Monday, May 29, 2017

Bathroom Stand Off

So, I'm at my college reunion, my class congregating in the magnificent courtyard you see above. Wonderful time, and we even managed to steer clear of politics, for the most part. Even when we did get into it, it was friendly and respectful, as it was when we were undergrads. These are people I am bonded with forever.

Saturday night, I excused myself from the bonhomie to visit the men's room. At this point, I need to explain that the common area restrooms are down below and shared with the next college over (we call dorms "colleges"). That was where the Class of '02 was headquartered, and their rap music competed down there with our Stones and Steely Dan. Did I mention we had better music? Anyway, as I exited, a woman of '02 was exiting the ladies room a few feet away. We both entered narrow hall, and as we approached a common door, I stepped aside and said, "after you."

She stopped dead in her tracks. "Patriarchy!" she said.

Huh? I said I merely thought I was being polite, not patriarchal. She wasn't buying, and it seemed we were at an impasse, with neither of us willing to walk through the door. We debated the point. Welcome to today's Ivy League.

A fellow from the '02 class thought this was all very funny and started filming with his phone. Perhaps it's posted somewhere in the social ether. I'd say this went on for about two or three minutes until the woman's need for another drink won out over doorway politics.

I declared victory for the Class of '82, and the way things were, as I followed her out.


  1. You are a little tall to be a "troll"; (just sayin'...)

  2. I accept that yesterday's polite can be today's sexist or even patriarchy, but yielding ones claim to first mover status is hardly patriarchal. Perhaps '02 was a bad year for Yale vocabulary education..

  3. I'm wondering.

    Why didn't you go first (once she said "patriarchy")? You had, after all, been released from your etiquette.

    1. Perhaps I should have asked her if she identified male, and then relented.

  4. I'm wondering the same thing as Artie. Though I can't say I mind the good manners generally found in the Men of '82

  5. If I might ask, what is your underlying emotion, Scott?

    Glad, mad, sad, afraid or disgusted?

  6. Women still carry babies for 9 months, deliver them in agony, then nurse them. After that, the hard work begins. You can say "after you," to me anytime. I'll teach my son to do the same. Don't let this generational dustup change your good manners one speck.