There are two kinds of drunken girls in toilets.
One is the weeper, generally crying about some sort of relationship stress (although it’s not always that, of course). She is an immutable fact of any night out. It doesn’t matter if she’s with you or if you’ve never seen her in your life, because as soon as you see the running mascara and hear that familiar hiccough of ‘what did I do to deserve this?’ you are immediately there by her side, knee deep in empathy.
This is because the second type of drunk girls in toilets are the wisest and kindest people in all the world.
“If he isn’t treating you like the PRINCESS you are,” my first toilet mentor told me through a haze of Jack Daniels and Jaegermeister, “he isn’t worth it.”
The fact she was wearing a tutu and sitting in the sink didn’t seem strange, and neither did my total lack of inhibition at telling a complete stranger about the problems in my love life. I tearfully agreed with her that I was a princess and my boyfriend was a fool as he was apparently blind to this clear and incontrovertible fact.
The other side of the coin - much as I hate to admit it - is that I was pissed and emotional, and perhaps not behaving entirely fairly towards him.
The position of toilet soothsayer is one of great power, and with great power comes the opportunity to live vicariously through others, and to give them advice based on approximately no knowledge of their situation.
“Get rid of him/her!” Toilet Girl decrees, “look at the state of you [ she means the tears and snot of abject misery rather than the inebriation ] , and where is this person that claims to be your one true love? Not here, faithfully by your side, but out there, in Da Club, blissfully unaware of your unhappiness - or worse, dismissing it as time of the month, or too much gin! Up with this you must not put!”
The trouble is, alcohol consumption throws up all sorts of underlying madness and robs you of the ability to discuss it sensibly with your partner, whilst simultaneously encouraging you to shout wildly about it in public places. Toilet wisdom does not consider such extenuating circumstances. Someone should conduct research into the number of couples that call it a day after garbled conversations between apparent kindred spirits in grotty nightclub loos.
Because I don’t spend a lot of time hanging round the men’s loos, I’m unsure if there’s a male equivalent of this fairy godmother lurking round the urinals. In my experience drunken men don’t cry as much as drunken women, so maybe they don’t need one. Or maybe their toilet guy says exactly the same thing as our toilet girl.
The last time Captain Tact came in from a booze soaked evening, he informed me I have eyes like sprouts (“with mould in the middle for the pupil”), which I understood from the delivery was meant to be complimentary. Perhaps there was a bloke in the sink saying, “for goodness sake treat her like the princess she is! Get home and deliver some vegetable-based compliments before it’s too late!”
It was a nice sentiment, however oddly phrased – and ultimately that’s what the average Toilet Mentor is trying to achieve too. She wants you to feel better about yourself and if that means ditching the person you’re with, so be it.
However, it may be worth remembering that sometimes, the person sitting in the sink of a nightclub toilet is just as addled as you.