from my basic understanding of being a male and peeing in many public bathrooms during my day. many being in schools, concerts, honey buckets, football games, these areas seem to be the locations where i frequently experienced urinal psychology. when a large group of men come together in one meeting area things seem to change. the loud mouth sitting on the 50 yard line isn't barking his mouth, the smooth talker isnt charming up his neighbor and the kid with turrets is even keeping it down. the idea that you should do your thing and get out as fast as you can. yes, its a place to urinate and constipate but most men make sure to use their excuse mes' and thank yous sparingly.
today i saw a man in the bathroom reading the newspaper while he peed. he was a older man, 70s, tall, kinda wide, cosby sweater, slacks. a couple things went through my mind. how long have you been standing there? what are you reading? i wanted him to ask me something but he didn't... as i expected. there was no spell but i could tell someone was in the stall next to the urinal. i wait in the awkward zone ( the area where you wait when all stalls and urinals are occupied. this usually is next to the paper dispenser or behind the door. )
i watched the man read and pee, then he left, he kept reading as he pulled away and washed his hands. i looked straight at all the wall, i know my manners. old man finished. still no word. no initiation on either end, no eye contact, maybe a quick glance to signal that the urinal was free for me to use.
Elder left, i was finishing up my hand washing. the poop guy was getting out of his stall. he seemed to be quiet the entire time, no odor, no nervous farts or anything, i didnt even hear the toilet paper roll rattle. i did something that probably isnt on the list of urinal etiquette but maybe considered awkward in general. i looked back at him as he opened the urinal door, i didnt really expect anything, but i wonder how it would feel if he gave me a hey, or hows it going. maybe i would have felt uncomfortable...i probably would have.
they told me that things would change in college. but i guess some things havent