the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Even Cowgirls Have to Pee

Vince Gill’s “What the Cowgirls Do”

Tonight, Sophia and I attended a concert of country star Vince Gill, which was a little odd, considering neither of us know any of his songs. Bu it was still fun seeing all the fake LA cowboys coming out of their BMWs, many of them wearing cowboy boots they just bought in Beverly Hills.

During intermission, I was standing at the urinal between two accountants wearing large cowboy hats. And NO — despite what some women think — men do not “check each other out” while peeing. I can’t believe Sophia even asked me that question. In fact, while standing at the urinal, I was too busy coming up with a country song to write on my blog, but I gave up after trying to rhyme “urinal” with “Vince Gill.”

As I left the bathroom, I saw Sophia waiting on line for the Ladies Room. While I was pretty much in and out of the Men’s Room, thirty women were waiting to get into their bathroom. This is such a common event — women waiting for the bathroom — that most of us take it for granted. But why? When are women finally going to get their act together and ask for more bathrooms in theaters and concert halls? Why are women so patient? There is no way men would wait so long to pee. Most of us would just do it against the wall.

Now, I know some blame the patriarchal society for the lack of adequate restrooms for women. I say, BS. Those days are over. I live in California, a state that is not afraid to give women political power. Both of our senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, are women. The new speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi of California, is a woman. Write to them and tell them that you are tired of waiting to pee! More bathrooms for women! It should be a law!

Or as Vince Gill might sing:

My Cheatin’ Heart
Just Felt Amiss
Seeing all the pretty cowgirls
Waiting and waiting to piss.

(by the way, Sophia liked the Pet Shop Boys much better)

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: This is Not a Blog Anymore


  1. V-Grrrl

    That is one freaky video, but I do like Vince Gill’s voice.

    I think he started his career with Pure Prairie League in the 70s. Any of y’all remember their crossover hit “Amy”?

    Funny that Vince Gill ended up with an Amy (Amy Grant).

    As for the bathroom issue, be bold ladies and queue up for the men’s room stalls!

  2. kristen

    Being of tiny bladder, I’ve been known to pee where I can. So if there’s a men’s room that is a single toilet only, watch out bubba, I’m first. I’ve also gone into a multi-toilet bathroom, used the stall and come out shocking the urinal-using men as I bolted out. You can’t imagine my utter glee the few times (sporting events) that I’ve breezed into a bathroom while men waiting in a line.

  3. Mist 1

    Women’s bathroooms are better than the men’s. That’s why we wait in line. We’ve got all kind of stuff in there.

  4. Megan

    If the line is too long, I just go in the men’s room.

  5. Lou P.

    I saw a woman “break ranks” at the 1999 Indy 500, jumping into the men’s line (from the impossibly long women’s line) to use the restroom. The drunk racing fans actually applauded her courage.

    For me, using the restroom in a public place is like shopping — I want it done with as fast as possible. Enough time to go, wash my hands, dry them with a towel, and be gone. I hate those hot air machines that some places have in lieu of paper towels; you’re talking about extra precious seconds wasted there.

  6. Dagny

    I too have been known to use the men’s room if the women’s room line is too long. All of those mostly unused stalls. Oh, and they often still have toilet paper. *sigh*

  7. DebR

    Women HAVE been asking for (even demanding) more women’s restrooms in public places for years, for all the good it’s done. I’ve been places where women have just simply taken over one or two of the men’s rooms instead, but that’s a real last-ditch emergency thing because usually men’s restrooms are kind of oogie compared to women’s. 🙂

  8. heather anne

    You’re right! You’re absolutely right! No more of this waiting around and almost peeing in my pants during every intermission and half-time. No, indeed. I am going to write to my Senators and my Congressman — wait — both of my Senators and my Congressmen are really old guys from the south, who think that gay marriage= apocalypse. Hmm… maybe instead of writing to them, I’ll just stop drinking so much soda during the concert.

  9. cruisin-mom

    V-GRRRL: I remember the song Amy.
    Neil, these days, women just go into the men’s room when they get tired of waiting in line for the women’s.

  10. Neil

    Cop out! Most women do not go into the men’s room. I’ve NEVER seen it happen. If it did, I would applaud. But, of course, if all women did it, there would just be a line in the men’s room AND the ladies room, and it would be back to us peeing on the floor.

  11. Two Roads

    Neil, you’re too busy writing songs in your head to notice the women sneaking in and out of the bathroom. Also, I heard that when men stand at the urinal they are doing math equations in their head not writing songs. As to the womens’ use of the mens’ room when we must, we do.


    love the song, very catchy

  13. Rhea

    It is true that lines for women’s bathrooms are longer. There was some kind of ruling of some sort here in Mass. a number of years back that made the local stadium have to build more stalls for women. Not sure of the details but I was glad about it when it happened.

  14. cruisin-mom

    Two roads: thanks for backing me! (I just stuck my tongue out at you Neil).

  15. Tatyana

    Ah, the law-requesting liberal is here again!
    Neil, there IS a law. It’s called California Building Code. And it defines in every detail possible amount/arrangement/allocated sq. footage per stall/per occuapanc/per use class in all poossible variations of designated public places in the State.

    And believe me, to try to change it, after decades and decades of deliberation and red tape that’s been invested into it by statists like yourself, with all their good intentions (see: Article XX.b: Paved Roads) you should be a Super-Hercules indeed.

  16. Neil

    Tatyana — next time you need to pee, I’m not letting you into the men’s room.

  17. ms. sizzle

    if neither of you are fans of mr. gill, why were you there?

  18. better safe than sorry

    there’s alot more going on in the ladies room then you think, that’s why we don’t go alone.

