Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sharing My Potty Expertise

If there's one thing I know a lot about, it's toilets.  I seem to spend hours of my life running to the bathroom.  I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with me, I just drink a lot of water and can't stand having to wait to go to the bathroom.  I've been checked, there's seriously nothing wrong with me.

Other ladies in my family have the same problem, so I am sure it's just a genetic predisposition to detest the slightest bit of pressure in the bladder.  My grandmother could wait for days to go to the bathroom because she hated public bathrooms.  Not me.  I can tell you the location of every bathroom in every store in my town.

This gift I have allows me to check out toilet models I never even would imagine unless I saw them face to face.  I haven't seen those crazy things we hear about in Asia where they warm the seat and blow your butt with warm air and the like.  I bet I will someday.

I've seen the old fashioned tank up on the wall and pull a chain variety in Europe.

I've had the distinct pleasure of using the "turkish" style "toilets" in France which are really just holes in the floor with handrails for balance.

I've used bus bathrooms, train bathrooms (once, on a European train, I saw the ground below the hole in the toilet), plane bathrooms, ferry bathrooms and motorhome bathrooms.

It takes a lot for me to say no to a toilet when I really have to go.  I have amazing balance and the ability to touch nothing when I use portapotties and scary public bathrooms.  I'm the master at locking and unlocking the door with anything but my actual fingers.  Feet are a most amazing tool for flushing, opening and closing the slide locks on doors, etc.

When I go to someone's house, I rarely leave without using their bathroom, whether I've been there for 5 days, 5 hours or 5 minutes.  It's something I've just trained myself to do- never leave the house without going to the bathroom. I just sometimes forget it's not necessary to do that in everyone's bathroom.

This makes me take notice of people who visit my house and if they use the bathroom.  I have a friend who can come for dinner, spend several hours and never once use the bathroom.  And she has a 20 minute ride home!  That's a bladder of steel, I tell you and it does nothing but fascinate me.

I seem to have a knack for going to people's houses and breaking the chain that makes the toilet flush (not the pull down tank mentioned above, but the normal chain in your toilet tank that pulls up the rubber thing that lets it flush.)  We were at a friend's apartment and I did it within seconds of arriving to a party and everyone was screwed for the night.  Imagine my horror when I realized we might be spending the night in a place where I couldn't flush the toilet.  Thank God someone knew how to fix it.

But I worried all  night that I might break it again and I don't sleep well when I have to go or think I might have to go.

I bring this all up to tell the tale of my sister a-ster's toilet.

When I visited the last time, within the first hour of being there, I broke her chain.  She wasn't worried because the chain was broken and they had been using a paper clip and the paper clip just rusted through.  It was a simple fix, with another paper clip, but they had this kind of toilet:

And I didn't know what to do to get the top off to fix it.  While it looks fancy and European, it is scary to realize I couldn't secretly fix it if I did it again.  It made me realize that a normal toilet is really a better choice when picking a new one.

And when I visited again this week, what was the first thing I did?  Of course.  That dreaded paper clip had rusted through.  It is so embarrassing to use the toilet and then have to go tell someone you can't get it to flush.  I don't care who you are, even with a fancy toilet like that, it's not fun.

The next morning, my brother in law got up and announced a family trip to buy a new toilet.  I figured I had to go along because if there are 2 experts in toilets, it would be any two of the females in my family.  He found one he liked right away and loaded it into the cart and back home we went a with a "normal" toilet.

My sister was excited that she would have a toilet with a flat top (this one is sort of a hump) so she could actually set something down on it and it wouldn't fall off.  She also wants to put some sort of cabinet or storage over it and with the old style, you had to have room to pull up the flusher without banging your hand, so that was always an annoyance.

We got home and in seconds, the old toilet was out in the carport and the new toilet was en route to the bathroom.  S-ster was whistling away, raving about the simplicity of installing a new toilet.  I was amazed that the old one came off so easily because I picture trying to put a new toilet in my house and it taking an entire day and 4 guys to make it happen.

He put the new toilet on and came whistling out, asking who would be the first one to try the new toilet and did anyone really need the directions to know how to use the toilet.  I was at the table, shocked that in less than an hour, he had removed the old, installed the new and was calling it a day.  It really WAS that easy.

Until he went in to clean up and it was leaking.  That's when I learned that s-ster has quite a vocabulary.  He rattled off some really colorful expressions that I really hadn't ever thought to put together before.

When all was said and done, the new toilet was firmly installed with no leaks and it worked like a charm.  It didn't take long, but there were some tense moments when I thought he might get crushed by the toilet or just throw the whole thing out and we'd be going "turkish" for the rest of the week.

I no longer felt like I was in a house of royalty with their fancy toilets.  Just a good, old, normal flusher.   I admit I was a little afraid to use it because of my luck with chains.  I waited until it had been used a time or two and decided to try my luck.  For the rest of the week, I was a little bit afraid.  I pictured using it in the middle of the night and causing a flood.  Or worse, it would fall off the wax seal and I'd go for a ride and break the new toilet, not to mention my butt on their tile floor.

All is well and they have a nice, new toilet.

And I'm sure having this guy with his mocking face made it that much easier to install it.

I wouldn't know because I stayed safely at the table, imagining the scene I could only hear as it played out in the next room.

Linking here: 
On a different note, can you help me help my sister?  She's a sewing aficionado who blogs at Call Ajaire and  has recently been featured on Joann Fabric's youtube channel.  Click here and go check out her video for a simple way to make a belt for toddler pants.

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  1. Now I know we are indeed sole sisters! I thought I had a weak bladder, or maybe it's just mental but I am a bathroom girl. Glad I'm not the only one!

  2. Hahahaa, too funny! A small bladder runs in my family. Unfortunately for him, my uncle even has a super small bladder! It's not something that happens to most guys!


  3. Ok, you never mentioned that you broke OTHER TOILETS!! Haha. I seriously thought it was just a faulty chain, but now I'm beginning to wonder. You do realize that you flush a toilet with your hand right? Not your foot?


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