Social Behavior

An inside look at men’s toilets

Unlike women, men can’t do number one, when going to the toilet, without using their hands. Otherwise, things will get messy. I don’t remember when I learned to wash my hands after using the toilet but I guess it should be at very early age when my mother taught me how to go to the toilet without her help. It became a habit for me to wash my hands after going to the toilet. Then in school I learned we should wash our hands to keep the germs away.

All the toilets in American restaurants have a sign that says “Employees must wash hands.” The sign serves two purposes. First, reminds employees to wash their hands before returning to work. Second, gives customers a sense of satisfaction about the safety of how their food is handled.

Unfortunately, it seems not all men were taught to wash their hands after using the urinal. The first thing I think about when I see someone walk away without washing his hands is the fact that I will shake hand with someone who touched his penis without washing his hands.

Now, the problem is touching man’s most favorite body part is not as touching any other body part; it is not as clean as we hope to. The issue here is not whether a circumcised penis is cleaner than uncircumcised or not but that area of the body is hairy and prone to lots of sweat. It could be that some men don’t shower everyday. And even worse there could be some men who don’t bath when washing their whole body becomes a must*.

Saying that, here is what I propose:

  1. Health departments should change all restaurant signs to “Both employees and customers must wash hands.” Hopefully, the future generations will not need such sign to remind each others to wash hands.
  2. Regardless of your religion, women should not shake hands with men; many of us are not clean. Men, shake hand at your own risk.

In the following clip, Seinfeld notices his cook walk away without washing his hands:

* In Islam, taking a bath is a must after ejaculation. Also, urine is considered impure. If urine wets clothes it should be washed with water.

Social Behavior

When to let go your treasure hunt?

You may not like to be called a treasure hunter or a gold digger but for the sake of this post imagine you are a treasure hunter. After a long and a troublesome sail over the sea you found a big box of gold in one of the islands. But while in the middle of the sea, heading back home, the sea experienced some turbulence that caused some damage to your boat. To save the boat from sinking you have to throw your belonging off the boat to lighten its load. Unfortunately, your heaviest cargo is your big box of gold. What would you do in this case? You spent many years of your life investing in this painful mission to find the treasure. Would you just simply throw it all away? Or do you feel your life is worthless without that gold? And so you decide to keep it hoping and praying a miracle would save you, your boat and your gold.

Motivational psychologist, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, explains in her article “How to walk away when it’s not working” that there is a simple and effective way to be sure you are making the best decisions when things go awry:

focus on what you have to gain, rather than what you have to lose.

She describes this gold:

As time passes, it becomes clear that things aren’t working out as you planned. You realize that pursuing whatever it is that you’re pursuing, whether it’s being successful in your current career, mending a troubled relationship or renovating your house from top to bottom, will cost you too much financially or emotionally, or take too long. But instead of moving on to new opportunities, all too often you simply stay the course and sacrifice your own well-being in the process.

Unfortunately, when we financially and emotionally invest in an endless project or a bad relationship we tend to think of what we will lose when we quit not what we will gain.

When we see our goals in terms of what we can gain rather than what we might lose, we are more likely to see a doomed endeavor for what it is and try to make the most of a bad situation.

There are several powerful and largely unconscious psychological forces at work here. We may throw good money after bad ideas, or waste time in a dead-end relationship, because we haven’t come up with an alternative, or because we don’t want to admit to our friends and family, or to ourselves, that we were wrong. But the most likely culprit is our overwhelming aversion to sunk costs.

So, may be if you are a treasure hunter stuck in the middle of the sea, trying to determine whether to save your treasure or not, you should rethink the situation. Would you think of what you will lose (treasure) or what you will gain (your life)? Maybe not all similar real life scenarios end up to be about death and life but for some people thinking of letting go something so dear to them feel like a death penalty.

Read the article  “How to walk away when it’s not working

Social Behavior

My Friend’s Wife Reads his Emails

Last week, I sent an email to a friend asking him a question about a matter we discussed earlier. He didn’t reply back and since it wasn’t urgent I didn’t call him but he did, two days later. He called me from his office to tell me that he just knew from his wife that I sent him an email. His wife has access to his email account. Being single I am not sure how much spouses share about their lives. I know another male friend who shares his email password with his wife. My emails to him are limited now to greetings and whatnot. I don’t send nude pictures of naked female celebrities to my friends but I don’t think everything I send to my friends should be shared with the wives.

As many spouses, my two friends are sharing their email password with their wives on the base that spouses share everything with each other. Understandable yet not all spouses do share their passwords. On the extreme case, there is snooping on the spouse’s email. In the US, a man is facing jail time for snooping into his wife’s email account. The felony charge carries a 5 year sentence. [source]

If the percentage below is accurate then I don’t know what to say.

About 45% of divorce cases involve some snooping — and gathering — of e-mail, Facebook and other online material, Lane said. But he added that those are generally used by the warring parties for civil reasons — not for criminal prosecution. [same source]

From the poll below it seems most Americans think it should be legal to snoop on spouse’s email: [same source]


I am against snooping on spouse’s email but in case one did snoop he or she should not serve jail time. A spouse may get suspicious and be tempted to snoop out of jealousy. It is bad but should not be considered a crime.

But snooping is the extreme so let us talk about normal relationships. Let us assume the normal case were the relationship between the husband and the wife is based on love and trust, no suspicious behaviors or unhealthy jealousy. Should spouses share their email password?

If no, why?

If yes, then I have other questions. To simplify the questions, let us consider the following scenario. Ali is a friend with Omar who is Married to Nadia. Omar and Nadia know each other’s email password. The scenario could be reversed as well, that is two women and one man.

  • Isn’t Ali’s right to be informed that Nadia reads his emails which are sent to Omar only?
  • If Nadia can read Ali’s emails without his knowledge doesn’t this mean that Nadia is invading Ali’s privacy?
  • If Omar and Nadia share their email password, would Nadia feel betrayed if she knew by mistake that Omar has another private email account (and vice versa)? Should Nadia insist to know the password of this new email account?
  • Who usually asks first or more concerned of sharing passwords the husband or the wife?
  • Is there a difference between different cultures regarding sharing passwords? Which culture the spouses share their email password more Arabs or Americans? How about Asians, Europeans and Africans?
  • Could sharing email password lead to jealousy in case a spouse receives an email from an opposite sex?

One could argue that sharing email password is like sharing the ATM PIN or bank account that is to facilitate things. But in the case of banking no third party is involved like in the emails. So what do you think about sharing email password between spouses, good or bad? What do you think about any of the previous questions? I wonder how the future Mrs. Jaraad will think about sharing our email passwords.