It’s something you don’t think about when buying a new home. You circle communities sizing up houses, double-checking the school district details. Will the kitchen need to be gutted? Wallpaper stripped? Fixtures altered? What are the property taxes? Are there any easements? You don’t think about the water pressure in your shower. My mother chose the house in which I spent my childhood for the wallpaper in the bathroom. It was red with gold accents. I wish I had a swatch of it for my memory. For everyone it’s different, a different pull or wow factor. I loved this house the second I saw it, the neighborhood, the hickory wide-plank floors, the views. And the bathrooms.
I still haven’t showered in all of them. We have five bathrooms in this house, and as I spell it out, I realize how it sounds. Decadent, spoiled, braggy. Who has five of anything? You know, aside from dollars,or brothers,or cans of stewed tomatoes. Okay, forget that. The point is, I grew up in a house of four people, with two bathrooms, only one bathtub. Now there are four people living in a house with five toilets. Granted half of the people in the house still crap in their pants. We’ve four bathtubs with showers. I’ve yet to test them all. I haven’t had the need.
I took a shower today that made me feel powerful. Usually I just needle around in my version of pajamas, an oversized t-shirt coupled with sweatshorts. Sometimes a tank, if I’m feeling thinish. Today though, I felt inspired and ready to mix things up. Living on the very edge, I tell you, I decided to shower not in the master suite but in the guest quarters.
At my father’s request, Phil installed a radio in one of the guest bedroom bathrooms. My father likes to listen to talk radio when he does his morning business. I was always bothered by this. While the association of Joan Hamburg’s voice with my father’s morning crap is decidedly disturbing in its own right, I’m particularly ruffled by my father’s insistence of calling his bathroom time "doing his business." When I was very young, I assumed he had a yellow legal pad and calculator in there. "What’s taking him so long, Mom?"
"I don’t know," she whispered, and I remember thinking she was whispering because she didn’t want to disturb his work flow. He must have a backlog of work in there,I thought. There was always the newspaper, too. And to this day, when I smell a newspaper, any newspaper, I think of my father sitting on the toilet.
"I have to come in. We have no shampoo downstairs."
"Okay, but enter at your own risk," he’d joke. And I’d draw in a deep breath and quickly dart past his knees, rummaging through the bottom cabinet in search of a container of shampoo.
"Oh my God, Dad!" I’d scream, holding my nose.
"Oh, come on. Now I know you’re being dramatic. I haven’t even done my business yet!" It was the newspaper. It was draped over his lap, and I’d come to believe that my father’s turds smelled like the news. And they sounded like Arthur Schwartz.
Today, as I prepped the bathroom for my shower, I remembered the radio Phil installed. I’d chosen a radio that doubled as an iPod docking station for that bathroom. I weaved through the house in my towel, searching for myPod. Voila! I blasted my "esteem mix" and took a steam. I felt clean and bright and refreshed. It’s amazing, the restorative power of a shower, especially coupled with Aveda aromatics. I was ready to take on the world! It’s delightful being clean, swaddled in white oversized towels, buffed with fragrant body creams. Cuticles clipped. Waffle-weave slippers. And as I went through my routine, Crash Test Dummies’ "Afternoons & Coffee Spoons" piped in, and I laughed to myself.
Someday, I’ll have
A disappearing hairline
Someday, I’ll wear
Pajamas in the daytime
I’ve kinda always had a disappearing hairline, and someday seems to be here now. And it made me all giddy.
Someday, I’ll poop
and call it doing business
So I ran upstairs singing my new lyrics and nuzzled the beans, both lounging on the floor watching Baby Einstein’s Sign Language video. "Yay, let’s all wear pajamas in the daytime!" I love my family and its many bathrooms, despite the business that takes place inside them. Then I signed the word for poop, and wondered if the beans would come to associate poop with The Crash Test Dummies.