I work in an office with about thirty other people at HarperOne (a platoon of HarperCollins, a company of NewsCorp, a battalion of Rupert Murdoch Media-Growth Opportunities Unlimited, a regiment of China, Inc.). In the course of a month, I enter every room and cube in our office. I am not always invited or welcome, mind you, but I enter them all, even the cold room where we keep the computer server and the vegetables. I enter all the rooms, that is, except one—the mysterious room at the end of the hall, past the elevators, where only the women go. No one has ever explained why I don’t go in this room. No one ever said I couldn’t go in there. It’s just a feeling I have, a feeling that says, “Sam, this room is not for you. Don’t go in this room.”
It’s strange to have my feelings talking to me in the second person like this, but I listen to them, because they seem to know what they are talking about. None of the other men go in this room—at least, not that I know of. We all seem to know, without discussion, that we are not welcome there. It may be the sign on the door, which says “Women,” that prevents us from stepping over that threshold.
Anyhow, when I do need to “do my business,” I go to the other room, the adjacent room that is labeled “Men.” While I am in there meditating, writing this blog, etc., I wonder—what’s going on in the other room—the so-called “Women’s Room”? The women go in there a lot—pretty much all day long. Something’s up.
My guess is they have nice couches in there, maybe a flat screen TV, a steam room, masseuses, a therapist, perhaps a Bingo parlor. Or maybe there’s a secret door in there that leads to the local shopping mall. Maybe they go in there, buy some makeup, some new shoes at Bergdorf’s, etc. Maybe there’s an airport in there and they fly off to cool places like Rio and Paris.
Meanwhile, over in the Men’s Room we have, by way of comparison, nada. Zilch. We have a couple of toilets in stalls, two urinals, two sinks, and a mirror. That’s it. Oh, and one hook to hang our jackets on.
I think this is unfair. I think I am going to do something about it. I am going to stage a sit-down strike outside the Women’s Room. Hmm, no, maybe not—they would just step on me, and some of them wear heels. I know! I will dress in drag and sneak in there and find out the truth!