I think I can speak for the wider non-gender specific audience when I say I’ve been told a lot of things in my life “are a privilege, not a right”. Examples that immediately come to mind are: driving, voting, enlisting, pet ownership and rhinoplasty.
But I believe many of us overlook the luxury of privacy. It’s perceived as a right by most but I say nay – this state of being is, too, a privilege.
Making a conscious effort never to assume, I think (most of) my fellow females out there can best relate to this statement. Now, I make this statement very loosely, but in my experience both in real life as well as scripted television and film, men are less inclined to give a shit if, say, another dude walks in on him getting changed/showering/watching porn.
Growing up a soccer player and a dancer taught me to be fairly lackadaisical about privacy but I also have to draw the line at some point, you know? I think it’s only fair to say I’d prefer not to have someone walk in on me eating a pint of ice cream from the container balancing on my stomach and wearing my action-getting-repellent granny panties.
I mean sure, marvel all you want at my balancing act, it’s my attire which I’m less than eager to have you bear witness to.
Fair Warning (again, I say this generally): A stranger of the female sex can sometimes cause temporary emotional disturbance/discomfort and/or confidence imbalance. The sidewalk is oft not place to force interaction with an UF (unidentified female), but is simply a moment to steal a quick glance at an outfit, purse, maybe shoes; do your best to avoid eye contact and continue on your merry way.
But(!) the bathroom, on the most surprising of other hands, does not fall under the same category as the above. Rather, it is a place where females can take refuge with one another. Remember the Seinfeld episode when Elaine runs out of toilet paper and asks her neighboring stall-mate to spare a square? Not so! I find there is a sense of unity between women in the bathroom; a place to escape forgettable first dates, creepy bar dudes, reapply and sometimes a place to snag a free mint after that pickle juice martini that didn’t stand a chance (don’t knock it ’till you try it, I promise).
I cannot say the same about dressing rooms. We wait in line with added pounds of fabric (avg 5-15 lbs) on top of our purse (avg 1-6 lbs) and usually in someones way because they JUST CAN’T WAIT(!) for that blouse you’ve been soooo inconveniently blocking for 45 seconds.
The dressing room is a sanctuary and after a painstaking 15 minute wait, we expect zero interruption besides the occasional “is anyone in here?” No ma’am, we just stuck a pair of mannequin feet in there to fuck with your head a little.
Taking refuge, I’m yes-ing and no-ing my items when I feel a brief tickle across the top of my foot. Eh, probably a dust bunny. But in the mirror I become acutely aware first by the Sketchers Shape-Ups then by the Swiffer duster in the dressing room next to me. I’m not sure how that brush could have been an accident – she had to fully extended her arm engage contact. The cleaning woman simply figured she’d cover all rooms in one fowl swoop and my dressing room was just next on the list. No need to wait for me to leave – a waste of precious time! Wanting to see how far she would go, I remained still. She continued to swiffer. Under the mirror, behind the chair, between and around my feet but very considerately never making contact again. The first time was a sloppy mistake on her end never again to be repeated.
I shall forever call her The Swiftiest of Cleaners.
Oh and since we’re on the fast track to becoming best friends, might I suggest burning those shoes? Additionally, I’m interpreting this as an I’d-like-to-clean-your-apartment-for-free olive branch.