One of my best friends moved into my apartment in December of 2020. She lived and worked in NYC, and had been working from home since NY Pause, and then her mom got sick. Her mom lives on Long Island, about 20 minutes east of me. So it only seemed to make sense. After all, I have a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. It seemed like a good idea. You know, at the time.
Let's call her V.
One day I came home and V was scrubbing her bathroom. The thing is, I still thought of it as my bathroom. It had always been my guest bathroom. I have the master bedroom, with its enjoining master bathroom, and the second bathroom, off of the hallway, was the guest bathroom. Now, it was hers. But, sorta.
Listen, don't get the wrong idea, she was never paying half the rent. Or any utilities. And maybe if she had been, I would have been better able to adjust. But she wasn't. So yeah, I still thought of that as my bathroom.
Anyway, she had a guy over for sex while I was gone, and he pooped in the bathroom. And apparently, it was quite a poop.
She was surprised. I was fucking furious.
I do not allow men to poop in my bathrooms. I will never forget being in my 20's and having a thing with a friend of my new roommate's boyfriend. It was quick. We met on his boat, when V invited me for a day out on her boyfriend's friend's boat. That turned into a weekend. We had sex. The sex was meh. The boat was nice though.
So about a week later, he comes over to my place, and he spends the night. I didn't want him to spend the night, but I was still in my 20's and never knew how to tell men "absolutely no sleepovers". I mean, I do now. But back then, I didn't. Aren't women supposed to want the man to sleep over? That's what I thought then anyway. So I always thought there was something wrong with me for wanting them to leave.
Sleeping together is far more intimate than sex.
Anyway, TJ, that was his name and till this day I neither know nor care what the initials stand for, pooped in my bathroom the next morning. And back in those days, I had a very small apartment with one bathroom.
I remember telling V, "TJ pooped in my bathroom this morning."
She, probably quite reasonably said "well, people do have to poop Cathy."
"Yeah, I know, but I am so upset he did that, he should have just left. Instead he pooped and then left."
I never saw him again.
Now, all these years later, V had a man up to my apartment and he shit all over my bathroom. She knew I'd be furious.
I should also explain that I live in one of those fancy-assed new buildings with all the common spaces, and garbage pickup right outside your door. And if you leave the apartment, and get into the elevator that is only feet away, go down two floors to the main floor, make a left, there is a common bathroom right there.
"Why didn't you send him downstairs?" I asked.
"Well, he asked to use the bathroom, he didn't specify what he was going to do in there."
Just like a man.
V is gone now, having been called back to the office almost precisely one year after she moved in here, and my guest bathroom is mine again.
But she did illuminate to me that, now that I was dating again, I needed new rules. I no longer feel I have to fit into some societal idea of what women want. I know what I want, and I'm not afraid to say so.
The rules are:
-No sleeping over. Look, I never liked it, never. Even when I still looked naturally fresh, young, and lovely when I just woke up. I've also always snored, which isn't very feminine, and I don't want some casual guy hearing it. And I don't want them farting, which they always do. I can think of one exception, and that is the best zipperless fuck I ever had, and I will have to write about that guy. There were others who didn't do any of these things, but the sex was unmemorable I guess. Anyway, he's the one who stands out. I don't know if there will ever again be a man I'll be okay with spending the whole night, but right now, there certainly is not.
-Absolutely, under no circumstances, are you to use the master bathroom. Absolutely, under no circumstances, are you to poop in either of my bathrooms.
-If I even suspect you have not showered directly before going out, you must shower before before we get into bed. And I can tell, believe me.
Do I have hangups? I guess you could say that I do. I mean, I really don't know. The only man I was ever comfortable with in every way, was Jim, whom I've written about before, and he's dead now. Jim was pretty pristine, we spent a decade together, much of it underneath the same roof, and he was pristine. But also, we were so comfortable together. I remember early on he was so in love with me, that he was terrified he would fart or something. It was so funny. And it never bothered me, when eventually, once in a while, he accidently did. His bathroom habits were truly elevated, for his gender, or any gender really. And I guess that's why it didn't really matter when our basic human biology reared its head.
I don't expect to ever have that level of comfort with a man again. And that's okay, as long as they follow the rules. Do I expect some men to hear the rules, and run, thinking I'm crazy? Sure. But I did try them out last summer, and the man in question, agreed to terms. What do I care if he thinks I'm crazy?
I realized pretty quickly that he's an alcoholic. And though I love to have a few drinks, I do not deal with alcoholics. I grew up in an a house with an alcoholic, and that's a no go for me. But even if he wasn't, and I had continued on with him, I still wouldn't care if he thinks I'm crazy.
Men always think I'm crazy. I've learned to live with it.