Half of my household uses the lavatory in the way it was intended: get in, do your business and get the heck out. The other half uses it like a relaxing think tank that requires a considerable array of entertainment options.
“Mom, can you bring me another book, please?” hollered my eight-year-old daughter the other day after being in there for over half an hour.
Without hesitation I fetched a book from her bedroom. Hey ““ don’t judge me. She was asking for a real book for heaven’s sake. That beats her preferred activity of surfing YouTube or playing video games while on the throne.
“You shouldn’t let her monopolize the bathroom for such long periods of time,” one of my childless friends counseled me. Really? I should give up that peace and quiet? It’s not like we don’t have two other toilets in the house.
“It’s her private time and she likes it,” I explained. “Some people are just that way.” One of those people is her dad. Another was a boss I had 26 years ago when I was a manager-in-training at McDonalds.
“I used to work for a guy who would spend 45 minutes in the bathroom every afternoon beginning at 2 o’clock sharp,” I said. “Like clockwork he’d roll up the newspaper, smack it against the counter and tell me to hold down the fort while nature called.”
Being a quick in-and-outer myself, I found his scheduled escapes fascinating and a welcome reprieve for the staff and me. But my boss’s boss saw it as a theft of time when he discovered his employee’s well-known routine. Once he realized the daily breather was in addition to extended lunch and coffee breaks, Mister Two O’Clock Sharp was fired. I lost track of his bathroom habits after that.
Curious about others’ trips to the loo, I asked some people how long they usually spend there. Similar to my family, about half were speedy like my son and me, and half were as slow as molasses.
“It’s the only time I get to be alone,” a mother of five replied. “I’ll stay in there as long as I possibly can.”
“It’s my sanctuary,” my yoga instructor friend said. “And I come up with my best ideas when I’m on the can.” Ah”¦ how Zen.
The bathroom has certainly evolved over the years and the wonderful invention of the toilet has given people a comfy place to hang out. I doubt many people were lingering in the smelly outhouses of years ago.
Nowadays bathrooms can be the nicest rooms in a house, and it’s rare not to find a magazine to browse or something else to do while in there. One of my friends has magnetic poetry on the wall beside the toilet to help pass time.
“My mother thinks it’s unsanitary,” she said. “But it’s no different than holding a book. After the task at hand is complete and toilet paper has been used, people generally wash their hands and leave. If they don’t, there are plenty of other things in the house she should worry they’ll touch.”
Fortunately slowpokes on the toilet tend to be slowpokes at the sink too. And why not? Lavatories are so much more than what they were once intended.
To watch my video this week please click below. It has absolutely nothing to do with toilets, but it does involve a couple world leaders who use them just like the rest of us.