When I begrudgingly dragged myself away from the sweaty, pumping dance floor to the equally sweaty, depressing club toilets, I wasn’t exactly elated when I saw the length of the queue. This was one of these moments in time where I wished I could’ve been born with male genitalia, allowing me to quietly and quickly slide into the haven of the mens toilets where no queue ever seems to appear and where you strictly avoid all contact with other humans apart from an occasional necessary “alright mate”. Why should my weak bladder mean I miss out on half the night?
I took a deep breath, looked around me…and suddenly everything seemed different. Girls complimenting each others clothes, girls holding back their friend’s (or a stranger’s) hair, offering out gum, gossiping, bitching, crying, cubicles which seem to hold 10 girls….a hundred different experiences in one were occurring around me in this dingy, dirty bathroom.
You suddenly feel like you’re bonding with each person in the room: shared eye contact with the girl next to you secretly laughing at someone on all fours searching for her phone, passing toilet paper under to the next cubicle, asking if you can borrow some vaseline/ gum, agreeing with the girl next to you at the sink that all the men are being extra creepy tonight.
Somebody asks me for advice on the boy she likes, “He keeps ignoring me tonight, he’s being really off, what do you think that means?”. Only in a place like this would she trust someone whom she knows nothing of their relationship history, for all she knows I’ve had 4 failed marriages, but come on now, nobody would break the girl code and give you advice they weren’t 100% sure would work would they?! I promise I’ll wing-woman her later, knowing full well I’d never see her hopeful face again when we entered back into the crowd.
This situation was actually the best possible outcome. There of course have been times, where I’ve had the unfortunate timing of ending up behind/ next to a cryer. Yes, any girl will have just had hundreds of flashbacks to crying girls in club toilets. There’s a big gap in the market for a Sociology dissertation studying how many girls cry in club toilets every night and what their general reasons (insert pie chart: romance, bitch fight, not sure just a bit too drunk, smashed phone etc.)…I for sure would be very interested to know. The drunk crier is not as simple as the basic advice situation, with this you feel you must aid her back to a mildly happy state of no tears, and if you’re especially unlucky and the girl has lost all her friends, this can involve a continuation BEYOND the toilets (WHAT?!?! Surely not) (buying her a drink/ dancing/ requesting all the powerful independent women songs you can possibly think of).
When the time eventually came and I reached the front of the queue I felt a weird feeling I hadn’t expected…disappointment. Did I really have to leave this zoo that I had become a part of? I had started to truly feel like I belonged here, in this safe-space and men free zone. I said goodbye to the friend I had made in the queue, adding her on Facebook and promising we’d meet up for girly cocktails as soon as possible. I then quickly used the cubicle, peacefully smiling to myself as I read the graffiti and an angry girl banged on the door shouting “HURRY THE F*** UP”, and as I left the toilet to rejoin my male friends I felt older and wiser, knowing they would never experience anything like female toilets.
By Laura Hely Hutchinson