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But apparently not.  Look, I’m pretty free and easy with the rules of civilized society.  No one would ever accuse me of being persnickety, whatever that actually means.  Seriously people, there are a few rules so obvious that even I understand the need.  Not surprisingly, more than half of them involve bathroom behavior, so pay attention.  They’re really instinctive, but it seems not to be the case for everyone.  Let’s go over them one more time:

1.   In public restrooms, always allow for a buffer stall

I thought we all knew this one.  If I’m in stall #1 then the next person will skip stall #2 and head for stall #3.  Continue until every other stall is filled, at which point the next person will be forced to choose a stall next to someone.  But at that point it’s understandable.  Before that it’s just creepy.  A dozen stalls and you feel the need to sit next to me?  That’s a level of sharing I’m not quite cool with.

2.   No cell phone talk in the bathroom

C’mon – it’s just gross.  Do I really need to explain this one?  And then I feel bad about flushing too loudly and I don’t need that kind of guilt.

3.   Ass gaskets – you know, toilet seat covers

So you feel the public toilet seat is so disgusting that you wouldn’t want your bare buns touching it.  I get that.  I even understand that you don’t want to catch whatever is on it via the well known extra permeability of cheek tissue.  You’re just careful that way.  And I’m cool with that.  But given your extra sensitivity toward butt safety, how do you think I feel when I enter the only available stall and see you’ve just left it there.  I have to either wait for another stall or grab ahold of your ass gasket and toss it in the toilet and flush.  Seriously, it’s your butt germs.  You toss it in the toilet!

4.   If you absolutely must use your cell phone in the bathroom, at least make sure you’re alone

True story: I was in a very large casino restroom.  I went into my stall and the woman in front of me chose one a few doors away.  I took my seat, just in time to hear her say “So… what are you doing?”  As I’m debating which snarky reply to draw from my arsenal (“I’ll give you 2 guesses”, “Knitting a toilet paper cozy!” – I’ve got more!), I hear her say “Yeah, I just stopped in the bathroom and thought I’d call on my cell.”  That wasn’t awkward or anything.

5.   And absolutely positively no cell pooping!

Ex-husband #2 did this, and hence he is appropriately named #2.  There isn’t much worse than someone deciding you and bowel movements are a match made in heaven.  “Hey, I was just in a meeeeting with my boss and he (grunt) said that – hang on a second [noises I won’t describe] – he said that I was his best employee!”  Yeah, remind me to sell my stock.

6.   Flush or close the lid

Trust me, I’m all for saving the planet.  I totally get “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”.  I also see opening and closing the lid as a pointless waste of effort.  But pick one.  I’m really not happy with the cat smelling like a drug test cup when she licks my face.

7.   No slow drivers in the fast lane.  Ever.  No matter what.

If you’re in the fast lane with cars behind you and none in front, move over.  I don’t care if you’re breaking the world land speed record or the baby is crowning – get out of the way!  You may have been hall monitor in grade school, but you’re not King of the Road now.  If you promise to let me get around you, I promise not to push you from behind and signal that you’re #1 when I finally get past you 12 miles later.

8.   Don’t hog the right lane – let my people go!

I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is to drive in a state where it is legal to turn right on red and not be allowed to because someone thinks their Civic is a double-wide trailer.  Bear left in that far right lane and we’re both happy!

9.   Thermostats

Simple rule: if it’s not your thermostat, don’t touch it.  Corollary: In a battle over the thermostat setting, the hottest person wins.  Always.  If you’re cold, put on a sweater, but you really don’t want me walking around the house naked and sweaty when your mom decides to come over, do you

10.   Don’t just stare when someone says “Hello”

So what really are the odds that this person, smiling and greeting you with a hearty “Good morning!”, is a homicidal maniac or a real live gang member set to gun down anyone that replies with another “Good morning”.  It’s not going to kill you, and if you think it truly will, at least smile.  Your face will not break and the person you greet won’t walk down the street muttering under their breath about what an asshat you are and how it really wouldn’t kill you to force a smile and what is wrong with people today.

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5 thoughts on “Ten Simple Social Rules I Thought We All Understood

  1. OMG this is hilarious!!! I agree with most of them but I have to say #1 is probably my fave however #9 is one I used to have to deal with all the time when my in-laws would watch my kids, I would wake up freezing or burning up b/c I didn't know they adjusted the thermostat, freaking awesome blog lol

  2. This is the best blog I have read in awhile and I must say I totally agree 100%… not only about the bathroom issues – but the fast lane – please! Can we get this part of the Nevada DMV book! Wonderful writing!! LOVE IT!

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