Ladies who loo

Last night we had a wonderful night out – dinner and a show for my beloved’s birthday – two daughters and a boyfriend: beloved boy-child on other side of world, so a tad indisposed. It was one of those deals – Last Minute dot com i think – two courses and a West End show – in our case Chez Gerard and Wicked.

The meal was nice, nothing spectacular, but tasty and light – what you want before settling into nearly 3 hours of entertainment in a warm and very full theatre. Wicked is fabulous – utterly imaginative story, great humour, lovely play on words, fab set, brilliant voices – oh the woman who plays Alpahaba – just stunning and Glinda is pretty damn fine too – and staggering costumes. Oh what fun you’d have getting dressed for work there every day.

But the loos, my dear – more exactly the ladies loos at the theatre. There is some sort of universal law about ladies loos, isn’t there? There shall always be more men’s lavs than ladies: ladies shall always queue for half their evening out; as well as going with their mate and they shall miss half of the show, or be afeard of missing the key moment of the evening because they spent too long in line waiting to go to the loo!

I went before the show – with my eldest daughter – after 2 glasses of wine at dinner. We queued moderately, beating the big before show line up, in the auditorium, lining up down the stairs of the stalls. However, come half time, the queue was as long as ever and i simply could not face the trudge from my seat to the other side of the arena, to stand for too long and possibly miss the opening of the second half – which would have been a serious blow.

Meanwhile two metres from our seats the men’s loos barely attracted any attention, let alone a queue to die for. Why is this so? Is there some biological sociological imperative for women in public that eludes men? Do more women need to pee in public? Do we have, on the whole, weaker bladders? Are our under garments too restrictive? What is it? Is it the fact that we have to semi disrobe sit, wipe and re-robe that disadvantages us? Is the urinal the saviour of the man about town?

Regardless, this is not something restricted to the theatre – nor to London’s West End. This is a world wide (Western World i venture) phenomenon. I suspect it’s about men designing buildings and ignoring or not caring about the needs of women, of not caring that there are never enough loos, no matter where you are; of not giving the tiniest shit that we have to stand in line to ablute – often a public line, in unpleasant conditions, needed to go quite urgently, worrying that you won’t get there in time, as the world watches on.

No, dear reader, this is a male callousness – engineers and architects who hated their mothers and now their wives (who don’t have enough sex, or the right type or quality) and visit their retribution upon the rest of us feeble females unable to hold it in for 3 hours, or more, given the time and distance between home and the event.

So how do we cope? Just don’t go out, don’t drink while out, or make sure your seat is as near to the loos as possible, forget about front row, go for loo row. Or become an architect.


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