Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Female problems

posted Wed, 21 Jul 2004

When I first moved to the 8th floor a year ago, there was almost no one here. There were only about 15 of us – maybe four women. It was great. It was quiet and there was never anyone in the women’s room.

Now there are at least 40 women on this floor.

The number of bathrooms has not increased.

Does this make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me, either. But such is my fate in life – to suffer all these horrible indignities of inadequate bathroom facilities and shared break rooms.

The cleaning lady in charge of our bathroom has decided that the solution to heavier traffic is just to leave a few extra rolls of toilet paper and to jam extra paper towels in the dispenser. Well, just so you know, jamming extra towels in the dispenser does nothing but make it almost impossible to get ONE towel out of the dispenser. What happens is that you end up ripping the towels and you get a huge chunk of them all at once and half of them fall onto the floor and end up being wasted.

Another thing – perfume. I don’t think I should be subject to someone else’s perfume. If you are going to wear perfume, wear a tiny amount that can be smelled only by someone who is close enough to kiss you. Do not share it with the rest of us. Some of us think it stinks. Some of us think most people have really bad taste in perfume. We especially do not want to smell perfume ten minutes after its wearer has walked down the hall.

We can’t blame men for this one, at least not in the US. Women wear scent, not men. Now, in Chile, men wore enough aftershave and cologne to drown a herd of horses. Each Chilean man probably wore as much aftershave in a month as 100 American men wear in a year. I still haven’t figured out why.

Which leads me to something completely off the subject, but what was Old Spice thinking when they made those commercials trying to position Old Spice aftershave as something sexy? The commercial I remember had this gorgeous half-naked man swimming out to the ship in full sail where the equally gorgeous woman in the flowing, diaphanous gown awaited him. My first reaction – and my friend Maggie’s reaction as well – was “But that’s what my dad wears!” Neither of us could imagine kissing a man smelling of Old Spice. It would be like Old Incest.

I just looked at the Old Spice website. Now it looks like they are going after the Nascar dads. Old Spice sponsors Tony Stewart, a Nascar driver. There are no women shown anywhere on the site. The photos are of burly, tattooed men. (Hmmm.) The banner quotations say things like, “Well, actually, I don’t usually date models, but here’s my number,” “Actually, Mom, she prefers to be called a DANCER,” and “Being ‘sensitive’ might get girls, but it doesn’t stop sweat.” Looks like they are giving up the romantic image – trying to appeal to women – and are going for sweaty men. And they are emphasizing the deodorant rather than the aftershave. That’s probably a good idea. They are not going to get women to buy aftershave for their men that reminds them – the women – of their fathers, but hardly anyone wants a stinky guy and I don’t think most women know what kind of deodorant their dads wear.

But back to having all these women on the floor. The bathrooms are too crowded, there is too much stinky perfume, and whenever there are brownies or donuts, they disappear way too quickly. Not that you would ever see a woman taking one – we have to sneak that stuff on the sly. Calories only count if someone sees you eating them. So if someone brings in some goodies, you have to wait until the coast is clear – which doesn’t happen easily with this many people – and then smuggle the item away, wrapped in a paper towel. One of the paper towels that has been jammed into the break room dispenser. You have the donut in one hand and are using the other hand to get the towel and you can’t get it out and you hear footsteps and start to panic because someone is going to see you with a donut in your hand, which is the event that triggers the donut acquiring about 1,000 calories.

I liked it better when there were only four women on this floor.

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