Monday, September 17, 2012

From the Mouths of Babes

There is a genius of a child at my church; his name is Aidan. One day, a group of my friends and I went to Cafe Azteca for dinner, and Aidan-who was 3 at the time-was in attendance. Titilayo Gafari Balogun, a well-known antogonizer of Aidan, was there as well. Now what you have to understand about this child is he sees life in black and white. Truth is truth, lies are lies, and there is no gray area in between. So at dinner when Titilayo started agitating him, it didn't occur to Aidan that a FRIEND would purposefully annoy another FRIEND. That's a gray area. Instead, Aidan saw a very black and white situation: a person is annoying me on purpose, therefore he is my enemy. When one is engaged by an enemy, they are now in a battle. To win a battle against your enemy, you must strike a blow that would devestate them and leave them unable to continue. Therefore I, Aidan, must strike a blow that will render my enemy, Titilayo, unable to continue this battle. So to set up his attack, Aidan uttered these words: I AM GOING TO PEE ON YOU.

Now ... we're in the middle of a Mexican restaurant. In Ti's (I'm tired of typing his full name) mind, this whole situation is a big gray area. Ti is joking around with a child, not trying to harm him. The child knows this right? The child responds by telling him he would pee on him. But since we're in public this response must be a joke, right? The boy's mother is there and, on the off chance the child is serious, there's still no way he would risk a spanking to pee on a grown man. Any way Ti looks at it this scenario, it's far too gray to end with the boy peeing ... right?

WRONG, that little boy unzipped his pants and peed on Titilayo Gafari Balogun (I'm reenergized)! Ti was speechless, he was flabbergasted, he was ... unable to continue! Aidan had won! Ti had lost! The enemy had been vanquished! Ti angrily looked at Aidan and demanded to know why he committed this act. Aidan, confused that his enemy didn't understand the rules of war, scrunched up his face in a puzzled expression and answered, "I told you I would pee on you".

Can we agree that Aidan was wrong to do what he did? Can we agree that, while he is wise, this 3 year old boy doesn't yet understand the subtleties of interpersonal relationships? Can we agree that if Aidan were more honest in juding HIS OWN actions, he would see Titilayo wasn't as aggressive or rude as he first believed? I'm glad we agree. Now let's bring this thing full circle to the lesson Aidan was trying to teach us: what is an issue that men see as gray, but women see as black and white? An issue that for years has led women to label their spouse as inconsiderate or self-serving. An issue that involves urination? You've got it, I'm talking about the great toilet seat debate!

Now ladies before you attack me let's be honest. You know good and well what you're doing. We men are simple creatures and easily confused. If enough women gather together and decide to tell their men they're selfish if they don't leave the toilet seat down, eventually all those unsuspecting males will cave. And its worked. Women have somehow convinced men that when they have to put down a toilet seat it suddenly weighs 800 pounds. Brava ladies, you've turned a simple task into the most ridiculous argument on earth. But I'm on to your tricks and I see the chinks in your armor. Let's explore the gray areas of this issue:

Pot, meet kettle: Another appropriate name for this section would be selfish is as selfish does. Or how about 'chick did YOUUUUU put the seat UP for me?', but 'pot, meet kettle' was more friendly. My question to you ladies is how can you be so adamant about the lack of respect your man shows to you in the bathroom when your entire bathroom existence is based on selfishOssity? Do you know what I need to make my bathroom complete? Deodrant, toothbrush and floss, lotion, towel and washcloth. That is a fully furnished bathroom for a man. But women need space upon space for makeup, eye liners, lip liners, elbow liners, hair products, loufas, scented candles, etc. But do we make a big deal out of the space inequities, the female scents eminating from what should be a gender-neutral room? No, because our bathroom satisfaction is not contingent upon someone else's work. But women, who have the perfect setup, somehow find a way to look at a toilet seat and claim that their man not putting a seat down ruins it all? Let's look at the amount of work involved in the toilet seat conundrum:

Man: Step 1.) Fight against the forces of gravity to lift the seat up, the preferrable setup for us when we handle our bathroom duties 2.) Proceed to handle said bathroom duties 3.) Put the toilet seat back down, the preferrable setup for our SPOUSE, not us

In contrast, let's look at the amount of work and consideration involved by the female spouse:

Woman: Step 1.) Go in the bathroom and sit down on the toilet seat your husband prepared 2.) Handle your bathroom duties, and 3.) Get up and leave the room without any effort exerted or consideration given to your spouse, who prefers the seat up!

