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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » What do women do in the restroom together? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: What do women do in the restroom together?
trousercuit
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This has come up while writing an Ask Mr. Writing Person column. It's not important that he knows - in fact, it's essential that he's clueless - but his questioner is female, and she needs to be authentic.

So when women are on a triple date, and one stands up and says, "Let's go to the ladies room!" and they all tromp off together leaving the men to stare awkwardly at each other over half-eaten crab quiche... what are they doing in there?


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Beth
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surely Mr. Writing Person knows they're doing heroin in there.


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HSO
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They all go in to practice kissing. Everybody knows that. Then it's heroin. Or maybe it's heroin first and kissing after.

What they aren't doing is talking about their men or anything else, really. That never happens.


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Elan
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Oh, please. He's asking a serious question.

They are doing two things:

1) Talking about themselves. "Do I look all right?" "Look at me, I dribbled food on my chest, now I look stupid!" "Is this the right color of lipstick?" "What's wrong with my hair today!"

and they are:

2) Talking about the men. "Isn't he cute?" "Do you think he'll ask me out again?" "He's so fine..." .... of course, if this is a relationship that is headed south, the conversation may lean toward, "He's so stupid."

That's all it is. The ladies room is like Information Central.


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Kickle
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Making themselves more beautiful if the date is going well or, if the date is not going well, they are plotting how to escape and what to do once they ditch the loser guys.
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HSO
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They might also being using the toilet. 100% of women need to pee at some point in their lives, or is that just a myth?
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Beth
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Personally, I am too busy doing heroin and practicing kissing to actually pee.
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Corky
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On a more serious note, women have been raised to be cautious, especially with regard to going to places they've never been before, and restrooms in the backs of restaurants qualify.

Men aren't raised to be cautious that way, so they don't need the "strength in numbers."

There is also the talking and the using the facilities and the fixing of makeup (it's rude to fix makeup in public, dontcha know). And if the restroom is tastefully decorated (the fancier the restaurant, the fancier the ladies restroom), there is oohing and ahhing about the decor.

But speaking as a woman who was raised to be cautious, the "strength in numbers" when going someplace I've never been before is reason enough. (Maybe you haven't heard the horror stories about what can happen to a woman alone, but I have, many times.)


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Beth
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yeah, but this is Mr. Writing Person. Have you read his column?

Here's how the conversation will probably play out:

Questioner: So the other woman and I left the table to go to the bathroom. We were going to--

Mr. Writing Person: Do heroin, yes, I know. And practice kissing.

Q: What? No, we were not! We were going to--

MWP: You ignorant Philistine. Denial might work fine for you in real life, but fiction requires honesty.

Q: But I don't do heroin!

MWP: Ah, so the kissing part is true? Excellent. All truly great novels have kissing in them.

Q: I don't remember there being any kissing in Moby Dick.

MWP: You ignorant heroin-addicted Philistine. It was symbolic. Luckily for you, I'm here to explain these subtleties. Remember the scene where Abraham Lincoln gets into a fistfight with Captain Ahab?

Q: Uh, no.

MWP: You ignorant Philistine.


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Corky
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Oh.

Well, just call me "ignorant Philistine" then. (Isn't that a redundancy?)


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oliverhouse
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Wow, trousercuit, I didn't realize that Beth was just a pseudonym you use!

Beth, I'd say that was a great spoof, but it's too accurate of a rendering of what he'll actually do in his next column.

Regards,
Oliver


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Beth
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You can tell us apart easily: Mr. Writing Person is the one who thinks "alright" is ok.


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Kickle
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Alrighty, make a mental note never to go into a restroom with Beth unless heavily armed.

[This message has been edited by Kickle (edited June 03, 2006).]


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Christine
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I never did go to the bathroom with other women very often. When I did, it was usually a coincidence -- we all had to pee at the same time. Once we did it as something of a joke because the men in our group were discussing women getting up and going to the bathroom together.

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trousercuit
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Elan, everyone else who answered seriously: thank you.

Everyone else who didn't: thank you.

There's no way Beth is a pseudonym. It's illiterate Philistine, not ignorant. And yes, we diverge on the "alright" thing, too. (It's the posterior injective of "all right," okay? By the way, this one's making it into the "fack" I'm posting on Monday morning.)

Other than that, we're identical. Except the gender thing. And location. Genes, etc. Gravity, though, we have in common. I think.

EDIT: This is actually about eight Ask Mr. Writing Person columns out. I've produced a shameful number of them in just a few weeks. It disturbs me.

And Beth pretty much nailed the last part of it, except it's not about the questioner going to the restroom, it's about Cher, Paris, and Hildegarde.

[This message has been edited by trousercuit (edited June 04, 2006).]


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Beth
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ignorant, illiterate, whatever; I stopped reading because of the "alrights." it was either stop reading or claw my eyes out.
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trousercuit
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Alright.
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trousercuit
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Do you all ways claw your eyes out when you come across it?
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Beth
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Yeah. Now I mostly have to use a Braille reader for internet stuff.
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trousercuit
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My heck! How many eyes did you start with, Beth?

Now that I know this about you, I'm predisposed to be less snarky.


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Beth
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Oh, God, sorry. The last thing I want to do is contribute to someone becoming less snarky.
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trousercuit
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Good.

You're an illiterate Philistine.


