Potty Talk

Monday, April 05, 2010

The husband and I have a few standard fight scripts. Some are most likely familiar to everyone. The Money fight. The "Who is working harder at {fill in the blank, parenting, the marriage, achieving world domination...} fight. The "OHMYGOD Didn't you Notice the Spiderwebs up there on the ceiling as you lay in bed reading graphic novels and Now I must go get the dustbuster to suck them up, while simultaneously talking to my clients on my earpiece and giving you dirty looks" fight.

Oh, wait. I think that one may be pretty unique to Terrance and I.

But it is This one that drives me really crazy. Like "I will fight you with a toothbrush shiv" angry. In his defense, he is AS angry when this fight happens. It exasperates him beyond words. For Terrance, the sheer horribleness of this very conversation is antithetical to his very belief in adulthood.

I am, of course, talking about the "Flushing Discussion".

Terrance likes a pristine bowl. As in sparkling clean, free from any type of paper, or other refuse. He likes a Lid down on this pristine bowl. If he is going to be accessing the facilities for any length of time, he locks the door. Regardless of the fact that in nigh unto 20 years of togetherness, I have never busted in on him. Never. He also will wait until we are all out of the house and THEN decide to use the bathroom. As in, Emily and Dawn are sitting in the car waiting for Terrance to come out of the house, only to realize that it has been 15 minutes and WTF is he doing in there? OOOOOhhhhhh. Using the bathroom.

Now Dawn...truthfully, I am not all that worried about the toilet. I go in - I use it, I flush and wash and give nary a backwards glance. Aside from the times I have escaped in the bathroom to avoid my spouse or daughter for a little peace and frakkin quiet, it exists as a functional space.

And in this space, two worlds collide.

The phrase "You are nearly 40 year old and should be responsible for the complete disposal of all of your waste" has actually been said at me. and Yes, we actually talk to one another like this. You think I make all this shit up? Hardly.

In truth, it is the fault of the old toilet. The one with NO suction. The one that in order to GET the proper amount of suction, one has to remove the top lid, hold down the float until the water reaches a certain high level, then flush...holding the handle down somewhat longer than you would normally, so that all of the water gets sucked out of the tank....except that Sometimes the plug doesn't seal up, so you have to reach down and re-adjust it so it snaps closed over the drain.

Dawn Rouse, Near PhD and novice toilet technician, at your service.

After one particularly hostile toilet fight, I messed with the float. I figured if I bent it up a bit more, it would naturally fill up with more water, thereby creating the necessary amount of suction to remove my "refuse" , or monstrous spiders, or whatever else I feel the need to flush away.

Because Honestly. I hate this discussion. I hate standing in the bathroom for an Hour flushing Over and Over so the bowl is up to Crazy Boy's standards. I could be doing other important things in that time...like shopping on Etsy for Quirky art, or planning my next 12 craft projects to avoid writing my dissertation. Plus it wastes toilet paper. The GOOD toilet paper that I buy, because if I left it up to Terrance, we would be wiping our delicate nether regions with the pine bark equivalent of toilet paper. Dammit, I am a grown woman. I will spend the extra money on the GOOD SOFT toilet paper. Which gets wasted as I throw it in the bowl in my fruitless flushing campaign.

This counter-move sent Terrance, PhD for real and man with NO household repair skills, on a three to five hour journey to figure out WHAT I had done to the toilet which now made a noise that only he could hear. There was a great deal of heavy sighing, glaring and forceful door closure.

He didn't speak to me for a full day. I pretended to have no idea what he was upset about. Which, from previous Dawn and Terrance stories like this one, you know that it is a skill in which I excel.

Late the following day he appeared at my bedroom door to say these words:
"Don't mess with the float again."

To which I nodded....cleverly neither admitting nor denying anything.

The fragile toilet truce remains intact.

5 Baleful Regards:

Suebob said...

He can't come over then. In addition to having the world's wimpiest toilet, I don't flush until it is um...necessary. Hey, I live alone and I figure I need to make up for all the hour-long showers I take by using less flushes.

Our pastor the other day said "An argument is usually a race to see who can be the bigger victim."

Dawn said...

SB - it is he, for sure, who feels himself to be the aggrieved party in this discussion. As if the evidence of bodily functions offends him in some primordial manner.

And GAH - If he spies a tampon, all bets are off. His head explodes.

Honestly. As I said to him "aren't there other things you could worry about?" because this - to me - seems small and ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered (like everyday at 5:30pm) if "toileting differences", is an option on divorce papers, I guess it would fall under "irreconcilable differences".

Blue House Studio World HQ said...

He's very lucky you don't live on a septic system where the rule "three yellows or a brown" dictates when you flush.

Unknown said...

My boyfriend does that too!! The buying the cheapest toilet paper known to man, not the obsessive flushing standards. We actually had an argument at the grocery about it last weekend where I may or may not have yelled about the fact that gas station style toilet paper will not get anywhere near my delicate lady parts if he knows what's good for him. Yes. I did. I have no shame.

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