Friday, July 07, 2006

Bathroom woes

I have always been obsessed about bathrooms. Even as a child I had a bath all to myself in India. It was done up in a pretty pink to go with the overall pink decor in my bedroom: pink tiles, pink marble, pink washbasin and toilet, pink shower-mat on the floor, pink shower curtain, even pink toilet paper (don't ask me where my Mom used to get that from). I have no idea why everything was so pink, considering it isn't like my favorite color or anything. May be my Mom decided upon it because it was her favorite color. Or may be I was being stereotyped for being a girl. Anyway, there was a lot of pinkness in there. And I didn't mind at all. Because it was done up so nicely and everything was kept so clean and beautiful. Like I said earlier I obsess about bathrooms. I cannot go to one unless it is clean and dry. And that means no water on the floor, no mess anywhere and it has to smell good. Because you see, my bathroom has always been my haven, a refuge, a place where I can spend time with myself. Since locking my bedroom door was not looked upon favorably at my home, I would often take a story-book with me into the bathroom and read it curled up on the bathroom mat. I just loved the tiny little space the bathroom would create for me and would hide in there for hours until someone came looking for me.

I was terrified of using the toilet anyplace other than home. Public toilets in Calcutta (in clubs and malls) were dirty and stinky and I would never ever visit one unless I was dying. I could go on for hours at a stretch without needing to go to the loo. That also meant I would never go to the bathroom in someone else's house. Most houses I've been to did not have a separate shower and there would always be residual bath water on the floor of the bathroom, something that I detested. So that meant I never did sleepovers at a friend's house. And I could never explain to my friends why I would just have to go back home at the end of the day.

And I absolutely hated it if someone destroyed the sanctity of my bathroom. Like this one time when my parents were having their 25th wedding anniversary and there were a million people invited to our house for the occasion. And all was well except for the fact that hundreds of people were using my bathroom and leaving it wet and dirty. I was waiting for the guests to go home when suddenly I see water trickling from under the bathroom door into my bedroom. Horrified I run to open the door only to see the bathroom flooded. It seems someone had pooped and the toilet got stuck and it overflowed all over the bathroom and into my bedroom. It was just disgusting. And my poor Mom had to clean it up and get the toilet up and running. You see I blamed her for having invited all those people and letting them use my bathroom. After that if we had guests coming over I locked my bathroom door to prevent people from using it.

And then I had a Math tutor when I was in school who had this strange habit of peeing all over the toilet seat. The first time this happened I thought may be he was unaware that men had to lift the toilet seat before going in. So I made sure before he came each day that I left the toliet seat up and I wouldn't have to clean up his mess once he had used the toilet (which he did everytime he came). And the weirdest thing was he actually made sure that he put the seat down and then peed all over it. Now is that disgusting or what! It just beat me as to why someone would do that. And I was too polite to actually tell him that he made me clean up after him everyday and that it "pissed" me to no end that he didn't have the sense to appreciate the fact that I would leave the seat up for him. Boy was I glad when I passed the class and he was gone.

However the absolute worst incident that I can recall is when a friend from my tuition needed to go to the bathroom real bad and since my house was close I took her home so that she could use my bathroom. Now I was under the impression it would be a quick come and go for her. But when the minutes started dragging out I started getting a little uneasy. After about a half hour she emerged from the bathroom, thanked me and left in quite a rush. I went in to check the condition of my bathroom. It was my worst nightmare come true. The toilet was stuck and there was water that had overflowed all over and this girl had used my bath towel to clean up her mess which resulted in shit all over the towel, the wash basin and even the walls. I couldn't believe it! What kind of individual could do something this gross and then leave without saying that she was sorry and offering to clean up? If any one of you have watched the movie Along came Polly you will have a fair idea of the kind of disaster I'm talking about here. It took me and my Mom over an hour to clean up the mess and get the shit-hole (literally) to start looking more like my bathroom. It took like a week to get it to smell like the way it did before this female invaded my territory. And I still have not been able to forgive the girl for what she did. Needless to say she never dared to speak to me again in her life.

So now you know what I mean when I say I obsess about my bathrooms. I have 3 full baths and a powder room in the house that I live in now. They are all tastefully decorated (no pinks thank goodness) and they smell great. They have matching shower curtains and decorative towels. There is recessed lights, candles and the works. My bathrooms are my haven.

And I hate it when people leave their mess all over.

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Blogger Cacophoenix said...

EWWWWWW.....Ditto for all the above. Mine has this real pretty skylight through which I can see clouds passing by, or hear the rain gently tapping on the glass. I have candles, loads of books and an amazing collection from bath and body works.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Trevor Penn said...

I think the problem is with your bathroom... It clogs too often... :P ... As i read this post, I was thinking of along came polly all along ...

Seriously though... totally gross... I can understand how the experience is traumatic...

4:26 PM  
Blogger Kausum said...

Same experiences above except for the pink part, I hated pink, still do. I could relate this blog to all the events, I have faced when I was reading this.

Even today, when I go to starbucks for a coffee or a restaurant, I feel very unclean to use the restrooms, due to my previous bad experiences with public restrooms elsewhere.

But, on a different note, I think, ur bathroom had some plumbing problems as it used to get clogged up so often. Atleast mine was, and my mom made sure to understand why it happened (with others) and fix it.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

thanks for sharing :-D

12:06 AM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

I agree, your toilet did get clogged too often. Hope you had the pipes fixed.

