“The Interaction Order of Public Bathrooms”

So for one of my sociology class, a classmate presented on the topic of “The Interaction Order of Public Bathroom”. Basically, it is about how bathrooms are often seen as the backstage regions where individuals can “temporarily retire from their frontstage performances” and reveal their flaws. In his presentation, he mentioned that people in bathrooms have the tendency to behave in acts and ways that do not reflect that of their public self. Our private self which we usually displayed behind-the-scene demonstrates just how important bathrooms are when they are being used in sustaining our public face to others. Just think of how fast and hasty you would want to complete your current task (say, checking out your appearance in the mirror) when others ‘invade/intrude’ your personal bubble.

It’s an interesting topic that I never give much thought on and now that Im reading more in-depth about it, I realise that it’s true. Many of us probably take it for granted that a restroom is always round the corner but take a moment and ponder – Wouldn’t it be more troublesome for us, had we not have such easily accessible backstage regions such as bathrooms that provide a ‘haven’ for us to maintain our public front?

Some stuff – stupid and normal – that we might do while in the restroom.

Common Ones

– A physical shelter for us to hide away from prying eyes during defecation. Strong fecal odor? Well, still acceptable in this case.

– Reassemble personal front/ managing appearances, such as adjusting your bra/g-string and re-applying makeup.

– (Mainly girls, through personal observation) … Some girls enjoy gathering in bathrooms and gossip/bitch about fellow peers. Bad idea though, cz you know “walls have ears” … you never know if your little secret is kept amongst just the few of you.

– Bathroom = Reading Sanctuary. Isn’t it common for pple to pick up the newspapers/book on the way to the loo so that they can enjoy reading while doing their big business?

More unusual, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself in 1 of the following situations

–  Many times, people hide themselves from everyone else in the bathroom, when they are overwhelmed with a tumult of emotions. Crying. Slashing their wrists with knives/anything sharp.

– Well, well… something erotic. Sex in the Public Bathroom. Im sure that there’s bound to be at least 1 of you who attempted this? Yes?

– I once heard this story from a friend of mine. One day, the janitor went to the bathroom only to hear not one but two or more voices coming from a single cubicle. Sensing that something wasn’t right, he exclaimed “Hrmph” and banged the door close. Feeling curious, he decided to hide behind a corner to see what happens next. I bet you thought it was a couple having some fun in the cubicle yea? But you’re so wrong. Instead, the janitor spotted not 1, not 2 but 3 guys coming out from the toilet one after another. Now, I admit that the first though that came to my mind was that the 3 guys were hanky-panky in the toilet. However, a classmate of mine suggested that they were probably doing sth illegal like taking drugs, which makes perfect sense too. So yea, bathroom might indirectly encourage illegal activities.

– Just like what happened to Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls, some people find themselves having to resort to eating alone in the restroom to avoid a particular situation that they would rather not face.

– People with eating disorder tend to do their business (throwing up) behind closed doors.

– It’s disgusting but that’s what I heard from my friends. Grown-up guys creeping onto unsuspecting friends and peeing on them, just for the fun of it. I’d say “Grow Up man”.

– Pranksters who will vandalise the walls of the cubicles either by writing vulgarities or graffti like “If you are interested in a 1 night stand, please call XXXX.” . It happens everywhere else too but my guess is that the rate for toilets is much higher in comparison.


And so for Christmas, my family will be catching the classic “The Nutcracker” ballet performance by the NYC Ballet. However, baby and I are opting for a less ‘high-culture’ activity so it’s a choice of between the Radio City Christmas Spectacular or Cirque Du Soleil Wintuk.

Both are first-class, top-notched performances that have awed many across the globe. One promises to be breath-taking with its dazzling and enduring cast; a Christmas tradition with 75yrs in the running that aims to bring the Christmas spirits and tales to life. Just the perfect show for the Winter White Christmas season. The other is an unforgettable performace that bursting with high levels of energy, a show that showcases thrilling and mesmerizing acrobatics stunts like never seen before. As the title suggests, the plot is about the magical winter, and so it does resonate with the current festive season. I’ve watched both Cirque Du Soleil Alegria & Saltimbanco and honestly, I was awe-struck by both.
Just checked out the SISTIC website and I realised that “CATS: THE MUSICAL” will be heading for our shores next April! I believe it’s something that we (my sisters and I) took over from our parents, seeing how much they love musicals and how they always make it a point to bring us along too. Phantom of The Opera remains as a personal favourite as almost all of its songs managed to strike a chord with me. A masterpiece, the songs, accompanied by stirring orchestrations, are so powerful that they never fail to touch me with an overpowering sense of emotions. Honestly if given the money, I would love to catch it again in NYC Broadway.


2 responses to ““The Interaction Order of Public Bathrooms”

  1. ok what an extremely long post. i bet u’re gonna have an amazing x’mas dear. send me some snow? and whennnn are u coming back? yup i guess toilets are our personal space. i always wondered how ppl lived in hongkong. their spaces are so cramped. so in your face. i mean i really treasure my own personal space alot u noe, so i wonder how ppl live.aitebabe. enjoy ur xmas n keep i n oli updated k!

  2. lol the public toilets thing is so damn true

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