Damn Your Unisex Bathroom, by Paul Shirley

I’m at the back of a restaurant in Los Angeles, in a dimly-lit hallway whose floor is made of dark wood that’s been distressed just the right amount, not too old, not too new, like a T-shirt from Urban Outfitters or the prop guitar held by the lead singer of your favorite untalented emo band.

There is just enough light for me to see a sign with a little man and a little woman which, thanks to previous experience with rudimentary representations of humans, tells me that the restrooms are thattaway.

I am relieved, for I need to be relieved, and I follow this beacon around a corner and down another, equally dusky hallway and soon enough, it is upon me: several tiny closets, a communal sink, nothing to keep her from him or him from her.

There was a time, maybe around age 23 or 24, when I thought the unisex bathroom a worthwhile innovation. We weren’t so different, men and women, so why should we be separated by walls, especially when we were washing our hands? Plus, it was a little tantalizing, wasn’t it? The idea that women were almost literally within reach, that we were all back here together. It was like someone had combined our high school locker rooms and maybe I was going to get a naked glimpse of Kirsten Runnebaum, that senior whose breasts would one day probably inspire some really bad poetry.

There was a time, maybe around age 23 or 24, when I thought the unisex bathroom a worthwhile innovation. We weren’t so different, men and women, so why should we be separated by walls, especially when we were washing our hands? Plus, it was a little tantalizing, wasn’t it? The idea that women were almost literally within reach, that we were all back here together. It was like someone had combined our high school locker rooms and maybe I was going to get a naked glimpse of Kirsten Runnebaum, that senior whose breasts would one day probably inspire some really bad poetry.

Maybe the worst part about the unisex bathroom is the slant of the trend graph. According to my unscientific studies on the subject, it would appear that with each passing year, as more and more rich dicks decide to start sustainable restaurants that cater to my entitled, emboldened and increasingly opinionated generation, the scourge that is the unisex bathroom grows ever more universal. It won’t be long before I am aiming my stream between the goalposts made of the legs of some blonde-haired lass.