  19. Rhonda Silverstein

    Apparently, you made out with me in high school??? I dont recall this. Was it a different Rhonda Silverstein? I”d really like to know.

  20. deezee

    In California, don’t new public buildings have to take this issue into account? I either heard that or had a very proactive dream of equality. Knowing how my brain works, it’s hard to know which…

    Nice jingle…

  21. Jocelyn

    Our newer venues have more stalls so the lineups are shorter.

    But I’ve missed opening scenes of second halves of plays and ballets because of long bathroom lines…maybe I should demand a partial refund when that happens. hmmmm

    And I’ve never seen a woman come out of the men’s room either!

  22. Tatyana

    Deezee: no, you didn’t dream it; current code asks for 1.5 more stalls in women’s rooms than in men’s, on average.
    If anybody’s interested, I can explain in detail. I’ll give you the short version now: bathrooms in public places has to be [partially at least] ADA-compliant; the wheelchair accessability takes up a lot of space. Designers try to meet absolute minimum required by code, since every inch allocated to bathrooms has to be taken from other uses. So within a given room, when you have requirement of 5 fixtures, what takes less space, 3 urinals+2 toilets (men)or 5 toilets(women)? The latter, of course. Resulting arrangement – women’s room takes more spapce than men’s, and that’s what architects tend to avoid, to please equality advocates…

    Neil, it’s not me, it’s the Law!

  23. laurie

    Men’s rooms are icky. Eeeewwww. And I loathe places like The Downtown Standard that try to be so cool with unisex bathrooms because men have issues with correct aim. Plus, you have to act all nonchalant and cool when washing your hands and you can’t do the normal teeth check/does-my-butt-look-Ok-in-these-jeans check thing in the mirror because some guy is standing right there, just waiting his chance to misfire on a toilet.

    Coolness is very overrated.

  24. Lisa

    I’ve gone into single toilet men’s rooms to avoid long lines rooms before. If men are waiting when you walk out, wow, they get annoyed! I believe it’s true, they’d be peeing on the wall outside rather than wait through a long line. Hell, if I could, I probably would.

  25. justrun

    I too have been a men’s restroom user- it is for this reason I believe in the “hover” technique.

  26. Lynnster, yeah

    I love the title of this post. If all you wrote was just titles and nothing else, I’d still come visit. Heh.

  27. melanie

    damn firewall, can’t see the video!

    so vince sings a neil lyric, hank williams song? what dialect is he going to adopt for that!?

    i agree about the bathroom issues. maybe it should all be unisex, so you can feel our pain.


  28. Two Roads

    Crusin-Mom – no problem, anytime! LOL

  29. Leslie

    I learned my lesson about waiting in line for a restroom after I drank a Big Gulp right before I saw the movie Titanic!


  30. Churlita

    I call bullshit. I bet plenty of guys check out what they’re up against at the urinal. C’mon Neil, fess up now.

    And thanks for making me your blog crush. I feel so special.

  31. Crankster

    I feel like there’s some sort of mathematical proof here: as more bathroom space becomes available, women will take more time in the bathroom, and so forth.

    There will always be a line.

  32. Neil

    Churlita — Do you know the stares you would get if the guy next to you SAW you looking. There is no way anyone looks. Curious? That’s another matter…

  33. Bre

    Urinals baffle me. Especially when they’re situated right in front of the door so that you can see Johnny on the spot taking care of business everytime the door opens.

  34. SFGary

    So you belong to the pee anywhere crowd, stinking up the alleys next to clubs everywhere. So where do you wash your hands…

    Churlita: Not only do men do not check each other’s pkg out there are unwritten rules for crapper behavior: No eye contact, only look straight ahead or down, no talking and never go to the restroom with a buddy.

    I know I am stereotyping but if women did not go in pairs maybe the line would be smaller?

  35. M.A.

    You’re so hip, Neil. Vince gill?

  36. wordgirl

    I don’t know who to blame for the lack of female bathrooms, but it IS a vexation during concerts. And it’s not just that our lines are longer…they also seem to move more slowly.

  37. Heather B.

    Totally not the point, but why would you attend a concert of someone whose songs you don’t know?

    Free tickets? Working on a massive post comparing urinals throughout the greater Los Angeles area?

  38. Bama Girl

    As a Southern Belle, I have always found it tacky to use the word “piss”in reference to a woman or by a woman.

  39. Neil

    Bama — I’m all for etiquette. What would be the appropriate term if I wanted to speak to a proper Southern lady?

  40. Jack

    I have seen women try to take over the men’s room. But I have yet to see them do it successfully. Too many get freaked out by the men who refuse to leave.

  41. othurme

    I think someone should come up with a trough-like system so women can all simultaneously pee in a line like the men. A Her-inal.

  42. laurie

    Neil, lemme help you out.

    You can use the word “tinkle.” I myself would in fact pay money for you to say that. heh.

  43. Linda Freedman

    I knew if I read far down enough I’d get a laugh. The cheatin’ heart did it. Thanks.

  44. Stephen

    I’ve heard that for women to pee in the same amount of time as men they would need 6 times as many toilets. This is not true. I remember a situation that disproves that. At a play I went too, Urinetown actually, the women had 6 toilets and the men only one. Despite that the men had almost no line but the women had a line 25 long out the door. I also recall a time at the museum where the men’s room was empty but women had a line 15 out the door, probably another 30 inside! The point is that no matter how many toilets women are given there will still be a line, it’s a fact of life. The solution-drink less, go quicker, be patient. Though I’ll admit if I were dying for a pee I would be going out of my mind if I had to wait 20 minutes with my legs crossed, so I do sympathize, luckily though I don’t have to wait :P. I imagine if the situation were reversed the women wouldn’t be so sympathetic, espicially to someone who just made the comment I did ;).

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