• February 26, 2014 | ,

    Emily Post

    your guide to powder room party etiquette

    article by , illustrated by

    Dear Emily,

    Are there any rules of thumb when it comes to party bathroom etiquette? I ask because I’ve had a few odd encounters lately. Last weekend I was talking to this girl I’ve known for, like, two weeks. I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but I do remember that when I told her I needed to use the bathroom she followed me and continued talking. She walked right into the bathroom with me and continued chattering as I awkwardly tried to, you know, go to the bathroom. I know that drunk people sometimes don’t understand personal boundaries, but how should I deal with things like this in the future?


    Powder Room Problems


    Dear PRR,

    It sounds like your friendly acquaintance has taken the stereotype of girls always go to the bathroom together to the extreme. Before finding a solution to your problem, Emily would like to point out that it is somewhat common for a friend to say that they would like to use the restroom, but actually mean that she would like you to follow her so that you can continue your conversation elsewhere. It is an excellent way to casually excuse oneself from a situation. However, understandably, sometimes you truly do need to go to the bathroom.

    So what are you to do when an overly sociable and inebriated friend believes that their company is so important that you would like them to accompany you and continue talking as you relieve yourself? There are many options. Emily would have very little patience and bluntly tell her friend to leave. Alternatively, if you are fearful of hurting a drunk person’s feelings, which you should not be because that person is drunk, you could pretend that you want them to see if another friend has arrived yet. Or maybe you could ask them to get you a drink. It is not difficult to be creative in this type of situation.

    As for rules of thumb, in addition to not following your friend into the bathroom when they need to go, here are few more: Do not hook up with people in the bathroom. Do not leave the bathroom a mess. Check for additional doors that may need to be locked. If the toilet paper runs out, notify the host of the party. Do not use the personal hygiene products in the bathroom. And for goodness sake, do not hang out in the bathroom for ten minutes taking selfies while other people are lined up outside waiting to go.

    Alternatively, maybe lay off the Natty Light. Then you won’t need to worry about frequenting the bathroom altogether.