Making Friends… In the Ladies’ Room

by Roo on April 22, 2014

in storytelling

I was at a work event a while ago. Like with many industry events, it’s all business during the day, and at night everyone loosens up and parties a little and some of the best networking is done when people are a bit less buttoned up. I think this is probably true of people in most industries, except maybe.. I don’t know.. accountants? I would say librarians, but my BFF is a director at a library and she knows how to get low, so…

(For the record, I get the biggest kick out of meeting a serious-faced suited-up exec during the day and then seeing him again at night swaying to reggae music with the scent of eau de cannabis wafting around his head.)

I exited the dance floor and weaved through the crowds to hit the ladies’ room. I put my handbag on the counter and opened it up to powder my nose (we call it that, but I don’t ever actually powder my nose), when one woman my age spots me, runs over to me, leans her face up, points to her cheeks and goes, “Can you do me, too?”

Total stranger.

And I was like OF COURSE! So I stood there and swirled some blush on to a brush and applied it to her cheeks. She looked in the mirror, smiled, and goes “Oooh thank you so much. I get so flushed and pale when I’m out on the dance floor!” and then she squeezed my arm and ran off.

Ladies' Room Bonding

(the best blush in the world)

I know that people might think this interaction is weird but I looooooved this!! 1) It was obvious that this evening I did not look like a sociopath, because you don’t approach sociopaths and ask them to touch your face, and 2) I liked that something about me was welcoming enough (I had smiled at her first) that she felt comfortable enough to ask me to stand closer than strangers stand and apply makeup. 3) Yes, it’s completely possible that she was hammered and wasn’t thinking straight, but I’m not even going to assume this is an option. Let me live my dreams.

Idk, I’m into it. Really into it.

I think girls/women have these unspoken rules – I mean helping one another out certainly applies to guys, too… but for example:

1) If a stranger approaches you in the bathroom and asks if you have a tampon… if you have a tampon, you hand it over.
2) If another mom’s diaper bag stash has been depleted, you hand over a diaper and at least five wipes.
3) If you’re standing with someone who’s at least a little bit of an acquaintance, and her tag is sticking out of the back of her shirt, you tell her. Or, if – like me – you forget that most people have boundaries about human contact, you tuck it in for her and watch her give you a look of suspicion and concern.

And if you spot me in a ladies’ room, I’ll totally do your makeup. And put your hair in a fishtail braid if you ask. :D :D :D

And then maybe you could give me a hug?

TOO MUCH! Too soon! I know. Sorry.

PS. Facebook has been killing us all softly with its new algorithms. Last night, a bunch of us signed up for Snapchat (read that convo here, then here). If you add me, I’ll notify you via Snapchat every time a new post is up – via a photo of a kitten or my pants… that I’m wearing. My username is roociambriello. Sup.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth E. April 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

I love this! I really wish we lived in the same city–heck, the same region!–because I would totally want to become friends with you IRL. Is it okay that I know the pharmacist so well that we ask about each other’s girls by name? They’re only weeks apart and were both preemies. I really want to ask her to be friends, but I think it might freak her out. ::sigh:: The perils of liking to make friends. (And this coming from an introvert!)

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Roo April 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I’m always afraid of freaking people out. Sometimes I think that fear is warranted. :P But I think “Hey do you ever go to such and such park? My daughter loves it – our girls should totally play sometime” is not intimidating. :)

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meagan April 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

oh man! i am the same way, we are all ladies, lets help a girl out :) Also, my mom and husband are accountants and are the two most hilarious people i know! they break all the stereotypes :)

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Roo April 22, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Hahahaha! I knew immediately as I wrote it that my accountant friends with charge the door with torches ablaze. I couldn’t think of another occupation. :P

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Kirby April 22, 2014 at 11:10 am

This, THIS is why we are friends! Discovery made!

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Valerie April 22, 2014 at 11:13 am

Thank you for the Snapchat notification. Also, love this.

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MissCaron April 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

Friendliness rocks! When y’all decide to make a trip to Walt Disney World I want to drive over and hang out! Also, I met one of my now good friends in the dressing room at Target. She came out of the stall looking self-conscious about her outfit and I could tell she needed an opinion and I said, “That looks great on you,” to which she and I then sparked up a conversation and eventually exchanged information. Awesome.

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Dana April 22, 2014 at 11:25 am

I’m a 27 year old super fly chic ACCOUNTANT! We know how to get down :-P Seriously, public accountants (aka auditors) are some of the craziest peeps because they work a million hours so they need to let loose!