And in the very remote possibility of any of your readers visiting you, let us hope there is a public loo in the vicinity (or that Tourists' Helpmeet, Macdonald's). After this diatribe, all of us would risk peritonitis rather than use your loo.


7:08 AM  
Blogger Bonatellis said...

at least u are lucky u didn't have friends who didn't believe in flushing toilets after using them .....

3:20 PM  
Blogger Ratna said...

I love bathrooms too. For many it is just a umm.. I dont know what they call it. For me like they say in some ads, a bathroom is a room too. I love to have a big , ventilated room, with some plants etc., People (my family) think I obsess about bathroom, which I do- so, same pinch.

3:16 AM  
Blogger karmic said...

I wonder what brought that about? But I hear ya. I had friend who used to pee over the toilet seat, I mean whiskey tango foxtrot!
I am glad I don't keep in touch with him anymore, he is back in India and as I found out some people are not worth your time or friendship.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Ekta said...

Three baths..well girl u do live in luxury!
But I think am quite like u...we have two bathrooms in our house and I hate messy bathroom too...
Love doing up the bathroom with matching towels, mugs, candles and lights.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!! Now I cannot eat breakfast!! HOW can anyone do such things? Gross.

I totally agree with you about not being able to use public loos. I can go on 36 hour train journeys without visiting the loo even once(I dont eat or drink you see). Imagine then, my horror at having to live in a hostel where the loo was the size of half a telephone booth, with no light, no flush and a door that had to be held shut. Shared by 10 girls. My trauma knew no end. Oh and clogged loos was a regular phenomena in this particular loo. Eeek. I feel like throwing up at the memory :(

1:39 AM  
Blogger Prerona said...

then ur like every woman in our family! everytime we go somewhere, anyone one of us, hotel or shop or house - never mind what - the first we'll do is 'check out' the loo!

7:49 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ cacophoenix a skylight? Now that would be simply amazing. I can just picture it in my mind.
@ seashells may be there was a problem. But it would only be when guests came. Probably it did not like strangers shitting all over :))
@ kausum welcome to the club :) And honestly I'd freak out on the pink bit now....but back then I really did not have much of a say.
@ tabula rasa thanks for stopping and reading the shit ;)
@ j.a.p. no,no....please don't let this keep you from visiting. And definitely no peritonitis when visiting me.
@ bonatellis eeeks! And they're still your friends??
@ ratna *pinches back* I think a lot of us have similar feelings.
@ karmic_jay "I wonder what brought that about?" Nothing really except I realized a good chunk of my weekend is spent just cleaning and decorating the loo. Not that I mind that much.....but sometimes these crazy things do happen.
@ ekta same pinch to you too :)
@ ron I know about the train journeys. I would not drink either for fear of having to go. And the hole in the floor that lets you see the train tracks whizzing by just freaked me out. I always felt I would fall through that hole.
@ prerona I do that too :)) As soon as we walk into the hotel room I head staright for the loo to check out if it is nice or not. I always judge a hotel by its bath!

8:46 AM  
Blogger Anand said...

hmm..looks like all u women are the same!!
Obssessed with bathroom aesthetic...its just too pee and poop after all!!

11:10 PM  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

Can't understand people who can live with dirty loos and bathrooms. Doesn't take too much to keep the place clean, does it? More power to you :-)

12:28 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ anand looks like it :))
"just too pee and poop" you must be kidding, right?
@ ghostoftomjoad thank you. Glad you don't agree with anand.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Sudarshan. A. G. said...

Hahahahahaha... (although this apparently is a topic close to your heart)

This write-up needs to be hung up in 'Toiletries hall of fame' :))

... in a pink frame mebbe! :)

11:35 AM  
Blogger twip said...

m! We share the same cleaning compulsiveness!

My bathrooms are spotless, and one of my restroom's is white, like completely white...imagine the agony I go through especially when people visit...


I want to say thank you. Reading that was catharitic.

7:47 PM  
Blogger eXPerience called L!FE said...

I think there are a lot of people like us :) You have a nice art of writing. Its always good timepass during work to read your posts.

6:11 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ a.g.s. sure try me :)
@ megha oh I love white. In fact it is easier to keep clean because you can use liberal amounts of bleach and everything turns out spotless. We do have so much in common :)
@ experience called l!fe welcome to my blog and hope you keep coming back. Am I really keeping you from working? Uh-oh! Hope your boss doesn't find out and decides to sue me!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Joyful Heart! said...

Ah! Loved this! Its all so very familiar!!!

1:35 AM  
Blogger Dadoji said...

Remind me to use your bathroom when I am in Virginia. I will bring my oil colours along and leave nice paintings on the walls.
(psst...I am lousy at painting.)

11:16 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ pearl :)
@ dadoji you're kidding, right? Well the good thing about painting on walls is that one can paint right over them. The family that lived in the house before us had 4 kids who left crayon marks and scribbles all over the walls so we ended up painting every inch of wall in the house and ceilings too. Did it once, may be will do it again, after you leave :)

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!
» » »

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I am finicky abt bathrooms too and growing up in India I had no luxury of a private bathroom like you. I guess as a middle class Indian I learnt to 'ADJUST'(refer to Rang de Basanti) and I envy you for having one completely to yourself in India. You were one lucky gal and I don't smell too much of 'adjusting' in your haven!

7:27 PM  

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