I’ll take function over beauty any day. In a bathroom.

10 May

Since I’ve done a crap job explaining why my posts are coming to you live from England this week, let me back up: Alan is working on a case in the UK for at least a month, so I (being ever so spontaneous) decided to hop a flight and join him for a week.

He’s staying in a corporate apartment near Kings Cross, which is handy because it has daily housekeeping and laundry service. Sounds like a great perk, but we’re both kind of weird about housekeeping — we usually only remove the DND sign from the door if we need new towels, preferring privacy to having a stranger make the bed. But this trip, I keep lobbying to let them in because they stock the fridge with fresh milk for our tea.

The apartment itself is quite nice — it was remodeled in the last few months, so it has nice modern finishes and a gorgeous bathroom. BUT (and this is a pretty big but, which is why I capitalized it): a pretty bathroom is not necessarily a practical bathroom. Especially if more than one person is sharing the space.

Exhibit A: The Toilet

Yes, that is a square toilet. Looks cool, doesn’t it? Until you examine your ass in a mirror and realize that it is not, unfortunately, also square shaped. I think this was a designer’s play on the phrase, “Round peg, square hole.”

I’m here to tell you that it’s uncomfortable. Once you recover from feeling like you almost sat IN the toilet, you realize that your legs are asleep — and you’ve only just sat down. And the acoustics on this are shocking. I’ve never encountered a toilet that seems to pride itself on AMPLIFYING whatever you’re doing. This one seems to have a bullhorn in the bowl.

Noise might not be a problem if you had a good solid door and an exhaust fan. But no. This brings me to Exhibit B: The Door.

(Um. Doors don’t actually make good photos, so please refer below to Exhibit C and check out the frosted door in that photo to understand what I’m referencing here.)

Not sure about you, but while I love the look of a frosted glass door, I’m not sure a bathroom is the place I’d choose to employ it. Not only are the acoustics horrible, but there’s just something about being able to see motion in another room while you’re seated on the throne that seems incredibly wrong. Call me old fashioned.

Separately, the one thing I love about this bathroom is Exhibit C: The Bathtub.


Check it out. How could you NOT like a tub this gorgeous? Well, I’ll tell you. You could not like it if you really wanted to take a shower. Because, as you can see, that’s not an option.

Separately: the first morning I was here, Alan gave me some tips on how to emerge from the bathtub clean. His technique: “I kneel and wash my hair under the faucet before I fill the tub to bathe so I’m not sitting in soap scum.”

That sounded complicated, so I looked for an easier method. Seated in the tub, I noticed a shower wand off to the side that would allow me to essentially take a seated shower. Granted, I had to hold the thing, but it seemed much easier than kneeling under the faucet. “You do realize there is a shower wand in here, don’t you?” I shouted out to Alan.

“It doesn’t work,” he shouted back. I was waving it over my head, feeling the warm water running down my back. “If by doesn’t work, you mean you have to hold it, then yeah, it doesn’t work,” I called.

He came bursting in about two seconds later. “You must be shitting me. I’ve been kneeling all week. I even called the front desk to confirm that the shower didn’t work.”

What can I say? I know my way around a bathtub.

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7 Responses to “I’ll take function over beauty any day. In a bathroom.”

  1. bonnie May 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    On our trip to Vegas last Dec, two of the three (expensive hotel) bathroom components — shower and toilet — had frosted glass doors, and there was a glass wall between the two. Not only does the glass expose your posture and clothing arrangement, but I think the glass really amplifies the noise, with the sound waves bouncing and rebouncing between the hard glass and the tile. My theory is that a lot of design flaws in modern living like this are due to so much more computer interaction between people and so much less direct connection. It’s wonderful to communicate with so many people via emails, blogs, etc., but people have a much lower expectation that they will have face to face time, so they design walls and doors which make direct contacts embarassing and therefore less likely, and don’t worry about it.

  2. lexy3587 May 11, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    frosted glass doors are awful. Also awful is a mirrored bathroom… the entire bathroom mirrored. The person who lived in my friend’s house before her must have had an amazing tushy, because I can’t otherwise imagine why they’d want to be able to see it from all angles while sitting on the porcelain throne.
    Have fun in the UK!

    • pithypants May 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      Weirdest public bathroom ever is in NYC – the doors are clear glass until you hit the light switch – then they frost from the outside. But you can still see out into the bar while you’re peeing. Takes people FOREVER to go because they have stage fright. #coolintheory

  3. lexy3587 May 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Also – I’m giving you the Versatile Blogger Award, check it out here – http://goneforawalk.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/champion-at-versatility/
    … though maybe when you get back instead… enjoy your vacation for now!

    • pithypants May 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks! I have an s*load to write about from my tourist encounters, but will totally check it out when I’m back. Thanks for the nod… and for reading me. 🙂

  4. Alicia Farmer May 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    a) I love my old-age eyes. When I read your post, I caught this line out of the corner of my eye (you know — reading a few lines up but peripherally taking in what’s up next) and honestly thought Alan had said, ” “I kneel and wash my hair under the faucet before I fill the tub to bathe so I’m not sitting in my scrotum.” And I burst out laughing. Then I was fearful. What kind of scrotum is that, that he could sit IN it?

    b) Sometime I have to send you a photo of this toilet in my building that is about 15 degrees off square with the walls of the stall, so that your right knee is almost touching the stall and the toilet paper dispenser is over your left shoulder. I laugh every time I’m in there and think it should have been in “Being John Malcovich.”

    Maybe the square toilet is actuall meant to have you sit astride the corner, not along one side? I notice the TP is on a moveable stand…

    • pithypants May 14, 2011 at 3:53 am #

      Wow. Just wow. You’ve conjured up images of flying squirres for some reason.

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