The Battle of the Bathroom Between Husband and Wife

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Master of the Bath

Now, discussing this issue is one of the last taboos in most marriages. Guys who have seen their wives give birth have still never seen them going to the bathroom. I know in 20 years I never have.

Diane is willing to talk about these issues, but only conceptually, so that I may learn more about the ways of her gender. Apparently women are conditioned from early childhood to sit for as few seconds as possible in home bathrooms -- and in public restrooms they are supposed to hover gymnastically without actually touching the seat. I guess this is very traumatizing, so wives can't believe their husbands would ever spend a second longer than necessary actually going to the bathroom -- just like we can't believe how much time they spend in there not going to the bathroom.

Interestingly, I think this is one marital battle of the sexes where husbands might be, if you'll excuse the expression, getting a leg up on the competition. Everything I read about bathroom design suggests more and more reasons to spend extended periods of time there. And everything I read about cell phone, BlackBerry, and wireless laptop use suggests that more and more people are multitasking from the throne. Apparently, nearly 40 percent of people answer their cell phone in the bathroom. That number is only going to go up.

As for our bathroom renovation, I'll be curious to see how it finally plays out. Regardless of all the debates over glass tile texture, whirlpool depth, and sink drain feng shui, the only way for us to create a separate little bathroom for me would be if Diane were willing to sacrifice the closet she uses exclusively to store her shoes. I'm afraid that if I ask her to choose between pampering her footwear and having her own bathroom, it could turn out like one of those Star Trek episodes where Captain Kirk tricks a powerful robot by giving it two mutually exclusive commands, causing it to self-destruct.

I really don't want to see my wife's brain blow up -- although, if it happened in my fantastically flushable bathroom, I would know how to clean it up.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, July 2006.



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