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Bethany April 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

Tax CPA’s are the same ;)

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Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution April 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Accountant here, and I’ll second this :)

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Kate April 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Ditto! Accountants can get down with the best of them. I mean, its not like we’re actuaries (j/k).

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Roo April 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Hahaha, Kate! Lola is an actuary. ;)

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Katelyn April 22, 2014 at 11:31 am

I always do the tuck the tag in thing to other women. Depending on how well I know them I’ll either do it myself or just tell them about it. I’m also guilty of picking stray hairs off of people’s clothes. If I don’t know them I do it anyway and hope they don’t notice!

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Joanna April 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

I loved this! I am also guilty of over-friending too fast. We’re moving to a new neighborhood and last night one of our new neighbors stopped by. After a 10 min convo of introductions and niceties, the whole way home I was all “OMG, we’re going to go to spin class together and get pedicures and it’s going to be awesome!!! #besties!!” And, my husband was all, “Dude, pull back on the reins a bit.” So, I feel you. :) Also, ftr, as a tax accountant, I can vouch that at night, away on conferences, it gets pretty crazy. It’s always the quiet/nerdy ones…

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Monica April 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm

My husband is like that too because I tend to tell everyone and anyone my life story.

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Bethany April 22, 2014 at 11:58 am

Off topic (but not really), does that blush really stay on for 12 hours?! I like Tarte foundation / concealer, but I haven’t ventured to their blush yet. Mainly because it ain’t cheap. My blush always seeps into my pores and is invisible like an hour after I put it on. CONVINCE ME TO BUY IT.

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Roo April 22, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Ooooh, yes, it lasts long, there’s no fall out… I really love Tarte blush (I was using their gel blush for awhile, and I love that, too). But, before you go out and drop some $$$ on it, what are you putting on your face underneath the blush? I don’t wear foundation, but I put a layer of BB cream on my face before applying everything else, and that makes a difference.

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Bethany April 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I usually apply some tinted primer (the green kind that balances out redness – yay adult acne!) and then Tarte foundation. I try to remember to set my makeup with powder afterwards, but I sometimes skip this step. But honestly I don’t think that part makes a difference either way, maybe it extends my blush life to like 2 hours? I’ll look into BB cream though, maybe that will help! Thanks!

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Alicia April 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I would never be the girl asking for a blush touch-up (way too shy for that), but I would totally help a girl out if asked! btw loved the snapchat notification…you may be starting a new trend!

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Amber Schumann April 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Get this–I work in the marketing department for a public accounting firm. My main responsibility is getting the peeps out in the networking world (attend affiliate organizations’ social events and mixers). It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…………………

In other news, I’m totally “that girl” that voluntarily helps a gal out even when she doesn’t ask. Before I approach, I always ask myself “would I want someone’s help if I were in the same situation”? That’s perfect anti-creeper justification in my book…..

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Sabrina April 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm

See…this right here is why I feel like we should be friends…everything you said it totes normal to me. I don’t understand why more women aren’t like this, can we all help a sista out?

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Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution April 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Dear Roo:
Can we please be best friends? Check yes or no

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Joanna April 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm

(For the record, I get the biggest kick out of meeting a serious-faced suited-up exec during the day and then seeing him again at night swaying to reggae music with the scent of eau de cannabis wafting around his head.)

I laughed so hard I snorted… at work… thank God I don’t share an office with anyone.
It is always the buttoned-up ones isn’t it?

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julie April 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm

We SERIOUSLY need to be best friends, I am the SAME WAY! I had my ex fiance tell me once, never in his life did he ever have a conversation with anyone in an elevator, yet every time I was in one, the person would immediately start chatting with me, random stuff. I guess it was just my demeanor vs his. I’m pretty outgoing, it’s cool when others pick up on that, she must have sensed that in you as well. Means you are a warm and welcoming person that people feel safe enough to approach you.

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Anna April 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Somehow, I knew that you’d be like this, Roo. And, it makes me haappppyyy (clap along if you feel like a room without a roof)! Ladies rooms get weird. In a totally cool way. I have had the most interesting conversations with the (usually drunken) women who are hanging out in the ladies room when I’ve strolled in gracefully and not drunken AT ALL :). There really is this unspoken code that is so awesome to have with each other!
In other news, work parties/events can get ODD. So many things happen when you take work friends and add some libations. Sights that cannot be unseen, Roo.

