Overheard in the Long Island Railroad (Penn Station) ladies room:
Two obviously suburban L. I. ladies, square bodies (think Sponge Bob), strip mall beauty shop hair (dry!), indeterminate age somewhere between 40 and 60, pushing through the narrow space between stalls and sinks.
L.I.L #1—“Here’s two empty ones. Now remember if you come out and I’m still in, don’t go anywhere.”
L.I.L. #2—“I won’t. Don’t you forget. We’ll meet right here.”
L. I. L. #1—“Is there paper in there? Do I have paper in there? Do you have paper in there?”
L. I. L. #2—“Now, remember….”
“Ladies,” spoke the urban woman in the hat, heedlessly jostled by the square-shaped ladies as they strove to maintain hip contact with one another at all times, “hold hands under the stalls as you pee—and try not to drag your knuckles in the last lady’s pee. You know what we carry in these tote bags, don’t you? Giant strap-ons. When we catch a juicy lady such as yourselves alone for thirty seconds, we pounce….”
How funny you found that depended on where you stood in the loo line that day, on the side of the ladies who vist fearfully and seldom —or those who live (or work) here with at least occasional flashes of bravado and contempt for the bathroom partners.
Observing the behavior of ladies, young and old, in train station rest rooms and Starbucks coffee shops this summer, studying them as though I were an anthropologist or natural historian, I have reached new conclusions.
One, People grow ever more stupid and yet proud of their dimwittedness.
They speak in empty buzz words and text in beaten, battered and bruised English, sharing everything that vaguely passes as a stray thought, i.e., their mental burps and farts, with their Twitter followers. When intellectually challenged, they may scream loudly and long like giant apes defending their territory, the vast empty brain, where the savannah grasses sway in the breeze of the electronic beeps.
Do you recall when intelligent people believed in improving their minds over vacation and alternated books on philosophy, art and literature with their big beach book reads? Really, we need not reach back to the Age of Enlightenment for that time in history. As recently as twenty years ago the culture had not entirely dummied down—though the process was actively in place.
Two, I hate people.
There are exceptions, of course, like you, dear reader. (It’s those other people I hate.)
This summer I have discovered a direct link between One and Two. Its toilet-paper-strewn, urine-sprayed tracks run through the women’s rest rooms in Penn Station and Grand Central Station. That I regularly visit in Jersey and upstate New York gives me opportunity to study commuters in their grittier native habitats, the bathrooms and Starbucks. (Meanest, rudest commuters, Westchester; nicest, most courteous commuters, Jersey.)
Women are pigs. While homeless women bathing in the toilets with paper seat covers and leaving the sodden mess in stall corners, is a problem—it is far from the only one and possibly the more forgivable one—plaguing rest rooms used by the pigs. The next time you see a well-dressed woman of any age exit a stall, yank that door open wide behind her and expose her perfidy.
Pee sprayed on the seat, the floor? She’s a squatter who won’t let her quivery bowls of jello down on the seat and woe to you if you come along behind her and sit down. (Hint: You may hear her shrieking to her daughter in the next stall: Don’t touch anything! Don’t touch anything!)
Lengths of folded tissue cast to the floor? A lazy paper girl, she neatly folded paper, covered the seat, sat on it, and was too lazy to flush the remains. All too often she also leaves behind the crumpled piece of paper she used to wipe herself— tossed to the floor, especially nice if pee was not her only intimate duty that trip.
In addition to one of the above two major personal ass-covering styles, un-flushed toilet? Oh, a real oinker, possibly with lingering toilet training issues. She’s just can’t stand to flush her own poo.
These women share an absolute contempt for the women who clean public bathrooms; and that alone makes me hate them.
Follow a gaggle of the breed to Starbucks. Once I thought that 50% of women’s conversation was composed of gossip and putting other women down viciously. Now I am quite sure it is 2/3, perhaps 3/4 of women’s conversation. My goodness, how mean they are sitting on their fat dry asses, slurping down their milky, sugary coffee drinks—tearing apart She Who Is Not There, totally lacking in compassion though surely some of them have listed “compassion” as one of their prized qualities on an internet dating site or maybe even a job application.
SexyPrime readers, you are not they. You don’t have to write telling me that. I know it. But you’ve seen and heard them. Possibly it is too late to help most of them, but a few might be improved by exposure to your finer mind.
Breathe deeply. Meditate. Read a book to improve your mind before summer is gone.
“Read Montaigne,” Flaubert said. “He will calm you down.”
How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer by Sarah Bakewell (Other Press) is the perfect introduction to the 16th Century philosopher Michel de Montaigne, whom the author compares to the popular blogger of his day. She distills his philosophy into two principle ideas: “Anything for a quiet life” and “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In that sentence alone, she has taken the man into our time—where he fits in just fine—overcoming whatever reluctance a reader might have to immerse in 16th Century philosophy.
Montaigne has been called the least didactic and the most disarming of philosophers, leading you into the path of intelligent thought before you quite realize where you’re going. Bakewell’s book leads you to his Essays the same way. No question, you will want to read the essays—and probably before you finish the book. I advise ordering a copy of the Essays along with Bakewell’s book and pursuing them together. This will not feel like homework for grad students. Trust me. Buy the books. Turn off your devices. Sink luxuriously in.
Montaigne liked sex, by the way, and experienced rather a lot of it in his life. He is frank about his lack of outstanding endowment.
“Nature has treated me unfairly and unkindly,” he writes but so it goes.
“Our life is part folly, part wisdom. Whoever writes about it only reverently and according to the rules leaves out more than half of it.”
Montaigne broke the rules of traditional discourse by leaping from one subject to another, connecting them in almost stream-of-consciousness style—and by writing the inconvenient truths like his penis size. He did not have a plan.
I love that about him. I’ve lived my whole life without a plan and taken some deserved flak for that. But now comes Montaigne to champion my style. I think I shall carry Bakewell’s book and the Essays into the bowels of the women’s rest rooms when next I go there.
Ladies, read Montaigne. He will calm you.
copyright 2008-2011, www.sexyprime.typepad.com; PARTIAL reposts only permitted with link back to original article on SexyPrime