Does it sound like the male is the one in this relationship who's being inconsiderate? If a man came into a restroom, fussed at you for not putting the seat UP, did it himself and then walked out the bathroom without putting it back DOWN for you, wouldn't you think he had some kind of nerve?! I thought so, pot. I thought so.

Look, THEN Unzip: one day I had a conversation about this topic with a female friend, who is a doctor. A doctor. A doctor. Which means she went to school for a long time and is very educated. I know this because she's a doctor. She said she hates it when her husband leaves the seat up because then she sits down on the toilet without looking and hurts herself. I did a grassroots survey and found out this happens to women quite often. Which lets me know that college-educated women are willing to walk into a room, drop their pants and sit down in an open area without looking at what's behind them. Am I crazy? Can you honestly blame a man for this behavior? Did y'all not hear about the guy in the Bronx who found a 36 inch corn snake in his toilet bowl?! Do you know how he found it? Because a man with common sense looks around a couple times before he take his pants off. How would you women have survived in bible times when it doesn't even occur to you to look down when your bare butt is about to touch something? My friend is a doctor and she fell in a toilet. Doctors out here falling in toilets in 2012? That S%^ Cray!

It contradicts the womens rights movement: as a black man who's not in prison or gay or fathering children I don't take care of, I can testify that men have to deal with a lot of flak from women these days. Half the day I feel like I hear about how we don't help, we're not worth anything, or how women just have to take over and do things themselves. Women don't need men at all. O, so you don't need us you say? Then what's the big fuss about this toilet bowl? You can't do it yourself? We're all in prison, gay or fathering kids but you want us to stop all that and come put the seat down for you? I find the times you want to be equal then unequal very convenient. Do you want to be equal when a spider scurries across your path and its time to decide who kills it? How about on a first date when the GUY traditionally pays the bill? Would you scream I don't need a man in the middle of the night when it sounds like a robber is breaking in and SOMEBODY has to go downstairs and check? I certainly don't think so, but I've been wrong before ... twice, actually. So if you want to PROVE that I'm wrong, what better way than to let go of this outdated toilet argument and prove that you're the bigger woMan? Set the example why don't you? YOU put the seat UP when you're finished, and in turn I'll put the seat DOWN when I'm done. That's pretty simple, pretty black and white. And that's exactly how you want it ... right?

To sum this argument up I'd like to end with this: I am not a chauvinist. I try my hardest to do my best to try my hardest to do my best because I care, not because I think it's my role as man. But I do have some responsibilities, and that's what introduces a little gray into my situation. All I'm asking you ladies to do is acknowledge the gray in yours. Because if you don't then what do we end up with? We end up with grown men getting peed on in the middle of Mexican restaurants. Is that the kind of world you want to live in?


  1. This is funny. I remember when I was younger my aunt would wake me up out of bed b/c she knew I had a bad habit of leaving the seat up

  2. This is mad funny Brenton. Just to let you know I agree with your comment because my husband brought it to my attention long time ago. I do believe we women tend to want a little bit more from our spouse/boyfriend/boo than what we dish out and we are the first one to yell "you're so self-centered" I believe that in the 3years I've been married I've been guilty of the 'pot meet kettle' issues time and time again. With that being said, bathroom matters are such small battles that are worth being flushed,I've learned to pick bigger battles. But if thou art so concerned then one would render the 'do unto others as you would have then do unto you'rule, then everyone wins. ;0)