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Survivor
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The problem with being less snarky is that the usual alternative to a snark is a Boojum.
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Robert Nowall
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There are some things men are not meant to know...
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trousercuit
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... like the definition of Boojam, for example? I can't get Google to give me a straight answer. It also keeps suggesting "boojum."
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Survivor
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That's because "Boojam" is incorrect. Who, besides you, said anything about Boojams?
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Beth
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apparently he is an illiterate Philistine.
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trousercuit
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I'm afraid not. "Boojam" is the subjugular normative form of Boojum, and is commonly used for emphasis.
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Beth
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Someday, someone's going to make the mistake of taking you seriously, you know?
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trousercuit
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I hope so. That person has no business writing.

The only difference is that getting laughed out of the hobby/business will happen a lot sooner.

My biggest worry is that it would be a kid, who wouldn't be expected to know better.


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Beth
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I'd be careful to avoid giving any advice that would lead a naieve reader into signing with a scam agent or PublishAmerica.
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hoptoad
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Isn't it a very tired, old joke?

"Oh yeah. the old restroom en masse joke."

Do they ever wonder what we all talk about when they are gone?

'Sheesh mate, lights are on but no-one's home!' number one guy says.
'You happen to be talking about the woman I love...' number two guy replies looking miserable and staring at his drink.
Pause.
Another pause while number one guys makes unobtrusive, let's get out of here gesture to number three guy.
Yet another pause while number three guy thinks of something.
'Might go see if the bar is still open... ' number three guy suggests.
'Ooh wait, I'll come too...' number one guy chimes in. 'You want anything Joe?'
'More scotch...double.' says number two guy

[This message has been edited by hoptoad (edited June 05, 2006).]


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hoptoad
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Imagine if you were on a triple date ( by the way, who goes on triple dates?)and have one guy stand up and say:
"I'm going to the restroom." and the other two say, "Ooh wait, I'll come too." that would be weird!

I used to date a girl who would occasionally flip out a little round mirror and furtively check her make-up. Clearly not for my benefit because she would check who was looking and if it was only me she'd go right on ahead and fix her lipstick. So one day when she did it I asked if I could borrow the mirror and got out a disposable razor I had brought and neatened-up my top lip.

No... she didn't think it was particularly funny either.

[This message has been edited by hoptoad (edited June 05, 2006).]


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hoptoad
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Then there's being left sitting with two other guys you don't know and would rather slap than talk too just because the girls insisted on a triple date.
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trousercuit
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Okay, that's hilarious. To bad it didn't work out - but then, would you have wanted it to anyway?

I know it's an old joke, but Mr. Writing Person has his own unique twists on the idea. Mutagen-injected nuclear garden lizards, for example. And... three guys in a bathroom, primping themselves. One says, "Can you zip me up?"

Beth: Duly noted, and good idea. I wouldn't want people to actually get scammed because of something I write, no matter how illiterate they are.


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pooka
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Does eating make the stubble grow faster? Because it does rub off lipstick.
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hoptoad
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This particular occasion was in the foyer of a movie theatre BEFORE the movie.
Odd on many levels.

[This message has been edited by hoptoad (edited June 05, 2006).]


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Minister
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I have also found that stubble rubs off lipstick. I think I'm going to start carrying a razor and mirror on dates with my wife now.
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Survivor
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Bright red stubble, mm-hmmm!

hoptoad, anything a woman does involving lipstick is potentially flirtatious. It's little wonder she took your little turn-about play the wrong way, since you were probably taking her preening the wrong way. Of course, we may be working from different data sets, I probably never took the woman in question to dinner, after all.

As for a bunch of guys all going to the bathroom together...some women might find it wierd, but their initial instinct would probably be delight at getting to stay at the table together. And some might find the idea of a man who is comfortable "being sociable" with other men attractive. Of course, men and women have fundamentally different modes of sociability, women almost never recognize male socialization for what it is and men find female socialization superficial (and a little creepy if it happens between men).

Ultimately, trousercuit has a point with his "would you have wanted it to anyway?" comment. You gotta be a guy. If a woman can't handle that...so be it. Not that I've managed to get married or anything like that


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hoptoad
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Appreciate the implication that I work from some sort of data set.
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quidscribis
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Um, personally, I like going to the bathroom with other girls because, as odd as this sounds, I'm easily confused in buildings and have a tendency to get lost. Going to the bathroom with another female means I can follow her and not worry.
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Robert Nowall
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There's the old saying from high school. "Who knows what goes on in the girls' locker room...but wouldn't you guys like to be there to see it?"
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Survivor
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I can't claim to have been familiar with that saying, or even to believe that it's really a saying now that I've been familiarized with it.

I'm curious about what hoptoad works from if he doesn't work from a data set.


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Robert Nowall
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Well, I made it up about five minutes before posting it...but it certainly sums up the attitude at my high school...
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sholar
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If the women all leave for the restroom at the same time as the check comes, that is a sign for the men to divide the bill and pay it while they are gone- though that may be a bit old fashioned.
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pooka
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I prefer extrapolations of reality from fairy cake over data sets.
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Survivor
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Fairy cake is a data set, though.
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hoptoad
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quote:

I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke, on various subjects; several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.

mmm fairy cake


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trousercuit
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Sorry, Survivor. Your perceptions of fairy cake are a data set.

Just wanted to get us back onto rigorous ground, you know.

By the way, quidscribis, I first read your post like this:

quote:
Um, personally, I like going to the bathroom with girls because, as odd as this sounds, I'm easily confused in buildings and have a tendency to get lost...

I thought you were a guy and kept waiting for the punch line.


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Elan
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quote:
I thought you were a guy and kept waiting for the punch line.

You must have missed her many references to her husband

And, regarding the mission in the bathroom... sometimes we women just need to pee.

[This message has been edited by Elan (edited June 08, 2006).]


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