Pet Peeve


I am unable to completely form the reasons why but one thing in particular has recently been getting on my nerves to such a level that I felt I must get it off my chest. It’s people brushing their teeth at work. It may be that I just want some privacy with this one particular bathroom here at the University. My sense of entitlement may also be heightened due to the fact that this particular bathroom comes with a key so that access is limited to faculty and gringos (apparently). Equally perplexing is my inability to remove myself from situations. Why can I not just turn around and leave the bathroom when I see the tube of toothpaste sitting next to the sink? Well, you know what they say.

I’m sure, though, that the people doing the teeth-brushing are thinking the same thing perhaps to an even greater degree of frustration, however, I doubt any of them have gone so far as to publish their displeasure on the world wide web. But who wants someone intruding on their oral hygiene regimen to do their own dirty business. Their own pride and expectations for privacy, as professors (a position of some distinction), must be even more sensitive to the interference of a ‘younger’ extranjero who may or may not be struggling with the gastronomic variations he’s being exposed to. All this while engaging in the intimate act of brushing ones teeth.

I can grasp the reasons for bringing the toothbrush to work and getting that done in the middle of the day. That it is such a completely innocent and respectable action is the reason I do not completely understand my disposition to the practice. So, I am thinking that sometime this week I am going to flip my own script and brush my teeth at work. I will let you know how it goes.

Forbes Article on Such Etiquette

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6 thoughts on “Pet Peeve

  1. For some reason that has really bothered me as well. Maybe it just goes against my whole idea of exactly what a public restroom is – filthy dirty and no place for a toothbrush that goes anywhere near my mouth. I just couldn’t imagine using the sink water at the office to rinse and spit. I’m sure it’s perfectly clean water, and being in San Francisco, probably some of the best public water out there – but because it is a public bathroom, I too have a mental block against the this mid afternoon habit.To answer your comment from before, I saw M.I.A. on Telegraph. The famous Amoeba IS on Haight at Ashbury, but for some reason the “better” venue (and I use this loosely because a record store is always a bad venue) is the Amoeba in Berkeley. Strange. Hope all is well in Sud America. See you in a few!

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  2. Coincidentaly, we were just talking about this today. We also have a chronic toothbrusher in our bathroom and also do not think it is acceptable. The worst part is waiting to use the sink and having to talk to her while she is brushing and foaming and all that.

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  3. I am so proud to announce that I just walked into the bathroom, saw the toothbrush, toothpaste and a set of keys on the counter next to the sink and turned around and walked out. I am not sure it is completely appropriate here, but I think it was Gandhi who said be the change you want to see in the world.

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  4. Dude, the new MIA album is pretty good. I think it’s called Kala. I like the tracks Boyz and Bird Flu. There’s another one called Paper Planes which she performed live, but I wasn’t crazy about it. Let me know what you think.

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  5. i must say that a few weeks ago i recently purchased an extra toothbrush and toothpaste to keep in my desk at work in order to brush my teeth after lunch. although i have remembered to bring them to work and place them in a desk drawer, i have not actually used them yet. i can’t bring myself to do it, but for different reasons. our bathroom here at work is spotless, and i feel that if anything i would be dirtying up the sink to spit toothpaste back into it. but, don’t worry, i will soon get into the habit. hopefully. i think it will make me have fresher, cleaner breath and gums and tongue and checks. maybe we all should consider brushing our teeth more often – like right now. or, later.

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  6. A lot of people have commented on this and a lot of people have asked me why I am so annoyed by this, but I really can not say. I was comforted when someone related a story to my about a French colleague who, when they saw a toothbrush in the bathroom, said “are people going to start taking baths at work”. What tact.

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