Posted by: fireweaver | November 9, 2008

day 4: showing one’s ass??

yesterday was mostly downtime in between the two meetings.  other than the comparatively short half-day of APV seminars in the am and the bus ride downtown to switch over to the other conference, there was time to unwind…and then start happy hour again.

after dinner at a sadly mediocre tapas place last night (Lynn: “this place kinda sucks.  omg, am i just a huge east coast snob now??”  me: “no, we just have appropriately discriminating tastes.”), we headed out to a lounge bar on the waitress’ recommendation.  drinks were expensive but good, the music was louder than i’d expect for a place calling itself a lounge rather than a dance club, and the dj had the annoying habit of changing the song after a maximum of one verse & chorus.  when it was time to head off to the bathroom, though, it was demonstrated to me exactly how much we aren’t coastal sophisticates.  “have you been to the restroom yet?” asked one of my NIH buddies with a sly grin.  “just turn the knob, you’ll figure it out.”

a short line monitored by a club employee (what, they need bouncers for the bathroom??) was assembled at the back of the place, people being distributed singly without regard to gender into individual stalls.  these little closets were each fronted by a full-length floor-to-ceiling glass door.  as in, clear and transparent colorless patternless glass.  as promised by my NIH’ers grin, when the occupant turned the lock, some trick of the glass came into play – i’m not sure if it was something inherent about its construction, like an electrical current-induced shift, or a light refracting off of formerly unseen microabrasions within the glass – and it was suddenly frosted.  not opaqued, just frosted.  out of one stepped a striking black man, adjusting the lapel of his light grey sharkskin suit with his own smug smile; the door closed again behind him and a slim woman’s arm promptly re-frosted the glass from within.  i wondered why one stall wasn’t being used, given the lengthening line, when i saw the male occupant step over to the sink to wash up before leaving.  since he’d failed to cloud the glass, i was rather glad that my view from the line didn’t include that stall’s toilet area.  from the interior of the fishbowl, i was far from convinced about the privacy of this flashy glass technology.  especially in this age of digital cameras and instant worldwide coverage, i really didn’t want a paris hiltonesque shot of my exposed girlbits to be even a remote possibility.  slight gymnastics ensued, of the sort we would employ on the band buses in days of old, changing out of flag corps uniforms after football games without revealing anything to watching eyes outside.  unnecessary paranoia?  probably.  but i’m just not that sophisticated.

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