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For Men Only

Mark A. Goldman                                                    Dated: 8/16/2012


I had an epiphany the other day.  Thereís a small window in my downstairs bathroom through which a bright focused beam of sunlight was shining directly into the toilet.  It provided that kind of illumination that lets you see suspended dust particles in the air.  As I stood there peeing into the pot I noticed that as my stream hit the water there were minute particles of spray that bounced out of the toilet and onto the rim and a few over the rim and onto the floor.  Now those that escaped the toilet, I admit, were very tiny droplets but there they were nevertheless.  I now know that when I am standing and peeing into a toilet, I am probably at the same time peeing on the floorÖ not very much, but something. 

Now the truth is that most of the time I have gotten into the habit of sitting down when I pee.  A few years ago I had a problem with an enlarged prostate that was, for the most part, corrected with laser surgery. Prior to the surgery, my urine stream was not always predictable and when urinating standing up I would get some drops on the toilet rim which I always wiped up before flushing.  Sitting down when I pee saves me the trouble of that extra step.  Another symptom of this condition, then and now, is that after urinating there remains a drop or two that I need to squeeze out and wipe before I zip my pants.  So before I pee, I always grab a bit of toilet paper to wipe myself after. 

Grabbing a bit of toilet paper before I go has been a habit of mine for a number of years now and this is why in a menís rest room, whenever possible, I use a stall rather than a urinal.  And if I choose on any particular occasion to pee standing up, I wipe the rim of the toilet after I go no matter where I am, whether itís in my home or in a public rest room.

Lately, Iíve been standing up a little more often than I used to.  Now, having seen the light so to speak, I will do so less frequently, at least when Iím home. 

This experience with my prostate and my attention on urination has raised my consciousness a bit.  And now I see, after all this time, here we are in the twenty first century, Iím 68 years old and I never knew that when I stood up and peed into a toilet that I was also peeing on the floor.  And thereís no getting around it.  Even when a urine stream hits the water, if the splash itself does not propel droplets out of the pot, there are usually some bubbles that formÖ and when those bubbles burst, I saw that that pop is sometimes sufficient to propel and allow a tiny droplet to escape.  If you donít believe me, get a bright, highly focused light, and try it yourself.  How come no one ever told me this before?

It is not unusual to go into a public stall and see that some fellow or fellows before me didnít bother to lift the lid before they went.  And after they did go, they didnít bother to wipe up after their sloppy selves.  Sometimes itís embarrassing to be a member of my gender.  I always lift the seat before I go and then wipe the rim of the toilet after.  For years now, I have made it a point to always wipe the seat of a menís room toilet if I see that the person before me ďforgotĒ to.  This has been my unselfish unsung gift to mankind.  I would not be mentioning it now except that maybe someone else will find it useful to know that there are all kinds of ways to make a difference in the world, even if it never gets noticed or amounts to much.  You never know.

So, this is what Iíve learned about men:  When no one is watching, a lot of them donít clean up after themselves.  This means that a lot of men canít be trusted.  You can see it in the menís room and you can see it in life.  When I think of certain men in public life, I can almost guess which of them probably wouldnít think to clean up after themselves after peeing on a public toilet seat. 

Now I donít really expect a lot of men, after reading what I have just written, to change their behavior and begin to pee sitting down, even though they probably should.  I suspect that I am not the only one who has for most of his life unwittingly been peeing on the floor.  But once some men form a habit, particularly when that habit has gender overtones (such asÖ this is what real men do), itís probably not that easy to get them to change. 

We should be teaching our boys to sit down when they pee and/or at least clean up after themselves when they pee standing up.  If we teach them now, maybe when they grow up it could make a difference.  The world already has enough men who donít give a damn where they pee or how the way they pee might affect other people.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of adults in this world, particularly men, who never learned to clean up after themselves, and way too many who refuse to admit that they should.

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