Each morning I get to work, after having being flattened to the wall of a train compartment, squashed up against other human bodies, frantically running up and down steep (and slippery!) staircases and walking through mucky roads. Then I wait till my colleague comes in, about 10 minutes later. She switches on her computer, rearranges her desk and says “Shall we go?”
I’ve heard about this from several amused (and puzzled) men. We call it ‘Communal Looing’. The question is “Why do women go to the loo in groups?” It is a good question. I’ll keep turning it over through my thoughts and blogs. If I ever figure out the answer I’ll keep mum and uphold the great secret of time.
So what do we do when we ‘go’ in groups? Well….we talk. We giggle. We compare notes on men (boss, colleague, client, boyfriend, husband, friend). The sneaky suspicion men have that women are having a good laugh at their expense in the loo, is correct. The washroom is a great place for female bonding. After all, that really is the only place the men can’t intrude into our lives.
Frantic damage control can be administered and strategies discussed.
“I got an oil stain on my dress!!!”…..”Here….put some talcum powder on it.”
“…And what if he calls here and wants to talk?”….”Say oops, I hear my boss calling and hang up”
“Tried some crunches yesterday & got a cramp. I hate these damn tyres”…”Hee hee…bet he loves those love-handles though”
Yes well, and we play the fool sometimes too. The last time we went out for a drink, the women went to the washroom together (of course!). There we discussed who was drinking what, who was sloshed, who could be lulled into ‘something’ in the present state of drunkeness. We giggled over some of the things the men were saying. Then we looked at the mirror together and appraised ourselves. One of them said “Security guard is a bloody letcher…did you notice?” I said “Yes, well, pity him, there’s a bevy of beauties passing by after all”. “Yeah right,” she retorted, we look more like Charlie’s angels. A minute later this sturdy matron in a grey salwar-kameez was startled to walk in on the three of us posing like Charlie’s angels and clicking pics of the mirror.
Back to my workplace though, this communal looing is really obvious at work. All the guys smoke and there’s tremendous bonding happening over a shared cigarette. Strangers walk by and ask my male colleagues if they could borrow a smoke and then chat like they’ve been friends for years. Some of the women smoke but somehow they aren’t included in this camaradie. However I’ve managed to get to know most women in the office, across floors and departments simply because we share the bathroom mirror in the mornings. Great friendships are born from that small-but-useful tip over how to get rid of pimples. Intellectual conversations start from a discussion on the best way to hide a hickey (horrors!…giggle giggle)
Female-bonding is a good way to start and end the day.