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Diane April 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Love this! You are just so adorable, Roo~ I have been known to run behind a total stranger leaving the store at a gas station to tell her that her zipper was open… Excuse me, ma’am, but ummm… She was very grateful! And I totally tell strangers in fitting rooms when something looks really good on them. I will pretty much smile and offer another woman help with anything she needs, and I always get a positive response.

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Lara April 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I wish we could be friends.. i know no personal boundaries o_0 haha! for realz though your hilarious and i love your blog!

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Janelle @ Two Cups of Happy April 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I love random moments with strangers like this one! The best place to have them is on the bus — I swear. Except when you get a creepy person who won’t stop talking to you and there’s nooooo escape.

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carly April 22, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I really like this post, but my inner germaphobe (sp?) is totally freaking out over you sharing a makeup brush with a stranger…so many germs!!!!! I still love your blog and am happy to see that not everyone is a germaphobe like me!

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Lauren @ Faith and Macaroni April 23, 2014 at 12:04 am

Totally met one of my best buds by picking her up in the Target parking lot. Baby looked about the same size as mine and so I started chatting. Well go figure, her babe was born 7 days after mine, her hubs is also in the Navy, and she lived close by. It was that hairy period when our babes were about 6 weeks old and we were just feeling brave enough to venture out on our own/crazy enough to need to.
Sadly the Navy has taken her back to New York… :( :( :(
But I’ll never worry about chatting with someone again. She’s one of my besties. You just never know when you can find a new friend. Let’s embrace the potentially awkward- it can be way worth it in the end.

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J.Mill April 23, 2014 at 10:21 am

I’m initially freaked out by strangers approaching me, but then usually disarmed. I love being asked to help people – whether they want directions, a ponytail holder or toilet paper passed under the stall!

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Kyle April 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

OMG A FISHTAIL!??!?!?! I’d give you the biggest hug in the universe. And then a high five…even if we’re in the restroom.
Also, I always tuck in people’s tags…even if I don’t know them. It was only a bad idea once (on a public bus in Spain where I almost got punched in the face).

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Steph Reiner April 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I thought it was growing up with 14 girl cousins that made me this way with other women. I’m always like the “hand you toilet paper under the stall, overshare about my cramps, lend you a tampon or fix your eyeliner” kind of person but obvs not if the person is giving off the “don’t come near me” vibe.

Also, have you done a beauty reg post? I’ve been searching for something for my crazy dry skin but also not raging expensive… Share pleeeeaaasseee. It’s like a “what’s in my bag” but just for makeup so you should be into it… right??

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Laura April 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

When Ava was about 3 months old, I was wearing her in my Moby wrap at JCPenny and saw some jean shorts in the same brand and cut as the jeans I was wearing. Rather than go to the dressing room, take off my jeans, confirm the size, and put them back on–all with a sort-of sleeping infant attached to me–I asked a sales associate to check for me. She may have seen my crack, and maybe she told everyone in the break room about the girl who asked to be violated. But maybe she went home and blogged about it?? I’d totally do it again either way.

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Erma April 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm

I feel like it’s my job to save the day with an extra tampon or wipes, so I always make sure to have extra whenever I bring them out with me. I really should just put a post-it note on my forehead that says, “I GOTCHU, GIRL.”

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Brianna April 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Um, this is my favorite! Whenever I see a lady in the ladies room with super cute shoes, or a cute handbag, I just wanna ask her to be besties, then borrow said shoes or handbag.

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Sam April 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Bahahaha! This is fantastic!! I would love for a random fabulous stranger to do my makeup in the bathroom! I am a total tag tucker too. I feel like I am completely this oversharing with (OTC) drugs… “Oh, you’ve got a headache? Do you want some Tylenol? How about ibuprofen? I might even be able to dig out some Aleve or aspirin if you’d like! Hmm, what else do I have……….” ~rummages through the little pouch full of meds in her purse~

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Alex @ Kenzie Life April 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm

This was amazing and vicariously made my day :) I love it when these moments of non-competition happen between women. It makes me believe that there is still hope for the sisterhood! Yesterday what made my day was seeing a stuffed unicorn bungee-corded (yep) to the front of an SUV outside of an Einstein bagel store. Bagel sandwich + Root Beer + Stuffed Unicorn = everything I’ve ever wanted after a tough workout before I have to go to work.

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jules May 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

JUST did this about 2 weeks ago, went out to see a girl rapper (awesome!) and a gal offered for me to use her lipstick she had that was created by said girl rapper (awesome-er!). We bonded over lipstick.

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