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Friday, 8 April 2011

Girly Graffiti

I usually hate public bathrooms. They're normally loud and busy and give off the vibe that privacy is just not an option. Whether at a service stop or in a mall, there's almost always a little kid complaining that they can't pee or an embarrassed person taking a number two in the wheelchair stall. The atmosphere is instantaneously frustrating for anyone.
But, one thing that almost never fails to rescue me from the fast pace of public washroom is graffiti. It's the one thing that allows us toilet-goers a break from the noise around us or inside our heads, as we read words like "Katie loves Matt" or "Stef wuzz here." There's something amazingly comforting about knowing that someone else took the time to vandalize personal messages on the very spot in which we sit.
In fact, there is a bathroom (whose name will remain in confidence), where Graffiti reigns supreme. Colours and writing styles of all kinds, this stall really takes the cake when it comes to toilet reading material. Directly behing the toilet are the lyrics, "If we could be heroes, just for one day" in big, cursive pencil. On the far left wall, more bubbly cursive font claims that, "Love is like a bird. Let it go, if it comes back, it's yours. If it doesn't it never was." On the corner of the back wall, to the left, the words, "Never give up. You are always loved by someone," are scrawled in bold pink highlighter.
These words may keep people occupied while they pee, I couldn't help but notice the pattern that suggested they do more than that. The doodlings in this stall were better than the self-help section at chapters. Everything from "Keep your chin up," to "God loves you," had the theme of pick-me-up ruining through it. All words before me, I could hardly believe my eyes. This wasn't just graffiti. It was a safe haven.
Just as I thought I had discovered the ultimate of bathroom graffiti, a Starbucks washooms rrose to the challenge. Someone had inscribed the words, "My next perfect man will be..." followed by a list of hopeful qualities the vandalist wanted their lover to possess. She had left 5 blank spaces for different bathroom-sitters to fill, discussing the dream-traits of their future boyfriends. I had to smirk. Graffiti had a small but resilliant influence on whoever had also sat in my stall.
This brings up two main questions, both of which have already been discussed for centuries but are nevertheless revived by bathroom-stall graffiti. Firstly, what does this say about girls in 2011"? Are they still as undermined as girls from previous generations, constantly needing the self-esteem reassures that are long due after much oppression? And secondly, what does graffiti say about the prevalence of written word in our culture? If it can calm us enough to urinate in the midst of the busy bathrooms, it is still something to be reveled.

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Waiting Game

There are few things worse than waiting. It's like all the negative emotions a person can feel are compressed into one really jumbled ball of feeling. Your heart rate increases, you anxiety is topped, and if you've been waiting a while, your agitated and your hands are probably shaking from low blood sugar. Waiting is the worst. But some things are harder to wait for than others. Here's a list of stuff that hurts to wait for, from worst to not-so-life-threatening, just because.
1. Waiting for "someone special" to call.
This could also be called "waiting on a douchebag" or, "waiting that makes you feel stupid"
It is... not something anyone should ever let themselves wait for. A sticky situation to begin with, it is likely that you're already feeling let down by the person in the instance that you find yourself awaiting their call. At this point, you and are actively making up excuses for why they haven't dialed your number yet. Therefore, you're sad and anxious, and maybe a bit angry (depending on how often this happens to you). But, the reason it tops the list is not because it plagues you with disappointment, or causes anxiety, it is simply because this type of waiting is something completely avoidable and totally self-inflicted. If you're silly enough to wait for a phone call, the ownus is on you.
Not that I'm bitter.
2. Waiting in a coffee shop for a friend.
This one never fails to evoke awkward stares of pity and confusion from on-lookers. It causes even more awkward questions like "is this seat taken?" when the answer is clear; you're coat hangs over the empty seat across from you, as if signifying to the world that you're crazy and your friend is imaginary. There are only two ways to put an end to this public display of waiting, either walk out or get friends who actually abide by their watches.
3. Waiting in line in the girls' public washroom.
Girls have this way of still maintaining fake niceness even when their bladders are about to burst. Some blond broad is standing in front of you so you comment about her highlights or her eyeshadow, or maybe even tell her you have her the very same shirt she's wearing in your closet, hoping she'll feel a connection you and let you have her spot in line. Why can't you just say, "Are you as desperate as I am right now, 'cuz if not, I want to butt in front of you." Or the less tactful, "I'm about to pee my pants. Move." It would be so much easier. And so relieving.
4. Waiting for the bus in the winter/at night
It's freezing. You want your bed, and everyone shoves their way by you because they want the same thing. Not a pretty scene.
5. Waiting for your alarm clock to go off.
When this happens, it feels like you wake up every minute on the minute. And this can go on anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours. It has the potential to ruin your entire day. And leave you with ugly, stubborn bags under your eyes that make you look old and haggard.
There it is. The top 5 things I would give anything to avoid waiting for. Runners-up include: waiting for Bell to show up, waiting behind an old and/or disabled person in the grocery store (so annoying) and waiting for your period.