“What were you doing in there?” my girlfriend will ask incredulously once I’ve come out of the bathroom thirty or so minutes, at least, after I entered it. I deflect the question by implying or outright describing something gross. “You don’t wanna know,” or, “Pushin’ out poison,” I’ll tell her. Or maybe a simple, “We’re out of toilet paper.” That usually ends the conversation, which is good, because I don’t want to answer any more questions about what I’m actually doing in there. About my precious quiet time.
My diet consists mainly of salted meats and spicy sauces so, to be sure, a portion of the time I spend in the bathroom is used to exorcize some real evil. But that’s like ten minutes tops. The rest of my time in the bathroom is spent reading, watching videos, or just thinking. In silence. With no threat of being bothered with chores or conversation or even the dog. It’s just me, and it’s so wonderful that I don’t even mind having to be on the toilet seat to accomplish it.
It’s no surprise then that I’m not the only man whose bathroom is a sanctuary. According to a new study from Pebble Grey,, the average man spends 7 hours a year in the bathroom just to get peace and quiet (i.e. they’re not taking care of any natural business, they’re just there to be alone).
If anything, this sounds low. I’m probably clocking around 7 hours every month. And I don’t even have kids. Once that happens I’m probably going to fake dysentery.
But yeah, the bathroom is where men find our brief respite from the noisy, stupid, annoying world around us. At home and from work. Particularly because no one wants to really pry about why you’ve been in there for so long. Take it from the world’s foremost expert on bathroom breaks.
Unfortunately even the bathroom isn’t always a safe space. The same study says that one in ten bathroom breaks are interrupted. YOU LEAVE US ALONE.