Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Monday, September 28, 2009

bathroom doors

I grew up in a household of mostly females and we hardly ever shut the bathroom door. With just one bathroom for six people, it was rare that anyone got to be in the bathroom by themselves, so the door was perpetually open. Everyone was accustomed to seeing everyone else in various stages of disrobe. My father was the most modest of us, we never saw him nude, however Dad in briefs was a natural thing in the morning.

A typical morning was Momma in front of the mirror curling her eyelashes, Dad shaving his face in the same mirror with Monique on the pot, me sitting on the side of the tub shaving my legs...and the two youngest sisters appearing in the doorway whining "I have to go!" while fidgeting back and forth holding their small hands close against their tummies. We were all in the various stages of morning dress; some in pajamas, some in underwear. Monique would finish and Hilda would take her turn. Of course the movement in small bathrooms was very tight. You could not help but brush against each other; a bump here and a jab there. "Excuse me, excuse me" was just part of the dawn chorus. We all accomodated each other, mostly we were polite, but there were the occasional grumpy outbursts; "You're using my toothbrush!" or "It's my turn!". On rare occasions you might be able to go pee alone, but if someone wanted to talk to you - it was not unusual to carry on a conversation with someone who was on the pot. A naked bum did not offend anyone and if it got smelly, a window was opened. An occasional remark about stink and a laugh or a snort and life went on. Everyone got to work and school on time; with clean and orderly bodies and faces. Daddy did, however; have a little spot of bloody toilet paper stuck somewhere on his face each morning; his sacrafice to the rest of us for the sake of the group.

I married into a family larger than my own - seven children vs four children - who also was accustomed to small houses with one bathroom. However the bathroom tone was far different than my own. Their 7 children was comprised of both girls and boys; with an age span of eleven years vs the seven year span in my own family. The mother was a modest woman; with no father in the premises. I cannot imagine very well how they accomplished their bathroom duties with the large number of people needing to occupy the toilet one at a time; Modesty was their highest value in bathroom protocol.


They say that a child is basically formed by the age of five years. All the basic personality, style and probably habits of that person are what they are by that age. Closing bathroom doors is one of those habits.


Edward and I, to this day, have a difference of opinion on closing bathroom doors. Edward cannot do his duty if the door is open and I will leave the door open if I am in a hurry, or - if I want to continue to carry on a conversation with him. He habitually comes and closes the door on me - with a wince and a comment on decency or modesty or stink... and I roll my eyes and forget what I was talking about.

My children have adopted Edward's modesty routine and I am the lone wolf in this area. Lone wolves do not last very long.

Several times my habit has caused me some embarassment. Just yesterday my brother in law Robert came over early in the morning while I was using the hall bathroom (with the door open) and called out "Hello!" I was able to push the door shut and flip on the light switch just in the nick of time. If Robert had seen me on the pot it would have embarassed him horribly! I would have felt somewhat awkward with of the delicate nature of the situation, but it certainly would not devaste me. However, if it had been someone else -Oh! it could be terribly uncomfortable. However, the situation did give Edward a good laugh and an ideal position for the "I told you so" lecture that evening.

At 52 years of age can I change my ways? I don't know - You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks. But if I remember the feeling of fear of embarassment, perhaps I will be better prepared in the future.

Of course - there is also a chance that I will become worse as I age. I can see it now. At the age of 80 I will be on the pot - with the door open while I carry on conversations with all the other old people in the home...and no one will think any the worse of me because they all do it too.

Ah well.

Ashes to ashes.

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