Wednesday, February 6, 2013

There Is Nothing New Under the Sun and Certainly Not in the Girls' Bathroom at School

We favored a natural look in the 1980s.
When I was in middle school, I was afraid to use the girls' room at all, because:

  • The Aqua Net fumes were so thick they threatened to actually shellac the inside of your lungs.
  • Some of the really "bad" girls smoked, and I was afraid they'd light the air on fire (see Aqua Net fumes, above).
  • I was afraid of a girl named Patty, who spent most of her educational time in the girls' room appreciating how fine her black pleather parachute pants were looking, and threatening to pound other girls into the ground.

Simon! I bet he got those highlights with Sun-In.
I'm here to report to you, via my kids, that thirty years later, not much has changed. Here's what's new in the girls' room:

  • While preteen girls still have a love of scrawling their most poetic thoughts onto the bathroom wall with Sharpie markers, let's just say that things have gotten a little harsher. Now it's not so much about your burning crush on Simon LeBon or even the cruel "Susie is a slut." It's "Susie is a ho and she should go kill herself." 
  • No one is smoking. I'm hoping this is because kids are smarter these days, but more likely it's because the schools have better smoke alarms and/or they're actually injecting meth instead.
  • Instead of spending time in the bathroom admiring their parachute pants, re-shellacking their hair, and applying a twelfth later of Cover Girl Shimmering Shell lipstick, now the girls spend all their time in the bathroom taking duckface selfies and posting them to Instagram. Also, texting. Also, standing on the sink and posing while another girl takes your picture and posts it to her Instagram, because nothing says you're a bad-ass like standing on the sink. And then some more texting.
If you're reading this and thinking, "wow, why would anyone want to stand around in a bathroom while texting?" then you are officially old. Because there is nothing more fun and exciting than texting whilst smelling other people's poop air. Also, if you are thinking "what the hell does an 11-year-old have to text someone about at 10:30 in the morning?" you are, again, officially old.

Because obviously everything they're texting is of critical importance. Things like, "Sup" and "LOL" and "Sup." And probably also exchanges like this:  

Girl 1: Sup?
Girl 2: I am totally going to fail math because I spend all my time in the bathroom taking duckface selfies and texting.
Girl 1: LOL. Me 2.
Girl 2: Also, I will probably never go to college and will live in my mother's basement until I'm 40.
Girl 1: That's okay, I will probably be in jail.
Girl 2: Hey, want to start a meth lab?
Girl 1: No, that would require some basic understanding of science, and I spend all of my science class in the bathroom, standing on the sink and posting pics to Instagram.
Girl 2: LOL.
Girl 1: That's cool, let's go make fun of the kids who study.
Girl 2: Yeah, they're so lame, with their good grades and opportunities they're creating for their future.
Girl 1: Really. They don't even bring Sharpies to the bathroom.
Girl 2: They're so stupid. Hey, check out this Instagram photo of me standing on the sink.
Girl 1: That's awesome. I'll text you again during English. 
Girl 2: Good idea. It would obviously be terrible for us to learn any kind of communication skills beyond texting and Twitter.

Duckface: You're doing it right.
I'm pretty sure the answer to this entire problem is for me to volunteer to sit in the girls' bathroom with a spray bottle of water to spritz the kids with if they aren't behaving, just like how you get a cat to stop clawing the furniture.

It would be like this:
Girl 1: [starts to take out cell phone]
Me: ::spritz!::
Girl 1: [puts away cell phone]

I assume that after 2 or 50 times of being unpleasantly spritzed with cold water, even a tween could be trained to stop taking duckface photos of themselves.

This could totally work. I mean, the school probably has wi-fi, right? I could do my entire job as a freelance writer from in there, just periodically taking breaks to yell at kids. Or, I could just be there at completely random times, to keep them on their toes. 

Girl 1: Sup?
Girl 2: Not mu---

Or, you know, I could just have my kid use the bathroom in the nurse's office. Whatever.

Unrelated: here are some recent posts you might like:

On NickMom:

On Babble:
On Milestones, Deadlines, and Public Bathrooms: There Is No "Right Age" for Anything This is a post in response to something I read on the blog Free-Range Kids, in which a mother was simply horrified that a 12- or 13-year-old boy was in a ladies' restroom with his mother. 

'Doof Daily' Is the Best News/Lifestyle Commentary on the Web OMG, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz has a vlog, you guys.

Insanely Adorable Dachshund Is A Celebrity In His Own Mind In which I interview a dachshund. Really. Pretty sure I'm a lock for a Pulitzer with this kind of hard-hitting journalism.

(Photo Credits: Joan Cusack, 20th Century Fox. Simon LeBon, simonlebon4ever. Baby duck, suphakit73/


  1. So funny. Times really haven't changed!!

  2. I think they'd choose class over the risk of a makeup-ruining spritz for sure.

  3. How much do I love that the pic of Simon is from a site called SimonLebon4ever? Like, OMG, so totally much.

    And I hate to quibble, but those texts have entirely too many correctly spelled and accurately written words, sentences and punctuation to be from a tween girl. If I didn't know better, I would say YOU wrote them! Poseur. :p

  4. a) exactly how my junior high bathroom was in the '80s
    b) Simon is the wrong answer. You were thinking of John!
    c) the funniest thing I've read in a while

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