No Man Is an Island, But Sometimes He Should Be
The restaurant is nice, too nice, really. The table cloth is starched and the portions are tiny. The staff is well spoken and the service exceptional. I'm very familiar with such surroundings yet never quite comfortable. It's the kind of place I've spent too much time in as an employee and very little as a customer.
After a nice dinner I found myself in for quite a shock, my own fault really, for having failed to anticipate. Working so long in this industry, I always used the staff toilet, the sterile cubicle by the back door and never the palatial, sharply decorated customer facilities. And what did I find there that raised my ire? I found a man standing the the restroom waiting to attend me. Don't misunderstand, he was a fine fellow, polite, well spoken, amicable, competent. He ran the water for me, offered me a towel and cologne. I'm sure he's exactly the kind of person one would want doing these sorts of things. Except, I don't want anyone doing these sorts of things at all.
I don't trust bathroom valets.
I don't mean the individual people that valet in bathrooms and I don't mean the profession, itself.
I mean I don't trust the cultural impetus that says we should have valets in our bathrooms. It is to each person to be an autonomous being and to make there own way in the world. Ergo, there are some things that each and every person who is able should have to do for themselves. Making one's toilet is at the very top of the list. Moreover, these are activities in which I do not feel comfortable being offered assistance.
I don't trust the people that want to be waited upon in the bathroom. It's fine to have someone else cook and bring you your food, make your coffee, wash your clothes, mow your lawn, pump your gas and the like. It is perfectly reasonable if one is too busy, lacks the relevant skills or simply chooses to pay someone else to perform these tasks. In the bathroom, though, we should draw a line. What person feels that they are so important or so entitled to luxury that they cannot be troubled to turn on a faucet or to dry their own hands after taking a piss?
I don't like that presumption. More than that, I don't like going somewhere and having it presumed that I might make that presumption. I like it even less when I do go to such a place and want to wash my own hands I'm somehow considered out of line for wanting to perform my bodily functions and the requisite cleaning in private.
I admit that I'm not all that classy a guy but that I can fake it for a few hours at a time. If this is what upper-crust is supposed to be, I'll just have pizza.