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We live in complicated, controversial times.  There is upheaval all around us, and vastly differing opinions as to the appropriate way to resolve virtually every problem.  The "right" and the "left" can't seem to agree on anything...except maybe that they're both unquestionably, devoutly devoted to the principles that define them - whatever those may be.  But there remains one issue that is more hotly debated than all others combined.  I am talking about, of course, men's insistence on leaving the toilet seat up. Why can't they just leave the damn things down? The simple answer is, "we can...but why should  we?"

"What?"  I hear you bristle.  "Guys should lower the toilet seat because it's just the considerate thing for them to do!"  Agreed.  It would be very considerate for us to do that for you.  And similarly, it would be equally considerate for you to raise the seat back up for us  upon completion of your task - for it takes about the same amount of effort to raise the seat as it does to lower it.   In a perfect world, this kind of reciprocity makes absolute sense.  We take care of toilet seat positioning for you, and you do the same for us.  Everybody's happy.

But this begs a very important question: "Wouldn't it be simpler and less confusing if each of us were just responsible for placing the seat in the position that best suited our needs, relying on others to do the same?  And shouldn't we accept and have tolerance for the physiological differences of others with whom we share our facilities, acknowledging their needs may be different, though no less important than our own?"  It is an issue of shared rights and responsibilities, with men and women having equal dominion over the "seat of honor."

"But wait," I hear you say.  "What about when I have to use the toilet at night and I don't want to turn on the light.  If the toilet seat is up, I'm apt to dunk my buns in the bowl.  That really sucks, and it's not fair, 'cause guys don't have the same problem."  No, but we have a different, equally unpleasant one.  True, for us, urination can be accomplished without being seated.  But if we don't turn on the light and you've left the seat down, or worse, the lid, our stream is suddenly ricocheting in every direction, spraying the contents of our bladder everywhere but in the bowl.  And that leaves both us and the bathroom, pungent, damp, and in need of a good scrubbing.  So in the case of nighttime bathroom usage, I think we must all either turn on the light to determine seat orientation ("look before you leak"), or carefully feel our way in the dark, making certain the "accommodations" are suitable to our particular situation.  

I hope this has helped resolve one of the most insidious lavatory conflicts facing us today.  Perhaps this recognition of diversity of needs coupled with personal responsibility will allow men and women everywhere to be able to weather these "ups" and "downs" in an environment of good humor and mutual respect.  And if we can successfully achieve this kind of harmonious co-existence, could world peace be far behind?

If you have any questions about men, relationships, dating or a related topic, please feel free to email them to me at: david@EveryManSeesYouNaked.com. I will try to answer as many as I possibly can here in my column. If you are interested in a more comprehensive compendium of musings on the male mind, check out David's Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider's Guide to How Men Think. 

(C) 2009 David M. Matthews.  All Rights Reserved.

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