I have a confession to make. When I made my New Year’s Resolutions earlier this year, I left one out. It was a secret that I wasn’t ready to share with you until now. My resolution was to start using urinals.
I admit it. I use public restrooms rather frequently. I’m vegan (food tends to move quickly through our systems rather quickly) and I like to stay well-hydrated. In the past, I’ve always been a fan of using a stall to do my business in private. It gives me a chance to catch up on Twitter, text with my friends or continue my goal of getting 3 stars in every level of Angry Birds. But last December, as I was wiping someone else’s pee puddles from a toilet seat, a light bulb clicked on above my head. And no, it wasn’t just some guy with a flashlight peeking over the stall wall to offer me sexual favors. It was the realization that just a few feet away it would be more sanitary to urinate while standing. I wouldn’t have to experience my illogical anxiety about the germs that were latching on to my backside every time that I sat down. I could break free from the shackles of the filthy public toilet!
I know what you’re thinking. Why not just stand and pee into a toilet? Obviously lots of people do it, because there seem to be puddles of urine on every public toilet seat in every public restroom on Earth. But standing in a stall and peeing when there are available urinals is a sign of weakness. Of defeat. Of cowardice. The man that stands in a stall to pee when urinals are available has something to be ashamed of. Perhaps his penis is tiny, misshapen and/or diseased. Or maybe his underpants are disgusting. Whatever the reason, that man has something to hide.
I’ve always had an silly fear of urinals. I don’t like the idea of someone standing at a urinal next to me, of them peeking at me, or of someone engaging me in a conversation while I’m peeing. And yes, it happens more often than you’d think.
A few years ago, I worked up the nerve to use a urinal after-hours at the office. I figured that there were hardly any men left in the building, so I’d be safe. But as I peed, our newspaper editor entered the bathroom. Now I’ve never been quite sure of the urinal etiquette of where you’re supposed to look while peeing. Up towards the ceiling? Straight ahead? Down at the waterworks? It seems that as he walked past me and the urinals, I must have been doing the last option. “There are barns in this county that could use your head to help them stay standing!” he said.
What the fuck did that mean?! My mind raced … was he flirting with me? Just making an awful joke? Was he commenting on my head’s proximity to the wall? The man was (and still is) quite the weirdo! He continued to babble and joke from a closed stall, but I quickly finished, zipped up, washed my hands and ran from the lavatory.
This year, I’ve vowed to use urinals whenever possible. It’s been difficult at times, but it has been going well. Yes, there have been some awkward while-peeing conversations. And a few days ago, I’m fairly certain that someone peeked at my penis. They seemed pleased, so it actually wasn’t that bad.
Oh, and speaking of urine, here’s a video of Oprah peeing for ten minutes. Enjoy!