Eons ago, when the male and female of the human species decided to cohabitate, there began a conflict that has developed into what we now refer to as the War between the Sexes. Other species in the animal kingdom have avoided this silliness by …
Eons ago, when the male and female of the human species decided to cohabitate, there began a conflict that has developed into what we now refer to as the War between the Sexes. Other species in the animal kingdom have avoided this silliness by choosing, or as some might argue, evolving to the point of coming together only long enough to assure the continuation of the species, then the two part to their individual ways.
There are some species in the animal kingdom, such as geese, that pair-up for life. We humans call it marriage. I have no idea what the geese call it. We marvel at their loyalty to each other, how they share duties around the nest such as sitting on the eggs, food gathering, and nurturing the young. We humans anthropomorphically attribute this behavior to love and respect, and it very well may be, but I think that this handful of species that exhibit traits that we admire, and often wish to emulate in our male/female relationships, have one thing going for them that we Homo sapiens do not. They do not share a bathroom.
Ever since people departed caves, and tents for more permanent shelter and began sharing bathroom facilities, whether indoor, or out, there has risen conflict between women and men. If an academic with tons of time on his or her hands, and a big government grant did some research, they would find that serious marital problems did not appear until we did our business in the shared room. That is when war broke out.
I have previously expounded on toilet paper placement on the dispenser, and that battle quietly rages with my hanging it the correct way only to find it reversed the next time I use the facility. The toothpaste conflict has a negotiated peace allowing the Admiral and me to have our individual tubes. I leave mine out on the counter in hopes that the female contingent of the household will see it and realize how neat the tube is, and how flat it lies when squeezed from the bottom. Missing the nuance, they just think me a slob. There is one conflict that rages in the heart of both sexes, and you can hear the cry echoing down through the ages from the first time man and woman shared a bathroom, “YOU LEFT THE SEAT UP!” Then even louder, and if possible, more irritated, “AGAIN!”
You will get no argument from the majority of males that we are pigs. If you do, it will not be a very loud or long one. The convicting evidence is everywhere. In my case, I leave dirty clothes hanging over the bedpost for days at a time because, in my opinion, they were not that sweaty when I took them off, and they don’t smell THAT bad. My underwear and dirty socks are dropped to the floor even though bending over is not that hard to do, and it is only five steps to the dirty clothes hamper. My shoes are lined up under my side of the bed, well, close to being under, instead of being in the closet. I grant you all that, but putting the toilet seat down, why is that such a big deal?
When I was a boy, my mother, then my mother-trained sister, ragged on my father and me to put the toilet seat UP. Jokes were made about it on TV and such, but I never heard anyone complain about leaving it up. I understood the purpose of lifting the seat before using it. No one, including us males, wants to sit on a wet seat, and we men are pigs with poor aim.
It wasn’t until the last 20 years or so, that I began to hear the outcry against leaving the seat up. I will ask again, what is the big deal? If you as a woman see the seat up at the position of attention, it does not require a male to lower it. You should do so and offer praise to we males for being so considerate as to not have left it down when we used the facility.
I see an evolutionary cycle here. Females raised proverbial cane for decades to get males to lift the seat, and we learned. It was slow, but we got it. Now, the pendulum has swung, and the crusade is to get us to put it down. Can you guess what is next? We males, being slow but logical, will reason that if the seat being up is such a problem, we will just leave it down, and the cycle will repeat itself.
I have sat on toilets before where the seat was up, and I admit that it is a little scary trying to catch yourself before slipping into wet oblivion, but does it happen that often? I think not. I think that somewhere in this evolutionary cycle women have become unable to recognize that the seat is not down and what to do about it, other than complain.
Perhaps there ought to be a free, extended learning class to teach this lost, determinative skill. ESILL could have a class this winter entitled “Toilet Seat Mechanics 101; how to determine if the seat is up, or down, and what to do about it without the aid of a man.” It would be well attended, probably by more men than women. The men to be able to say, “See, I told you so,” and the women to shake their heads in disgust and wonder.
David Wilson Atwood is a local writer whose human-interest columns offer a unique perspective. He may be contacted at: www.starchasers.us, or firstname.lastname@example.org.