After discussions on varieties of Malbec and the viability of the Keynesian economic model, the third hottest conversation topic among twentysomethings would have to be what goes on in the bedroom. From iChat conversations at the office to audaciously audible happy hour narratives, Salt-n-Pepa's hit song, "Let's Talk About Sex" seems to be the anthem of the decade.
And while we're eager to let the secrets spill, tales from the adjoining room rarely creep into the dialogue. This is the bathroom — the realm of all things hygienic — but when restroom behavior gets restless, most lips are sealed. Which is a shame, really, because that's from where some of the best stories derive.
Sample scenario: During our Thanksgiving vacation a few years ago, a friend threw a blowout at the rents' Southside Place McManse. While the guests misbehaved downstairs (somebody absconded with a laptop computer and a James Surls' drawing), my friend (let's call her Eve) snuck upstairs for a bit of privacy with her flavor of the week.
They soon found themselves aggressively engaged in the act in the master bathroom's whirlpool, after grabbing a much-needed bottle of "personal lubricant" from the "hers" side of the bathroom cabinet. Much to their dismay, something didn't feel quite right. Eve reached over the tub to check the bottle — it was the host's mom's eye makeup remover.
She never speaks of the incident, and now carries her own bottle of personal salve with her everywhere to prevent any painful mommy issues.
Just this week, I became my own personal victim during a bit of last-minute pre-date preening. The notion of manscaping has always dreaded me. Waxing is such a hassle for the tassel, I never really took to sculpture in studio art classes, and if my attempts at nude drawing say anything, it's that I'm not well attuned to fabricating the ideal human form.
But something on Monday evening inspired me to go under the knife — well, a pair of children's Fiskars craft scissors I found on my roommate's desk (yes, it had glitter glue residue). It seemed like a logical impromptu fix, but before I knew it, my vision was blurred by the steam of the shower and my avid architectural pursuit went awry.
Yes, I cut myself. On that.
The last thing I heard was a sharp thud as I fainted onto the bath's bottom. Eventually I climbed out of the shower to find texts from two neighbors asking what the screaming was about and if I was OK.
It was enough pain to merit perhaps a two-week leave from work, maybe even a few weeks healing in the clean air of the south of France. But I had company on the way, so I slapped on a Band-Aid and spent the duration of a movie grimacing, quietly writhing and attempting pleasant small talk. I'd worried, "How will I ever explain this?" but I simply explained I was only DTC.
When I awoke the following morning, I wasn't in much better shape. I limped into the office and assumed a permanent slouch at my desk. Waiting until midday showed no signs of improvement, so I did the only thing I could do —make a getaway to the nearest CVS to gather provisions to hasten healing.
Rushing out of the office, I ran into the CultureMap affiliate who originally interviewed me over a year ago. He said something along the lines of, "Where are you off to in such a hurry?"
"Band-Aids. For down ... there."
His subsequent cringe was all the approval I needed to validate playing hooky for my half-hour errand. Arriving back at the office, I embarked on a strict regimen of rubbing alcohol, max strength Neosporin, bandages designed specifically for fingers and downing margaritas.
I'm doing better. But I'm eagerly anticipating a day (hopefully sooner rather than later) when potty talk goes back into the water closet.