagine...a hot dude is getting a pedicure next to you. I mean what? Can he smile and say something funny. No, he can’t. Because he’s getting his little toe buffed. And he knows he’s looking like a wuss. And which woman wants to have a flirtatious conversation with a man whose feet are being filed?
Okay, now suppose we overlook that. And you are a strong girl who can stomach the sight. So you settle down in the chair next to meterosexual cutie. And get ready for your pedicure. But guess what your legs are in that stage when you still have to wait a week before you can wax properly. Tan tan tan. What happens now? You flash hairy legs and even though he’s pretending to talk on his blackberry, he’s taken a quick look and in his head he’s thinking, “ Oh my god, my achar breath wali masi from Patiala is sitting next to me.”
See. It is a bad idea. Men must have their own parlours. And we must have our own. They must have their own loos. And we can comfortably rest our bottoms on ours.
The business of doing your business must be kept separate.