We love responding to unique proprietary issues with the detail they deserve on House of Gilda’s Porch Swing, but there are plenty of not entirely unique kerfuffles we all face on a fairly regular basis. These little opportunities to not be a total dick deserve to be addressed, too, especially since they honestly seem to confuse people. Have an issue you don’t see addressed below? Understandable, for lo, there are many issues. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to address yours.
WHO GETS TO ANSWER THE CALL OF NATURE FIRST IN A CROWDED COFFEE SHOP WITH ONLY ONE BATHROOM
I do not care how bad you have to go. If the place is packed, the barista who has finally escaped from behind that counter has to go worse than you, plus has to get back behind the counter lickity split so everyone can get their caramel full fat almond encrusted gold flake infused latte in a timely manner. If you are next in line for the bathroom in a busy coffee shop and you do not let staff members slip in ahead of you, you are misunderstanding the whole system, your chief confusion being that your needs are the only ones the system is serving. In other words, you’re a selfish asshole.
2) People towing small children.
Kids don’t get it. They don’t understand that there is a line. They don’t understand there is a smaller feeling we grownups sense and respond to before we desperately have to pee. They have to go NOW and their parents would prefer they go in the proper receptacle, so please wave them ahead.
3) Pregnant women.
I’ve never been pregnant but I hear your body does all kinds of weird shit, like make you need to immediately vomit or cause pressure in the lower abdominal region where a growing fetus is pressing against the organs you use to temporarily store and expel your refuse.
4) No one else.
The line is the line. Here in Decency Land, we wait in lines when multiple people want to make use of a thing multiple people cannot use at the same time. It is how we determine who has the right to use it when everyone’s circumstances indicate an equal right to use of the object. I see you there, standing off to the side, about to rush the stall when the door finally opens, acting like you didn’t see the line here, or, more importantly, acting like you have a right to use this object above and beyond mine. Nope! Ya don’t. Neither one of us works here, is pregnant, or has a small kid. So get in line.
WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO DISCUSS YOUR SMOKIN’ HOT SEX LIFE IN WET, STICKY DETAIL
When someone asks for the details and only when someone asks for the details. Same goes for showing off dick pics you’ve received but that no one has expressed interest in seeing. I don’t know why that’s so much of a problem but god damn, ladies, I do not want you showing me pictures of disembodied penises any more than I want the owners of those penises sending the pictures directly to me. And those owners probably don’t want me looking at them either.
WHAT TO DO IF SIX MONTHS AFTER LOANING A BOOK TO A FRIEND AND NOT GETTING IT BACK YOU ATTEND A PARTY AT THIS FRIEND’S APARTMENT AND NOTICE SAID BOOK ON HER BOOKSHELF
Books are a weird item. For some reason people think that once you’ve read the book being loaned, you no longer require the services of the object, so there’s kind of an unspoken agreement among casual book borrowers that it is actually more of a gift. And, to an extent, I get it. A lot of people don’t want the book back (I do, personally, but I also don’t really loan books out). I’ve even known people to re-loan the book to someone else, like, loan-it-forward. For this reason, I would just assume it was a misunderstanding based on this weird cultural norm, take the book, and discretely let the hostess/banshee-book-thief-from-hell know you’re so happy to see it and you’re taking it home. COMMON DECENCY DIGRESSION: Do not take it without telling the person you’re taking it from, even if it is yours. Walk the high road here.
Unless this “friend” steals your shit all the time. Then take the book off the shelf, announce to the room, “Oh, my book! Man I loaned this to you/to HOSTESS X like two years ago!” and put it in your purse without further ado. And far be it from me to tell you how to choose your company, but – you know. Just think about it.
WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO ANNOUNCE YOU’RE MENSTRUATING
1) Anytime someone insinuates you or another person are probably menstruating or suffering one of its side effects as a means of discrediting your anger. For example, “Why yes, I am expelling copious amounts of blood and tissue from my vagina. Good thing numerous studies about global warming exist to let me know your denial of it is ignorant and infuriating regardless.” You can do this no matter who you are speaking to. Your boss, a total stranger, the Emperor of Japan, if they make a period joke.
2) When you’re in the presence of other women and you want someone to feel your pain. Because god damn it can be painful and shared experience can help relieve pain. If a woman acts like you’re out of line for mentioning your cycle in her presence, offer her a glass of sugar water and watch to make sure she doesn’t shed her human suit to reveal her true, alien-big form. Because no one wants to see that.
3) In the presence of your significant other. If your S.O. acts like he or she shouldn’t be subjected even to news of your cycle, don’t even bother with the glass of sugar water. You are in the presence of a dangerous alien and you need to run before it knows you’re onto it and zaps you.