Women are weird. There are somethings we chat about loudly in public that guys would never do. And I can say that because I am a woman. If I were a guy saying that, it would even weirder.
I overheard this yesterday between a group of ladies at lunch:
Where are you going?
>Just to the loo.
Oh, great I’ll come too.
Anyone else need a tinkle?
>We’ll all go.
Things you don’t overhear between a group of guys.
Where are you going?
>To the urinal.
Oh, I also need a pee, I’ll come too.
>That would be great.
Anyone else want to come?
Chatting to my mother about this strange habit of women, she informed me that there is, in fact, a secret social etiquette thing around this.
She got into a bit of a social faux pas when she and my father were hosting a table at a banquet. Not needing to loo, she didn’t go.
Until, my father muttered sotto voce, “Don’t you need to go?”
“No,” she answered perplexed. She couldn’t quite imagine why this was a focus of conversation.
“You’re supposed to gather all the ladies and go to the loo together.”
“Why? Can’t they go on their own?”
Like her daughter she was immune to social cues that mean everyone with a womb must get up and head to the bathroom en masse. She was entirely unaware that all these ladies were sitting there clenching their knees together just dying for a wee.
Personally, I tend to just slip away and tend to nature’s call without telling the entire restaurant about it. I really don’t see the need for awkward social interaction while seeing a man about a dog.
Also, there’s the social anxiety aspect of public restrooms to contend with. If you hear a loud methane emission from the cubicle next door, you can’t laugh. Neither can you emerge from your cubicle until the end of time if it’s you that let one slip.
I got stuck in bathroom cubicle at JFK for half an hour once when I accidentally set off the auto-flusher and screamed. (It was my first experience with one, okay. I come from Africa.) I could hear the feeble attempts at muffled laughter. It was excruciating.
I fall into the same trap when we meet up with friends at their homes. There is a silent cue when all the ladies get up and retire to the kitchen. I don’t know what they do in there. I hate people in my kitchen. It always takes me awhile to realize that I’m the only woman there.
This results in my typical outburst of, “Guys! You’re supposed to tell me,” and them all looking around bewildered to find half the table empty.
Like me they also want to know what goes on in the kitchen at parties.
And, like me they’re too scared to find out.