November 2, 2008 2:31 PM

Berkeley's Bathroom Graffiti

I confess: I've always had a soft spot for graffiti (the two exceptions to this would be the recurring graffiti that appears on my neighbor's fence; and gang-related graffiti, because gangs just don't conjure up soft spots in my heart). One of my friends in high school used to draw the funniest (and slightly vulgar) graffiti all over our bathroom stalls, and it was awesome and entertaining.

But I have to admit that Berkeley's bathroom graffiti steps it up a notch, just because it's such a collaborative effort.

On Mondays, when I have chem study group, I pop into one of Tolman's women's restrooms. There's a girl who desparately writes, "How do I tell my Jewish boyfriend that he's not my first, but my eighth?!" "DON'T!" writes one girl. Another tells her that he ought to love her the same no matter what; and there are at least ten other girls with their own sympathetic input.

In one of Dwinelle's bathroom stalls, a multitude of tiny messages are squeezed into the space between the wall tiles, including one witty one that exclaims, "I'm having a GROUT day!"

The handicapped bathroom on the second floor of Latimer Hall (home of Chem 1A labs and 3AL) boasts the original message "**** CHEM!" (actual word censored here). There is a mini-fight; two girls make fun of her for spelling Chem incorrectly (the C sort of looks like an E); another girl calls her ugly; "How do you know she's ugly? Maybe you're ugly!" retorts another; and yet another one wisely writes, "We're all ugly in our own way."

One of the bathrooms in the Cesar Chavez learning center (I think it's this one), even has bathroom graffiti satirizing bathroom graffiti; one girl started with, "Insert inspiring quote here," and different girls continued for about ten lines with pieces like, "Depressing, self-loathing quote here," etc.

Anyone who reads this is probably thinking that I'm WAYY too bored in the bathroom, but .. uh, well, I have no defense here. I just think it's interesting that the majority of responses are positive, and most girls tell each other to "feel beautiful" whenever someone writes something depressing. It makes me feel like the world is a little better when strangers write nice messages to each other whilst doing their.. business.

*I hope that I didn't inadvertently reveal to that Jewish boyfriend that he was not, in fact, his girlfriend's first, but her eighth.
**Also, what are boy's bathrooms' graffiti like?

Katarina Makmuri | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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