My salad dressing days

A message for the sisterhood
August 26, 2005, 8:08 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Feeling the need to hear some live music, I took myself off to a Prom the other night. As is usual when I visit the theatre, by the time I sat down I was already plotting my trip to the ladies’ loos at the interval.

I’ve tried my best not to, but I am becoming increasingly conspiratorial about the lack of adequate amenities for women in our nation’s theatres…

I wonder how often the following scenario is played out at theatres all over this fine land:

Man #1: Right, we’ve got half an hour until curtain up. Shall I put in an order at the bar for our interval drinks?
Man #2: Marvellous plan, Herbert! Make mine a Glenfiddich on the rocks. And you, darling? And Myrtle?
Woman #1: Oh, nothing for us, sweetheart! Myrtle and I will be peeing! Perhaps you could let me suck on your lemon slice as we return to our seats for the second half, now there’s a dear!

And, in the highly unlikely event that the women *do* make it to the theatre bar before the bell rings for the second half:

Man #1: As I was saying, we need to Keep Them Out Of The Boardroom and perhaps we can consider a reversal of the universal suffr…Myrtle! Penelope! Golly gosh, that was quick!
Myrtle: Yes! Well, we decided to share a cubicle – don’t know why we didn’t think of it before!
Penelope: So, what were you talking about in our absence?
Man #2: Oh, just the usual. I was telling Herbert about that awful round I had at Gleneagles last week. Dreadful. Buggered up my handicap.

So I got to thinking: what are the options for today’s urinating and defecating woman visiting the theatre?

(1) Consider leaving your seat before the first half of the performance is up to ‘beat the rush’:

Friend: How about that clarinet solo? Wasn’t it stupendous?
Woman: What clarinet solo?
Friend: The one in the second movement?
Woman: Ah now I missed the second movement as I was in the ladies’ HAVING a movement. Not to worry, I’m planning on buying the CD on Amazon when I get home.

Yep, that’s right. There’s always Amazon. There’s always the CD.

(2) Consider cross-dressing for the evening:

Friend: Mildred, you remember George and Evelyn?
George: Erm, George and Evan, actually.
Friend: Evan? What? Where’s your dear wife this evening, George?
George: [coughs pointedly]

I think this option might be kinda fun. I’m sure I could use a urinal…

(3) Consider having a catheter fitted.

It’s a painless procedure in my experience. Well, if you have been anaethetised from the waist down, anyhoo.

So, quit complainin’, sisters! Don’t act like you don’t have CHOICES!!


19 Comments so far
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I hope “could you let me suck on your lemon slice” is not a euphemism. That would be more audacious than “pleasuring” oneself in seat A12 during the outward bound flight to Brussels.

Excellent post. Very funny.

Comment by Swifty

Maintain a state of dehydration. Can be tricky at first to get the balance right but once you’ve passed out a couple of times, you get the hang of it.

Comment by chick chick chick chick chicken

My preferred tactic is to stroll nonchalently into the men’s loos. It raises a few eyebrows, but it does make peeing quicker.

Unless, of course, you end up getting the loo door jammed, and have to get the maintainance guy to come and remove the lock so you can get out again…Then it’s kinda longer – and much more embarrasing. Ahem.

Comment by Hannah

Ahhh Don you beat me to it “suck on your lemon slice” does sound a bit rude {snigger}

As to the girlies well you could always wear avictorian style hooped dress and hit a chamber pot under it :o)

I’ll get my coat….

Comment by Aginoth

yes, mr s (and mr a), it would be more audacious, wouldn’t it…?

i’d like to say i found it on your random euphemism generator (which is marvellous btw), but, alas, i didn’t

Comment by Urban Chick

p.s. i like the chamber pot idea, although i’d be happy to settle for a gypsy skirt as not prepared to pay for two seats at the theatre to accommodate victorian hoop dress

Comment by Urban Chick

So true, so true! Every woman reading this can relate. BTW, I love your characters — Herbert, Myrtle, et al. : )

Comment by Meegan

this reminds me of a woman I saw who beat the queue by barging past it, pulling her skirt up and peeing in one of the washhand basins

Comment by GreatSheElephant

Conspiracy. Keep them out of the bathroom, keep them out of the boardroom. Hm. xoxo

Comment by mireille

or rather: keep them (preferably locked) in the bathroom and out of the boardroom

yes, i am one angry conspiracy-suspecting woman (who crosses her legs a lot)


Comment by Urban Chick

OK, you guys have bars in the theater? I’m so coming to visit! 🙂

As for the peeing thing, one moment of kindness I’ll never forget happened about 10 years ago. I was in between flights and late. I had a big giant backpack on and I was all sweaty from running across the terminal but I had to pee so bad so I waited in line in the ladie’s room and thw whole time I was thinking I would miss my flight and finally there was only one person ahead of me, an older woman, and she turned to me and said so kindly:

“I think it’s your turn now.” and I said, “No, you were ahead of me!” and she said, “That’s ok, I can wait, you go ahead dear”.

I peed and made my flight. God bless her, whoever she was. 🙂

Comment by Kate

Excellent post! How funny!

In some cantinas in Mexico there are troughs that run along the length of bar so that patrons can whip it out and pee while drinking. I say give the men a trough, the women can then take over the bathrooms!

Comment by GodlessMom

I go for the prime the man to get the drinks, make sure he has sharp elbows and knows how to use them.

Then always choose your seats with access to the facilities in mind.

Wear running shoes – honestly it is a fashion statement, classy outfit and reeboks, works for me.

Comment by Jane

right on, sister!

Comment by Justine

High five it is.

We went to an amazing classical concert at the Prom. What an interesting venue that is!

Comment by BarbaraFromCalifornia

well I am so pleased to know a fellow ranter…
for years now I have been raging about the lack of enough toilets for women in public and private places.
I thought about learning to pee standing – see this site
for info.
It’s quite a challenge but some women find it easy.
There are devices you can buy to help – see my blog for further ranting……..

Comment by yclepta

Honestly, if women could just learn to pee faster I swear there would be no problem. Do yer keggels and FORCE it out like a horse!

I swear some women take their own sweet dilly dallying time once they get in just because they had to wait so long to get there. What are they doing? re-hemming skirts? Crazy!

Comment by SBB

ooo wait I know… they’re doing the “lay the loo paper on the dirty loo seat” thing…

Comment by SBB

When I think of all the drinks I could have had if I hadn’t been busy queueing in the ladies all those years! I used to go to the theatre on average three times a week; I don’t want to add up the time spent shifting from one foot to the other in long lines of impatient women. I have struck fleeting friendships there, though.

Germaine Greer has a solution: she zooms to the disabled loo and reappears as if nothing has happened. Saw her do that at the NT last year: it was neatly done.

These days, I don’t drink a drop of anything after 3pm, when I’m going to the theatre. Does the trick.

Comment by Bela

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