Sunday, 29 May 2011

Toilet Training

The Stow-Crats used to call it the “lav”, short for lavatory. Caro, Sam and Eileen still say loo (or, in public places “ladies”); everybody else says toilet. The DD’s want toilet, or go toilet. (They go other destinations too.) Twee euphemisms like “little girl’s room”, “must go and powder my nose” have gone out, but:

Sam says "I'm dying for a wee" and goes to the nearest facility. Jen and Eileen say nothing but discreetly absent themselves while everyone is looking the other way, and don't open the door and come out till the flush has ceased flushing. Then they sneak out opening the door as little as possible. When out with friends, they have to invent excuses (I just want to pop to the shop for a few postcards). Or simply say "I'll be back in a moment."

Howard Weybridge will never let anyone have a comfort stop. (“Can’t you wait till…” No I can’t!) He’s embarrassed if any of his party goes into a pub/café/hotel to use their ladies because he thinks you ought to buy something (and resents paying that sixpence for a box of matches/cup of tea you don’t need). He’s embarrassed because you have to go into common premises, and speak to unnecessarily, and ask a favour of, and then be beholden to, a common person. Samantha Upward waltzes into any hotel and uses the ladies without asking. It’s the near-Teales who cringe.

Maybe it’s because the middle classes think you should be able to overcome anything with willpower. They are also very fond of controlling each other.


  1. Oh what a memory this has stirred. My ex in-laws had a rule, downstairs 'loo' for a wee, upstairs for a poo. Only once in four years did I find myself in a predicament. "If I go upstairs, they will know what I am doing". I chanced the downstairs toilet, and boy did I get a glare on my return to the 'lounge'. I'm so common.