I pull down my pants and begin the squat for the toilet in one fluid motion. As the pee starts flowing, I turn to the right and automatically notice that I only have one square of toilet paper left. In a movement that seems to come instinctively to those born with two X chromosomes, I pull off the remaining swathe of toilet paper and as if choreographed, put on the replacement roll of toilet paper, neatly waiting for its turn from under the sink.
I’m wiping and within seconds, I’m standing and flushing and buttoning my pants. This is also done in a fluid motion—the ballet of taking a piss. (I tried to say this in a more feminine way but apparently failed.)
I realized I was not in a hurry—but nonetheless, somehow I found an opportunity to multi-task.
The double-Xers—we multi-task.
Designed by biology, mandated by life, and the cornerstone to parenting: the woman’s ability to multitask is essential to the survival of our species. We need to do it all—and must find pockets of time. Taking a piss is no exception.
This realization dominoed into the revelation that perhaps men do not change the toilet paper roll not because they’re lazy—but simply because they focus exclusively on the task at hand. (And we’re thankful for the tunnel-vision problem solvers in the world.)
I thought about the men in my life—the thirty-something and the seven-year-old. Both genetically engineered as hunter/gatherers. When they are releasing themselves, neither one of them put themselves on restocking duty—they focus on the task at hand.
I’ve witnessed a routine that usually follows this protocol:
Light on (optional), seat up, unzip, pull it out, let it flow, tuck it back in, zip it up. Seat down (rarely).
Dudes don’t stand around looking for another task with which to occupy their time while they’re excreting. Eyes focus straight or down, hands at six o’clock.
I guess that’s why they created bathroom graffiti …