Just a thought… Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that, you have good manners no matter what fork you use. [Emily Post]
I need to talk to you about something. It’s directed at men, but don’t worry if you aren’t one; you likely know or have lived with one, so I think you’ll relate. And it has to do with toilet seats.
Let me take you back a decade or so when Rob’s older brother, who lives now as a bachelor, came to visit. I would be slightly agitated everytime I went into the guest bathroom to find the toilet seat – not just the lid, the seat – in the up position. When I brought it to his attention (more than once) he put on his fighting pants and asked me why the seat should not be left up ALL of the time. Why shouldn’t we, who sit, have to put it down, rather than vice versa?
I didn’t bother fighting with him, but I did point out how gross it would be to be constantly moving that seat into the down position. No thank you very much. Besides, bro, “my house, my rules.” Of course, living alone, he has the freedom to do whatever he wants. He can pee in the waste paper basket or the rhododendrons at his own home, for all I care.
That conversation – whether he was (if you’ll pardon the pun) pulling my chain or not – has never left me. And it came back with a big thud while we were flying to and from Amsterdam this past month.
On the way there, I went to the lav, which had just been vacated by a gentleman in a uniform. He might have been a pilot. He might even have been a flight attendant (I didn’t really pay attention), but he was definitely crew. Imagine my joy to walk into the tiny washroom and see the seat up. First thing I did was kick it down with my foot, making a nice big noise before I closed the door. (Don’t worry, I wasn’t disturbing passengers: the lavatory was in a galley. That was just for the gentleman leaving to hear.)
On the trip home, however, I wasn’t quite as astute. This time I used the lavatory near the flight deck. I’m not sure who was the offending party this time. I just know that it was daylight outside, but my body thought it was middle of the night. I was sleepy enough that when I enclosed myself in the lav, I didn’t take a moment to check on the seat. Instead I sat down. Odd, I thought, this seat feels really cold. And wet.
There was a reason for that. And why do you think that was? Because. The. Seat. Was. Up.
I hadn’t noticed that some “upstanding” passenger hadn’t bothered to put the seat down out of consideration for the next visitor. Infuriating! They have signs in most airline lavs suggesting you take a moment to use your hand towel to dry off the basin after you use it, “as a courtesy to the next passenger.” Why not a similar sign about the toilet seat?
You see (and I think, as friends, I can be honest with you here) THIS is why I hate sharing bathrooms with the other gender. Even my dear Rob, who always puts the seat down, uses another bathroom rather than share one with me. It’s just the best thing for our marriage. And our idea of heaven? A hotel room or even ship’s cabin with two bathrooms. It’s a rarity, but oh, what a treat!
Here’s another story between friends. Sometimes back at the radio station, where we had small solo bathrooms for the use of on-air people with very tight deadlines, the single HIS washroom would be occupied when a male co-worker needed to go. So he did something I wouldn’t do, even if I was about to burst: he’d use ours. Which I get in an emergency. I mean, I know how that “news wheel” at 680 can catch you in its spokes and leave you for road kill! But I lost count of how many times I’d walk in, only to find that HE had left the seat up, so rushed was he to get back to his sports, business, news or…whatever.
There you go – my rant for the day. I can’t imagine someone being in such a hurry that they could forget something like putting down a toilet seat, but then again, they might be the same people who don’t wash their hands either. Me? After I’ve encountered one, there isn’t enough sanitizer in the world – or up in the sky.
Ew. Tomorrow: doing interviews of a totally different kind for me. And boy, were they eye-opening!