18 July 2011

Department of minor complaints


There is a man I see everyday when I drop Sarah and Gabriel off at camp. He has two children in the same classes as them, and we often wind up walking the halls together from one room to the next, chatting pleasantly about nothing.

The other day as I was driving away after drop-off, a car began to pull out in front of me, setting us on a slow motion collision course. I issued a light warning honk and swerved. But the driver ignored me, peeled out and cut me off. I looked over to see who this asshole was, and IT WAS MY HALLWAY FRIEND. I’m pretty sure he saw me too, because the following day, as we passed in the hall, our smiles were significantly less friendly, and there was no idle chit-chat. I took this as a sign that he was either ashamed to have been outed as an asshole, or more likely, had hardened into a self-righteous stance in order hide from himself the fact that he is an asshole. Either way, he shall heretofore be known to me as Mr. Not-As-Nice-as-I-Initially-Thought.


Camp policy requires that parents sign their children in to class every day. I can understand this in a pre-school, or on the first day of camp, when children may not know where they’re going. But at this point, Sarah and Gabriel have seven years combined classroom finding experience, and they have a one-hundred percent success rate. I am decidedly in the pro-autonomy, anti-helicopter parenting camp, so boo to you, Working Advantage, for making my children take a small step back.


1. There have been several times in the past few weeks when I have used public restrooms, and the person in the stall next to me has left without washing their hands. It’s kind of interesting, in a social experiment way, to see the gap between self-reporting and compliance in action. I would like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume that if they’re not turning on the faucet, it’s because they carry their own bottle of hand-sanitizer. But still, as I tell my children, SOAP ALWAYS FOR NUMBER TWO. So for the sake of appearances, fellow bathroom going compatriots, couldn’t you at least turn on the faucet for a few seconds? I would be none the wiser, and it would make me feel a whole lot better.

2. Single occupancy restrooms in which the toilet is directly across from the sink, over which there is a large mirror, are an exceptionally poor design choice. The large mirror is good for fixing yourself up, but unless you scope out the joint in advance, and then remember the layout when you’re done with your business, you have the unfortunate experience of watching yourself wipe. I’m sure there are some fetishists out there who find this erotic, but I suspect, like me, the general populace does not.

On the other hand, props to single occupancy restrooms for allowing people to not wash their hands in privacy.

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