After a late night and too many drinks to count, you walk into the men’s restroom. Depending on the urinal situation, you may be faced with varying levels of uncomfortableness when he walks in.
If there is only one urinal and the restroom has a door lock, congratulations because you have won the jackpot. No agonizing closeness and accidental bumping of elbows. No sneaking suspicion that his eyes aren’t directly forward and taking wayward glances down. No awkward chatter about the local sports team, the hot waitress, or other things of a topical nature. You are free to do what you have to do at your own pace. But be aware, he may knock on the door, jiggle the door handle, or ask how things are going in there.
Things are a little dicier when you get to two urinals in the restroom. Naturally, you take the far urinal away from the door and sinks. Rather than patiently waiting for you to finish or just using a stall instead, he decides to step up to the urinal beside you. Beware of any traps he may set for you. When he tries to talk to you, keep your eyes forward – always forward – and go about finishing up. Don’t get sucked into his web of deception and inadvertently give him an opening to start the dreaded, and always awkward, men’s room conversation.
When faced with three urinals, whatever you do, fight the urge to take the middle one when all three are open. Not only do you make it awkward for everyone else who walks in, but you also violate one of the cardinal rules put forth by The International Center for Bathroom Etiquette. As with the two urinals, always try to take one of the outside urinals especially the far one if all three are open. Often times, in walks guy number two who takes the other outer urinal. Congratulations, both of you have successfully exercised proper urinal etiquette by leaving an open buffer zone. And that was until he walks in. Rather than use a stall or patiently wait for one of the outside two to open up, he walks right up to the middle one and starts to do his business. Not only has he now made it uncomfortable for you, he has also creeped out guy number two who was having a seemingly pleasant restroom visit. Finish up quickly and avoid eye contact at all costs because if by chance your eyes accidentally meet, you will have a situation on your hands like when the Ghostbusters crossed their proton pack streams. As Egon so aptly put it, “Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.” Yup, that’s not good and it will probably not end well for anyone involved.
If there are four or more urinals, good luck and have fun with all the infinite urinal arrangement combinations. Hopefully you got a good nights sleep, sharpened your pencils, and brought scratch paper to figure out how to avoid him when he walks in the door.
Be aware that the only time you may look away from the wall is if you left your drink on the counter next to one of the sinks. You may need to stop abruptly to save your drink because he has no qualms about dripping water into it IF he in fact washes his hands or is fixing his faux hawk in the mirror.