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A group of women enjoy GoodFella's pizza after a night out on Court Street, on March 3 in Athens.

Students divulge the feminine experience of making friends in bar bathrooms

With Women's History Month in full swing, a couple of special aspects of women's lives are uniquely feminine. Whether taking one's bra off after a long day or understanding the differences in the subtle glances girls give each other in conversations, many shared experiences unite women that men may not be able to relate to.

An example of these elements is women making friends in the bathroom. Although it may seem like an unlikely environment to strike up a conversation and forge friendships, many women believe there is something comforting about the ambiance created, whether it is asking someone to borrow their lipstick or to compliment a girl's hair.

Girls traveling in packs to the restroom has always existed, and according to some, there are reasons that exist that prove motivations. According to The Healthy Journal, anxiety plays a role when women decide to go to the bathroom together because there is an element of fear of going alone. It can feel safer to travel in a pack rather than going solo.

Julie Brown, a sophomore studying social work, views trips to the bathroom while out and about as a haven from the business and drama that sometimes can plague a fun night out.

"I feel like it definitely is an experience that every girl ever, not even just specific to Athens, can talk about," Brown said. "Female bathroom culture – that's probably like the craziest sentence I've ever strung together – but it's real. If someone were to be like, 'Come to the bathroom with me,' I wouldn't question it at all. That's just what you do."

She also views bar bathrooms as a supportive environment where people can exchange compliments and decompress.

"I feel like there definitely is just the feminine want to share the little things you have with other people around you," Brown said. "I feel like it just is like this big, communal space of just complimenting other people and lifting them up."

Although it may seem like a universal school of thought that girls' bathrooms are a place for meeting new people, not everyone may understand exactly what goes down behind closed doors.

"When I talk to guys that I know like, 'Oh my God, this girl I met in the bathroom,' they're like, 'What are you talking about?'" Brown said.

Claire Del Vita, a junior studying journalism, is part of the school of thought that the bathroom environments of The Overhang, 63 N. Court St., and Lucky's Sports Tavern, 11 N. Court St. are elite specifically due to the clientele that frequent both bars.

Del Vita said assets of traveling to the bathroom with other women are escaping uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations. On New Year's Eve, Del Vita was out in Athens when a group of guys created an uncomfortable environment.

"I had to go to the bathroom, and I got very worried that maybe these guys would try to follow me because it was over Winter Break, so there weren't a lot of people there, so I had my girlfriends come with me to the bathroom because I just didn't feel comfortable going there alone," Del Vita said.

Taylor Deleruyelle, a senior studying biology, said she frequents Stephen's On Court, 66 N. Court St., and because of that, she feels like the bathroom culture there is superior. Interestingly enough, she actually had a very pleasant run-in with someone that resulted in a friendship all because of toilet paper.

"My favorite experience is that I was waiting in line at Stephen's with this girl, and they never have toilet paper in their bathroom," she said. "I just carry toilet paper on me, and I gave her a little bit of it, and we literally then sat and talked in the basement for like 30 minutes."

The story of their friendship did not stop there but continued a few days later.

"I got her Snapchat, and we got lunch a few days later," Deleruyelle said. "It was so much fun – all because of toilet paper."

Whether a trip to the bathroom is to relieve oneself or reapply lipstick, there is always that possibility that a new friend is just around the horizon, or in this case, just around the stall door.

"I feel like this definitely just speaks to femininity as a whole because you meet someone and even just for this couple of minutes that you see them like you just want to instantly like become friends," Brown said. "I would literally tell my whole life story to some girls in the bathroom."


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