Column: Those rising utility costs means she loves you

(Above: A sign of true love. laffy4k/Flickr)

A few months ago I declared my opposition to the Open-Door Policy. I concluded that leaving the bathroom door open in front of your sweetheart was 1.) Gross 2.) A quick way to ruin your partner’s image of you.
That column inspired the excellent June 15, 2008 Second Column podcast with writer Dan Donatelli and comedian Chris Mosier, with Mosier summing up my bathroom door policy quite nicely by saying, “There is no need to see lemonade or iced tea in that situation.”

Leave it to Chris Mosier to grace the gross with the innocent. The guy should either be writing for “Saturday Night Live,” or at the very least the marketing department of a leading diuretic manufacturer.

I had not planned to write about women and bathrooms again. Once a year is probably way more than enough. But many of you wrote in – more than usual – expressing your opinions about this topic.

In other words, this column is your damn fault.

Most of those who wrote in agreed with me in saying that anyone who leaves the door open while using the bathroom is a complete ignoramus. A small number of you disagreed with me, saying it made no impact on your relationship. And some of you volunteered far too much information about your own bathroom habits.

More than one woman wrote in to share a practice I was not aware of, mainly because I am a man and I never consider what women do once they’re outside my line of sight.

(Above: I didn’t know women did this. Wasn’t paying attention. spoon/flickr.)

It seems that some women not only close the door when they make lemonade or iced tea, they also mask all bathroom-related sounds by running water in the sink. I have never been around a woman who did this. Or maybe I have. I never sat and listened.

One woman – a high-skilled professional – wrote:

“I go so far as to turn the water on whenever I’m in the bathroom. Even if I’m just touching up my makeup. I don’t want anything – anything – to be heard while I’m in there. It’s a bit of a surprise for me to find out that not every girl is the same. I thought about whether my water-turning-on habit is strange, or at least over-the-top, but have decided that in this particular case, it’s better to err on the side of caution.”
I like this practice. Here’s why. I love women. I love the sight, the smell, the feel – the whole package. I also love steak. In both cases, I love the end result, but I have no desire to witness the process that created the result. I do not need to see a cow butchered, just as I do not need to see my date prepare for an evening with me.

I have watched my girlfriends prepare for dates. It is a process that involves soaps and scrubs and Torquemada-esque makeup applicators and nasty sprays and loud noises in enclosed spaces and using razors in places men would never dare use razors. It is a grueling task and not flattering.

Women – anything you can do to hide the realities of your pretty-fication process and internal plumbing is deeply appreciated.

(Above: A woman thrusts a small, blunt object towards her eye in preparation for an evening of tawdry delights at the local Red Lobster. Neil Alejandro/Flickr.)
I am writing this to my next girlfriend, who will probably read my Web site before our first date, which is exactly what my last few dates have done.

Feel free to turn on the water when you use the bathroom. Run the shower full blast. Turn on the hair dryer. Hit the fan. Do whatever it takes. Turn on the washing machine. Run a sander. Buy a parakeet. Set a small fire beneath the fire alarm in the hallway. Just keep me distracted from the reality of everything that is not you looking hot.

When I am married, I will know the depth of my wife’s love by the height of our utility bills.

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles
  • jordan

    I have a good friend who runs the sink to cloak the sound of his drink/smoke induced puking.

    Part III of this series should focus on married men who barricade themselves in noisy bathrooms to muffle the outside world and mask their own weeping.

  • Joe Donatelli

    Ha! Done. I foresee a six-part series on where married men go to mask their own weeping. 1. bathrooms 2. the garage 3. major sporting events 4. the forest 5. underwater 6. space (nasa’s greatest triumph).

  • I think what’s most staggering to me is the half-hour of silence that sometimes spills out of the bathroom while a girl is in there. Not that I’m listening… but when I’m listening, I’m blown away by the complete lack of noise. Is she sleeping?

  • Joe Donatelli

    Soren — I had forgotten about that. I think they are silently remembering things.


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